Tactic is a family business from Pori, Finland, whose innovative and captivating board games are loved around the world. For half a century, Tactic’s factory in Pori has produced products that bring people together to enjoy shared moments. Let’s dive into the heart of the game factory to hear the thoughts of Tactic employees on being Finnish, responsibility, and the importance of games.
Game business in three generations
Tactic is the life’s work of the Heljakka family from Pori, spanning three generations. The Tactic story began in the late 1960s when young Aarne Heljakka’s family received a board game as a gift from an American cousin. It instantly became a hit among the family. Aarne got the idea to manufacture and sell the game in Finland and the rest is history. Starting from a garage in Pori, Kimble has conquered the world, with the company growing to new spheres.
One of Tactic’s key figures is Marketing Manager Jemina Heljakka, who has lived and breathed games all her life. Tactic’s founder Aarne Heljakka is Jemina’s grandfather, and Jemina’s father Markku Heljakka managed the company for nearly 40 years. In the family business, everyone got involved early on in testing and selling games. Jemina recalls fondly how her first pocket money was earned by folding Kimble game boxes on the living room floor.
Tactic’s games are still made in Pori today, where the Heljakka family is actively involved in the company’s operations. Even the retired Markku Heljakka occasionally creates social media content and videos. Jemina believes that working in a family business is very versatile, with broad responsibilities and good influence. It has been great growing with Tactic’s products and gaining the assurance from experience about what works and what kind of games consumers want to play, whether in Finland or abroad.
Roots firmly in Finland
Lauri Nieminen has had the most interesting two years of his career as Tactic’s CEO. A professional in video marketing, Lauri had previously taken Tactic to new markets like the United States. His first game memory is Tactic’s Choco, which made an impression on young Lauri. Lauri has also been a cover boy for Tactic – his picture graces the cover of the first Junior Alias.
Being the CEO of a family business is a great source of pride for Lauri Nieminen. Over the years, he has watched the company grow and diversify, and now he gets to lead this prestigious company. For Lauri, Tactic’s vision remains crystal clear: bringing people together through games and creating unforgettable moments and cherished memories in everyday life.
Being from Finland and having production in Pori are at the core of Tactic’s value proposition. Since the company was founded, work has been done with local resources. Today, Tactic is a significant employer in the region. Responsibility is a matter of the heart for Tactic employees; every worker can truly stand behind the kind of products that leave Pori for the world.
Sustainable development bears fruit
Jemina Heljakka believes that in a family business, it is natural to think about sustainable business practices and ensure its continuation for future generations. Domestic production means that the entire design, procurement, and production chain’s responsibility can be guaranteed. They can choose the right raw materials for products and monitor where the materials come from and how the products are made. They know precisely who makes the products and that working conditions are good at every stage of the production chain. Tactic products usually bear the Key Flag symbol, indicating that the products are made in Finland.
Investment in responsibility is evident in Tactic’s brand. Tactic games are seen as reliable domestic products that are fun to play year after year, game after game. Sociality is also at the core of Tactic’s brand, and people gather around games to enjoy being together. People can safely choose a familiar game manufacturer who considers the environment in the manufacturing process and has the experience to always make the right products for the right need.
Everyone plays their part
Every Tactic employee has their important role in the company’s responsibility chain. Nico Lehtonen, from Pori, is responsible for production consistency. His job includes equipment and property maintenance and renewal. Nico praises Tactic’s excellent team spirit, where everyone works towards a common goal. This also helps in quality maintenance when solutions to process problems are sought together. In Nico’s role, responsibility is also seen in reducing energy costs, keeping the devices efficient, and utilizing all the heat produced by the machines.
Roni Kotkavaara works in Tactic’s warehouse. He started at Tactic as a forklift driver and is now a trainee supervisor. Roni’s job is to send goods from the factory at speed, thus bringing joy to children all over the world. Roni feels good knowing that someone is playing the very game he packed and sent out. According to Roni, Tactic is an excellent employer where they also have fun, as should be in a game factory. According to Roni, responsibility is evident in the warehouse, especially in load optimization. When products are packed tightly, the delivery is sure to arrive intact at the destination.
Game designer Petter Ilander is responsible for the game mechanics at Tactic. Responsibility in game design can be seen, for example, in considering how many times a game can be played before it starts to repeat itself. The bar is high at Tactic, and they always aim to maximize the number of plays. Material choices are also durable; they avoid plastic and consider which cardboard solution would last best from one game to the next.
The future looks bright
Every Tactic employee shares the core values of the family business and implements responsibility in their work. CEO Lauri Nieminen is especially happy about this. The company’s playing field is interesting, and Lauri sees no limits to what Tactic can offer consumers in its main product categories. The world is constantly changing, so there is always work to be done and development to be made.
Jemina Heljakka also sees a bright future for Tactic. Domesticity is an important resource: on the domestic market, new things can be tested, which then spread to other markets. In this way, the company grows and expands its operations responsibly. It is important to continue making sustainable choices that keep the company and employees in good shape and consumers satisfied. This ensures that Tactic remains a pioneer in bringing people together to spend quality time together in the future, too.
Further information: www.tactic.net/…/responsibility