Business Class Autumn 2023

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Influnce all buying power

The hydrogen economy is now



taking care of

routine matters more efficiently







| In English |

4 Gasgrid opens the valves for the hydrogen economy

14 Looking beyond the horizon


The hydrogen economy is now

16 How to outgun economic turbulence with payment data


Impact through collaboration– Meeting the skills shortage of the hydrogen economy industry

18 AI – a trendy makeup or a real tool for real benefits?


There’s more to ESG than meets the eye


20 Room for growth 22 Value chain marketing: Influence all buying power

Rising to the real responsibility challenge

24 Free weekends for marketing directors

10 Well-being Siun Sote Employee Project: Developing Personnel Management in Times of Change

| In Finnish |

12 Kuusamo - The Call of the Wild

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Gasgrid opens the valves for the hydrogen economy Finland has excellent conditions to become a pioneer in the hydrogen economy. Our potential for clean energy production is sufficient to cover over 10 percent of the EU’s hydrogen needs, enabling investments of over 100 billion euros. TEXT: JUKKA NUORTIO


he EU’s carbon neutrality goals, especially the phase-out of fossil fuels, are accelerating the transition towards the hydrogen economy. Various countries also have set development plans and goals to move the transition forward. ” Finland offers a springboard for hydrogen companies to global growth. Producers and consumers of hydrogen create demand, and to meet this demand, we are building a nationwide hydrogen network by 2030. However, the growth of the hydrogen economy requires determined development of regulations, supply chains, and practices, as well as cooperation,” says Olli Sipilä, CEO of Gasgrid Finland. Both off- and onshore wind power, as part of the energy sources for the hydrogen economy, are being constructed at a record pace in Finland. So much so that the grid needs constant reinforcement to meet the increasing electricity production needs.

Diverse production of clean electricity In addition to wind power, the potential of solar energy in Finland is excellent and its importance is increasing in the coming years. This is traditionally supported by strong hydro- and nuclear power, which will continue to play a significant role. The Finnish government has committed to this change by expediting permits and developing the transmission infrastructure for electricity and hydrogen. The transition to the hydrogen economy does not only affect the energy system. When hydrogen is produced in large quantities, it is also an excellent raw material for chemical and other heavy industry products. A good example of this is green methanol, which is produced when hydrogen is combined with biobased carbon dioxide from the Finnish wood processing industry.

Hydrogen economy as a part of energy independence

” Finland offers a springboard for hydrogen companies to global growth,” says Olli Sipilä, CEO of Gasgrid Finland.



The hydrogen economy is the next logical step in our rapidly electrifying society’s energy system. The hydrogen network complements the electricity grid and provides an alternative for energy transmission and solving energy storage challenges.

” The hydrogen infrastructure projects in different regions will be rapidly connected into a national open network where large amounts of energy are transferred.”

Gasgrid Finland plays a key role in building and maintaining the Finnish hydrogen infrastructure. ” When hydrogen producers are waiting for market demand, and users are expecting supply to grow, infrastructure development becomes an accelerating factor,” Sipilä points out. By 2050, Europe is building an energy infrastructure consisting of three clean energy networks. These networks carry pure electricity, hydrogen, and as clean methane as possible. In Finland, they create a cost-effective, domestic, and reliable energy system. When hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide, it produces clean methane. The existing methane network is an important part of the hydrogen economy as the energy market changes due to the growth of variable electricity production and increasing demand for balancing power. In a clean energy system, the role of biogas has also become more prominent. ” In Finland, we have had a diverse energy production based on various solutions for a long time. This has been the strength of Finland and has ensured supply security and energy system stability. In the future, in a clean energy system, hydrogen infrastructure will secure our energy independence.”

Construction of the hydrogen network begins in the coming years The plans of both hydrogen producers and users require that the infrastructure be ready around 2030. ” We are currently investigating what needs to be done to have a nationwide network by then, which is also connected to the international markets and infrastructures,” says Sipilä. Gasgrid is conducting a market survey to identify the parties involved in the hydrogen network and the areas where construction should start across Finland. The industrial hydrogen valley under development in the Helsinki region is a good example of ongoing projects. It involves Helen, Neste, Vantaan Energia, and Gasgrid. Hydrogen, of course, differs from methane, but the technical solutions for gas transmission are largely the same and safe. The hydrogen network to be built in Finland is not the world’s first, as there are already around 5,000 kilometers of hydrogen networks outside industrial areas in Japan, the USA, and the Netherlands. According to Sipilä, the hydrogen infrastructure projects in different regions will be rapidly connected into a national open network where large amounts of energy are trans-

ferred. Investing in infrastructure enables investments in the entire value chain and is a profitable investment as the market grows.

New opportunities for Finnish and global companies The development in the sector offers significant opportunities for Finnish high-tech companies. There is a high demand for both technology and service providers in the sector worldwide. ” We have good prerequisites to compete in the sector. Now is the time to showcase our expertise and the world’s best conditions for a clean hydrogen economy in the market.” As the hydrogen takes its place as a central part of the energy system in the coming decades, its transport volumes will be significantly greater than those of the natural gas network. ” It is important to remember that hydrogen is not an energy source but a means of energy transmission and storage. The source of clean hydrogen is pure domestic electricity, obtained, among other sources, from wind and solar power. Hydrogen and its derivatives also significantly improve our energy self-sufficiency and supply security,” Sipilä summarizes. |

Read more at BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023



“Finland is the perfect place to produce sustainable hydrogen.” – Herkko Plit, CEO of P2X Solutions

The hydrogen economy is now The Finnish company P2X plans to power the green transition with hydrogen. TEXT: DAVID J. CORD


e are at a climatic tipping point – but no, this is not what you think. We are at a positive tipping point. “The green transition is well under way and there is no going back,” says Herkko Plit, CEO of P2X Solutions. “Companies don’t have a future if they aren’t sustainable. Everyone has to be involved.” P2X Solutions is a Finnish company powering the green transition. Their name refers to the Power-to-X process, where renewable power is turned into another form of energy to be used later – in their case hydrogen. This is not a new idea, but what is new is how far along P2X has come. “The first part of electrolysis equipment has already been installed in our factory in Harjavalta, Finland,” Plit says. “It will have a 20 MW capacity and should start producing next year. We are already working on scaling up and aim to have a capacity of 1 GW within ten years.” To put this into perspective, 1 GW could power about 725,000 households for a year. The world has made progress, such as with renewable energy and electric vehicles. Yet 6


“Trucks and buses can have fuel cells which use green hydrogen. Aviation and shipping can use synthetic fuels made from hydrogen.” we still have a long way to go in hard-to-electrify sectors like heavy transport and industry. It’s difficult to run a factory or cargo ship on batteries alone, but hydrogen can be a game changer. “Trucks and buses can have fuel cells which use green hydrogen. Aviation and shipping can use synthetic fuels made from hydrogen,” Plit explains. “Hydrogen is also important for heavy industry. Companies are coming to Finland to produce fossil-free steel by replacing coal with hydrogen in the iron ore reduction process.” ALL THESE TRANSPORTATION AND industrial companies will have to source their hydrogen from someone, and Plit plans for that someone to be P2X.

“Finland is the perfect place to produce sustainable hydrogen,” he says. “We use electricity to split hydrogen from water. Finland has abundant and affordable renewable energy and clean water, as well as advanced infrastructure and highly skilled workers. The Finnish Government has a goal of providing at least 10% of Europe’s green hydrogen production.” Other countries in Europe are already eyeing Finland as a source of hydrogen. For example, Germany has realised they will not be able to produce the amount of hydrogen their huge economy needs, so they are looking abroad. P2X can produce and distribute green hydrogen and its derivatives like methanol, or even deliver full hydrogen plants to customers. “This is a new industry for everyone, but we have practical experience and competence with electrolysis plants,” says Plit. “We know we are the frontrunners, but we are excited to see so many other players entering the green hydrogen field. If we were the only ones we would know there was something wrong!” |



Impact through collaboration

Meeting the skills shortage of the hydrogen economy industry

Sanna Viitanen, Project Manager, FITech Hydrogen

As the demand for skilled professionals in the hydrogen sector escalates rapidly, Finnish universities of technology are collaborating with the industry to address the skills challenge effectively.


ITech Hydrogen is a study module developed in collaboration with FITech Network University and Hydrogen Cluster Finland. It aims to meet the skills shortage in the hydrogen economy industry. FITech universities combined their best expertise to create courses that cover the entire hydrogen value chain: energy, hydrogen production, storage, logistics, and applications. “Additionally, courses on geopolitics, large-scale project management, and circular economy complement the study module,” says FITech Hydrogen Project Manager Sanna Viitanen. The university network’s ability to combine expertise from multiple universities and its strong ties to technology industries from past educational initiatives leads to highly effective educational programmes. “Our way of working builds on collaboration and dialogue that ensures a good fit between re- and upskilling needs and educational offerings,” says Petri Suomala, Chair of the FITech Board and Vice President for Education at Aalto University.

Industrial viewpoints are represented in the educational board The FITech Hydrogen project has an advisory educational board comprising the universities’ responsible professors and Hydrogen Cluster member companies Neste, P2X Solutions and ABB. They underscore the importance of continuous learning and skill development for professionals across the hydrogen industry, from process engineers to business developers and top management. “The industry’s transition towards sustainability necessitates a diverse skill set across the whole sector, from technical design

and safety to economic, political, and regulatory understanding,” says Antti Pohjoranta, who works as Head of Technology for Renewable Hydrogen at Neste. Ismo Laukkanen, Head of Learning and Development at ABB, stresses the importance of people capability development. “Innovations and technology development need to be linked with competency and capability development in the hydrogen ecosystem. Upskilling programs like FITech Hydrogen provide a good platform for that.” Tuomo Rinne, Vice President for Business Development at P2X Solutions, says that in addition to formal training, the local projects that companies execute together create new knowledge and understanding of the potential of different technologies. This opens opportunities both for education and for the Finnish companies around the hydrogen business.

Now is a good time to study hydrogen economy The FITech Hydrogen study module is organised online and offers an option to study remotely. The course Introduction to hydrogen economy is a good starting point, providing a fundamental grasp of the hydrogen economy value chain. Following this introductory course, students can further enhance their understanding in specific areas. A part of the study module will consist of project courses that enable communication between course students and industry. Sanna Viitanen invites companies to participate: “In our upcoming project courses, students provide solutions for real challenges brought up by companies in the hydrogen sector. We are actively seeking business cases for course participants to engage with.” |

Get to know the FITech Hydrogen course offering:

FITech Network University

• A network that consists of Finnish universities of technology, Technology Industries of Finland (Teknologiateollisuus) and the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (Tekniikan Akateemiset TEK) • FITech offers diverse courses covering topics such as ICT, 5G, cybersecurity, energy storage, and hydrogen economy. Study content is free of charge for all Finns and permanent residents of Finland. • Upon course completion, adult learners can apply for a digital badge to showcase their acquired skills. • The FITech Hydrogen study module is funded by the Service Centre for Continuous Education and Employment (SECLE). 7 BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023


Recognizing the various ways to block the risks caused by increasing inequality and taking sufficient action to remove them are excellent ways to support social responsibility.

There’s more to ESG than meets the eye

While companies and organizations around the world are including ESG in their strategic business agenda, there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to turning the well-meaning acronym into tangible action. TEXT: TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO


ccording to Tiina Antturi, SAP’s Head of Sustainability, Nordics and Baltics, especially the middle letter S is far too often neglected. Social responsibility is an effective, yet still very underrated investment in economic growth. “Reducing inequality, for example, is a powerful way to support overall business operations”, Antturi explains. “Inequality affects business performance, limits productivity and innovation, disrupts the distribution chain and weakens the general trust.” Antturi has worked for development co-operation organizations and personally visited refugee camps, slums and dumping grounds – places and living environments where people do not have a choice or an opportunity to fight for their human rights. She says that is precisely why companies who are able to ask all the right questions should place social responsibility right at the core of their culture. The time for that is now, with modern technology enabling visibility throughout a com8


“Advanced technology makes tracking the real situation a lot more effective and reliable”, says Tiina Antturi, Head of Sustainability at SAP.

pany’s value chains. The rapid development of block chain technologies and artificial intelligence embedded in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management, Sourcing and Procurement systems are examples of the latest tools that make tracking the fulfilment of social responsibility ever more visible.

Social responsibility through modern technology “Advanced technology makes tracking the real situation a lot more effective and reliable”, Tiina Antturi points out. “Challenging decision-makers with questions about issues such as equal pay, injury risk, social treatment, child labor and healthcare, and then reporting the situation throughout the value chain improves human rights and well-being accordingly.” Any company is only as stable as the ecosystems, societies, and economies where they operate. Uncertainties in supply chains and general operating environment create immediate risks and make long-term strategic planning difficult. As the overall uncertainty continues and dramatic incidents tend to follow one another, being on top of things is even more essential. Recognizing the various ways to block the risks caused by increasing inequality and taking sufficient action to remove them are excellent ways to support social responsibility. By enabling measurement and transparency, today’s technologies and systems work efficiently also for human rights. Now, it is up to companies and organizations to start asking the right questions and participate in and support the right value chains. | Read more at and


”While better and more responsible working life is an act of social responsibility, it has proven to improve the employer’s image in the eyes of job seekers as well”, Päivi Salminen-Kultanen says.

Rising to the real

responsibility challenge While companies put an increasing effort to ensure all the boxes in their ESG responsibility list have been checked, they often forget that in the eyes of the employees, it is the small, daily, tangible actions that often make the decisive difference. TEXT: TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO


or the newest generation that is entering the workforce, responsibility at work goes without saying. How responsibility is implemented by the employees, however, suggests that a gap between generations is forming also in this sense. Companies have grown accustomed to proudly presenting their responsibility reports, ESG sheets and other official proofs of a responsible workplace. At the same time, they come

up short in turning pretty words into action. “As the young generation makes choices between potential employers, they pay attention to what happens in companies on a daily basis”, Päivi Salminen-Kultanen, Head of Employer Branding at Oikotie Jobs, a part of Schibsted Group, explains. “That includes issues such as applying and interview experiences, adaptation into workplace, orientation, equal treatment, support and so on.” Salminen-Kultanen says that while many pay serious attention to responsibility when it comes to consuming, traveling, circulation and sources of energy, responsible working life has remained equally abstract.

Responsible Workplace – a community that learns by doing

Päivi Salminen-Kultanen, Head of Employer Branding at Oikotie Jobs.

Oikotie is a digital marketplace where buyers and sellers, as well as employers and job seekers, connect. It also hosts Responsible Workplace – a community consisting of employers that have signed the principles of

responsibility and are committed to further develop responsibility by exchanging ideas and learning from each other. The employers also share their stories and communicate their employer brand with Oikotie content marketing solutions and media. A responsible workplace is built by tackling matters that need developing and by ensuring the ability to meet the right expectations at any given time. Communicating the results and achievements both internally and externally is equally important. Especially the young job seekers who are concerned of life at work, must be shown that the matters are handled in a responsible manner and that things are continuously improved. Responsible companies are an integral element of modern society, and they are willing to do their fair share for common good. Especially at the times of labor shortage, working life must be made interesting and downright attractive. The time to start acting is now – companies that delay these decisions will inevitably be left far behind compared to those who roll up the sleeves and get down to work. Päivi Salminen-Kultanen points out that while better and more responsible working life is an act of social responsibility, it has proven to improve the employer’s image in the eyes of job seekers as well. “The conversion rate for the employers that have included the “Responsible Workplace” badge in their recruitment ad is significantly higher than for the ones without it. Proven responsibility clearly creates more interest towards the employer, resulting in more applications.” | Find out more at responsible-workplace BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023




Developing Personnel Management in Times of Change In the North Karelia Welfare Area - Siun sote, new tools have been created to support leadership during periods of renewal. In Siun sote, the ”Well-being Siun sote Employee - A Critical Success Factor” project was launched in the autumn of 2021, with the aim of creating a structure for renewal management and support model for Siun sote. TEXT: SIUN SOTE | JUULIA HIRVONEN


uring the project, a principle of renewal management was established to support structured management during periods of change. The purpose of this principle is to assist in considering how people should be led in the planning and implementation of renewal. The principle supports the competence, participation, collaboration, and well-being of the staff in line with Siun sote’s strategy. ”At the core of the principle is the participation of the staff in periods of change. The goal is that changes will be made more and more together. This also increases the well-being of the staff amidst continuous change,” says Work Well-being Specialist Outi Kuningas. The framework for the principle of renewal management was created as a result of discussions with immediate supervisors, multidisciplinary workshop work, and experiences gathered during pilot implementations. ”Supervisors who participated in the pilots found value in the insightful questions as support for the planning of the renewal. It’s easier to articulate the renewal and anticipate discussions with the staff when you’ve considered the renewal from multiple perspectives. Additionally, anticipating possible resistance to change and planning staff involvement support supervisors in managing the renewal,” reflects Kuningas.

HelpDesk Discussions for Supervisors as Support for Renewal Management The principle of renewal management was embedded through HelpDesk meetings in change management, which were targeted at supervisors or entities planning the renewal. A total of nearly a hundred HelpDesk discussions were held. The discussions were based on the principle of renewal management, but the topics and needs varied from one work community to another. 10


Outi Kuningas (left) and Arttu Puhakka feel that the cooperation between Siun sote and the University of Eastern Finland has been successful.

”HelpDesk discussions proved to be a fruitful way to utilize the insightful questions in the principle. Through the discussions, supervisors were able to experiment with the principle in concrete change situations with support,” says Kuningas. The insightful questions in the principle of renewal management guide supervisors in strengthening motivation, ensuring sufficient competence, and confirming supporting structures and resources to ensure the success of the planned renewal. ”The tool is used to consider the benefits of the renewal. Renewals should always start with identifying the customer’s needs. Customer based approach has been most important from the get go,” explains Kuningas. The principle of renewal management has been considered a valuable support in planning renewals and has increased discussions within

work communities. The tool has also been implemented in Keva’s learning environment. ”As part of the project, a survey was conducted for supervisors who participated. The majority of respondents felt that the encounters related to the project had an impact on how much discussion takes place about the effects of the renewal within the work community. Shared discussions have increased in work communities, which is significant,” says Kuningas. The Continuous Learning Center of the University of Eastern Finland acted as an important partner in the project. Arttu Puhakka and Pauli Kallio, designers of the Center for Continuous Learning, guided the construction of the renewal management tool in the workshops. | Read more at


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Looking for Balance


Kuusamo - The Call of the Wild

If you could live and work anywhere in the world, what factors would you consider before making your decision? If asked this question, many of us would list things like proximity to nature, friendly atmosphere, a sustainable way of life, a wealth of leisure-time activities to choose from, diverse employment opportunities and short transit times to and from work. It sounds so idyllic, that one wonders: Do such places even exist? The answer is yes. And no, not all of them are on the other side of the world.


In Tune with Nature If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape the hectic pace of big city life, Kuusamo should be at the top of your list. Located just south of the Arctic Circle in the eastern part of Finland, Kuusamo is well known for its beautiful nature, fantastic skiing and friendly atmosphere. For decades, the area was primarily known as a winter destination that quieted down for the summer, which meant that employment was mostly seasonal. These days activities are no longer limited by season and Kuusamo is as busy during the summer as it is in the winters. Employment opportunities have followed suit and year-round jobs are widely available. Kuusamo has a permanent population of about 15,000, but receives more than a million visitors annually in the form of tourists and vacation dwellers. As a result, the town is a delightful mix of small-town friendliness and big-city vibrancy. There is a sense of community rarely felt in bigger cities, which is evident in the way the town’s mayor, Jouko Manninen talks about Kuusamo and his life there. Although the changing of the seasons no longer means the disappearance of tourists and jobs, seasons still have a big impact in the lives of people living in Kuusamo. Mayor Manninen describes his life as living in sync with nature’s cycles: activities, food and work all shift and evolve with the seasons. Every season brings its own culinary delights like forest mushrooms in the spring and autumn, Nordic berries in the summer, fowl and game meats in the autumn and freshly-caught fish 12


”The biggest employers in the Kuusamo area, the forest and tourism industries, are steadily growing and show no signs of slowing down.” all year-round. There is a time for busy activity and a time for regrouping and recharging, summer days filled with light and a winter of cozy nights.

Small But Full of Life Cross-country skiing enthusiasts around the world have come to equate the remote town with the Nordic Opening, a cross-country skiing event that traditionally opens the FIS Cross-Country World Cup and attracts hundreds of spectators and members of the media from around the world. The town also hosts the annual Kuusamo Nature Photo Festival and boasts more than 60 restaurants, many of which offer local seasonal food that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. The town calendar is filled with happenings and events to attend, and the selection of leisure-time activities is nearly endless. Those who enjoy being in nature can enjoy activities like hiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing or mushroom picking. Nor has the town forgotten sports enthusiasts; with a list that includes frisbee golf and downhill mountain biking in

the summer, skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, to name just a few, everyone can find something to get excited about.

Growing, But Sustainably Employment opportunties in most Finnish rural towns of similar size are limited, but the biggest employers in the Kuusamo area, the forest and tourism industries, are steadily growing and show no signs of slowing down. In the past, tourism and forestry have not had the best of reputations when it comes to sustainability, but both industries are committed to a more sustainable future. They are constantly working not only to increase the sustainability of their existing activities, but also to ensure all their future activites are environment friendly from the get-go. For the Kuusamo area this means new and varied employment opportunities as the industries evolve. Kuusamo welcomes this change, and the town itself is also looking towards circular economy models to achieve carbon neutrality. Currently, there are several ambitious projects either already under way or planned for the future. One such project is Kuubio, a bioindustry industrial area operating on a bioeconomic model. The aim is to enable the recycling of all waste in the Kuusamo area within the next few years by turning it into energy. At the same time, the town is planning to become energy independent by 2030 by taking advantage of solar and wind energy as well as biofuel.


”Kuusamo enjoys excellent digital connectivity. This makes working remotely a viable alternative for many.”

Remote and Connected Surrounded by vast woodland areas as well as hills, fells, lakes and national parks, Kuusamo can truly be said to be in the middle of nowhere. But thanks to a well-connected road network and an airport with daily flights to and from Helsinki, it is not as remote as it might at first seem. According to Mayor Manninen, it only takes three hours to get from his doorstep in Kuusamo to Helsinki. Of course, in today’s hectic world being remote isn’t necessarily a problem and might actually be an advantage. With both 5G and fiber-optic networks covering the area, w, at least part of the time. Already many locals take advantage of this possibility and the proximity of nature to schedule their working days to allow taking a lunch-time hike in the forest trails or an afternoon swim in a nearby lake. And what better place to enjoy better work-life balance than Kuusamo – the small town that has it all. |


At the Helm

Jouko Manninen, who was elected Mayor of Kuusamo in 2015, is originally from Kuusamo but spent nearly two decades studying and working elsewhere in Finland before returning to his roots with his wife. He feels very optimistic about the town’s future and is enthusiastic about the changes he has already seen and expects to see in the coming years. Mayor Manninen envisions the town becoming carbon neutral by 2030, thanks to several large-scale projects that will also bring new employment opportunities to the area. He estimates that a thousand new jobs will open in Kuusamo over the course of the next two to three years. Some of these jobs will become available due to the normal retirement process and regular job changes, and the rest will be entirely new jobs created for said projects. The town of Kuusamo welcomes both newcomers and returnees who want to be part of the future of this thriving area. |

Jouko Manninen, Mayor of Kuusamo




Looking beyond the horizon

Port of Hanko, located at the southernmost tip of Finland, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

As the role of shipping in Finland’s economy only seems to be getting more significant, the ports need to find ways to further improve their operations for the

benefit of freight forwarders. The 150-year-old Port of Hanko opens up new channels to productivity by the means of digitalization and green transition.



argely due to Finland’s geographical location, the country has always been highly dependent on shipping. Already the medieval Hanseatic trade created commercial ports in the Northern parts of the Baltic Sea, and even today a vast majority of Finland’s trade is transported by sea. As a matter of fact, the numbers are only growing. In 2022, maritime transport handled 94 % of Finnish exports and 91,1 % of imports. The total share of foreign trade was 92,4 % – nothing short of astonishing. In this light, it is by no means an understatement to say that ports have an extremely significant role when it comes to Finland’s well-being. How ports develop their operations to continuously meet the ever-evolving demands of forwarding companies, end customers, and the society in general has a very direct effect on Finnish companies and on the entire country’s competitiveness.



“We keep developing our digital solutions to make operations more efficient. This means, among other things, ensuring that there are as few empty or one-way transportations as possible to and from our ports”, says Anders Ahlvik, the CEO at Port of Hanko.

Port of Hanko, located at the southernmost tip of Finland, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Focusing on the European markets where Finland’s foreign trade most flourishes, country’s third largest commercial port – and the only one operating 24/7/365 – has its sights firmly set on the future. “Speed is one of the biggest assets in the business of moving goods from one point to the other”, Anders Ahlvik, the CEO at Port of Hanko, says. “We want to provide services that enable taking the goods that are produced in Finland during the day out of the country by the evening.” As a proof of that enablement, 40 ships sail away from the port of Hanko every week, at least one of which heads to every main market area daily. With three locations in Hanko area, each specializing in its own kind of traffic, the transportation chain has been designed to be immensely effective at Port

Port of Hanko plays an active role in green transition as well. It aims to be the first port in Finland to achieve carbon neutrality for its own operations – that has been scheduled to take place during next year.

of Hanko. This benefits everyone’s business operations, and the society as well.

Digitalization as the driver for development In its quest to further improve the efficiency of the ports and to solve a wide variety of logistics challenges freight forwarders face every day, Port of Hanko has made substantial investments in digitalization. Being a trailblazer among Finnish ports in the field of digital solutions, Port of Hanko has designed an identical platform of its entire infrastructure. This tool comes in particularly handy in scheduling maintenance and making operations run smoother in general. “Information must move swiftly for the goods to be able to do the same”, Anders Ahlvik explains. “We keep developing our digital solutions to make operations more efficient. This means, among other things, ensuring that there are as few empty or one-way transportations as possible to and from our ports.” For this particular purpose, Port of Hanko has developed a special application that has been nicknamed “truck traffic’s Tinder”. It connects truck units with trailers and containers that are heading to one direction

“Our location enables year-round operations without the need to deal with ice. Not only does this make operations at the port more efficient – it also saves energy and improves sustainability for the entire logistics chain.”

but have no cargo for the return trip, or vice versa. These kinds of solutions contribute to the entire forwarding chain’s efficiency and make the route that go via Hanko ports both smoother and more environmentally sound.

Environmental advantages for the long run Speaking of the environment, nature plays its own part in making Port of Hanko an increasingly popular choice. “Our location enables year-round operations without the need to deal with ice”, Anders Ahlvik points out. “Not only does this make operations at the port more efficient – it also saves energy and improves sustainability for the entire logistics chain.” Port of Hanko plays an active role in green transition as well. It aims to be the first port in Finland to achieve carbon neutrality for its own operations – that has been scheduled to take place during next year. To reach this target, Port of Hanko actively adopts new sources of energy, such as wind power from a farm in the Baltic Sea region, as well as new fuels that have been produced in a more responsible manner. Anders Ahlvik believes that by joining forces with partners

and customers to develop port services to a more sustainable direction, responsibility and competitiveness can be smoothly combined even in a challenging business area such as freight forwarding. “Smarter operations make a big difference for the entire chain. It is our job to provide our customers with opportunities to make the most of the available resources, for the benefit of themselves, and for the entire logistics chain.” In this light, the 150-year-old Port of Hanko is looking ahead with confidence. With long experience as the foundation for expertise and business sense, new technologies and a delicate finger on the society’s pulse help stay in the forefront of development. It also makes Port of Hanko ready to prepare for any kind of change, even before it rises to the surface. |

Read more at BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023



How to outgun economic turbulence with payment data

In an ever-changing economic landscape, businesses are constantly seeking ways to remain resilient. Economic uncertainty, whether caused by global crises or market fluctuations, poses significant challenges. However, payment data, derived from invoicing and customer transactions, plays a pivotal role in building customer profiles, analyzing payment behavior and identifying early signs of changes in creditworthiness.


y leveraging the insights derived from payment data, companies can manage credit risks effectively, and build resilience through optimized invoicing and receivables management. “Payment data is more than just numbers on a ledger report or within a BI tool; it’s a strategic asset that can lead businesses react to changes quicker and manage cashflow with more accurate forecasts”, Peter Hiltunen, Managing Director at Ropo Capital Finland explains. “In an increasingly data-driven business landscape, the capability to harness and analyze data presents a significant competitive advantage.” Hiltunen points out that payments data can be an invaluable asset especially during economic downturn when customer’s payment ability can vary with the market situation. Companies that invest in data analytics and adopt a data-driven approach to decision-making will be better equipped to ensure their long-term success and sustainability.

Use data to optimize your cashflow Payment data and invoicing are subjects that Hiltunen is strongly dedicated to. He is the leader of Ropo Capital Finland, the leading provider of invoice lifecycle services in Finland, and

possesses a wealth of expertise in this domain. Ropo Capital is changing the Nordic market with its proprietary Ropo 24 software platform, developed in-house to automate and streamline invoicing and receivables management, reduce manual data processing, and improve transparency through real-time reporting. “We believe in transparency and data-driven decision-making – every financial decision-maker should be able to follow the payment behavior trends and changes in real-time. Transparency is the key; sustaining a truly sustainable credit policy or effective risk management requires access to customer payment data.” Hiltunen advises businesses to monitor payment delays and debt collection rates closely. During economic downturns, it’s crucial to track customer behavior with precision and on shorter timeframes. Instead of relying on quarterly reporting for key metrics, consider monthly, weekly, or even daily monitoring. “Use the data to improve your customer understanding, identify patterns and trends, and pay attention to changes – especially sudden or recurring shifts in payment delays or debt collection volumes. These can provide valuable insight to detect early signs of pay-

Peter Hiltunen, Managing Director at Ropo Capital Finland Peter Hiltunen chooses 6 key KPIs and Metrics to track:

1) Percentage of Invoices Paid On-Time 2) Days Sales Outstanding 3) Average Payment Delay 4) Payment Delay by Invoicing Channel 5) Debt Collection Success Rate 6) Credit Loss Ratio

ment difficulties well before they appear in the credit record.” “Real-time payment data transforms how companies view invoicing; it’s not only a fundamental aspect of a company’s operations but also a rich data resource that should be harnessed with greater intelligence”, Hiltunen concludes. |

Ropo Capital is a fast-growing Nordic leader in invoice lifecycle services. We help our clients to streamline invoicing management and gain full visibility and control of their receivables. Our invoice lifecycle service covers the whole value chain of receivables management from invoice delivery and ledger to reminders, debt collection, reporting, and customer service related to payments. As a Group, we deliver more than 170 million invoices and other documents a year.




AI – a trendy makeup or a real tool for real benefits?

Throughout history, big technology shifts have shaped societies, leaving their marks on the business world as well. While some have what it takes to predict the next steps of development and achieve genuine leadership, most of us perceive and understand everything in hindsight.



ut when it comes to positioning a service provider in the market, everyone is an expert. “Companies that fail to take into account all aspects that contribute to a technology shift in their respective field inevitably lose their competitive edge to those who can make the most of futureproof decisions without losing their focus on today’s precision”, says Anders Fohlin, CFO at Medius, a company specializing in AI-powered AP automation and full-suite Source-to-Pay (S2P) software development. “Just think about cell phones and cloud services – there are companies who managed to make a huge shift in competence as things evolved, while others had to settle for a branding exercise.” Fohlin refers to companies who merely moved their servers into cloud and started calling themselves cloud experts. Compared to those who thoroughly shifted their operations to multitenant SaaS-based services and began developing them on open platforms, the difference in customer experience was downright remarkable. Now, the same trend is clearly visible in the AI market.

than a chatbot or a human being, are in relative terms more straightforward to come up with. Then, there are companies such as Medius who have access to a massive amount of data in a certain field and who build their AI learning based on that expertise. This metadata is not only text-based but based on any type of information. Thus, the same way domain-specific data for example trains biochemists to identify new medicines quicker, it helps Medius to provide groundbreaking solutions in the framework of Accounts Payable and S2P. This approach has helped Medius to include sophisticated functions to its AP service. While the automatic recognition of country-specific e-invoice formats makes handling international invoices a lot smoother, AI-based fraud detection recognizes deviations in address, bank account and other data manipulation that are impossible for human eye to spot, especially when dealing with a massive number of invoices, and alert the users automatically to anomalies. Anders Fohlin points out that especially now as AI is still making its way to various functions in an organization,

An enhanced chat function or a genuine time and money saver? According to Fohlin, while there are companies who actually do the technology shift, many of the companies who now call themselves AI specialists settle for a layer of decoration to back up their sales pitch. With ChatGPT bringing text-based machine learning at everyone’s disposal, somewhat intelligent solutions that include a conversational part and provide more accurate answers



Medius specializes in AI-powered AP automation and full-suite Source-to-Pay (S2P) software development, says Anders Fohlin, CFO at Medius.

the choice of service provider is by no means an insignificant one. “Choosing a company to provide a system solution is a substantial investment that involves deployment, training, and organizational commitment. The moment when it becomes really expensive is the moment when you, down the line, realize the chosen supplier turns out to not be AI future-proof after all, and you have to start terminating the contract and selecting a new candidate.” |


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All-in-one spend management solutions with live integrations are the most beneficial for companies that use ERPs, have multiple entities across Europe and the USA, and manage diverse spending across their workforce.

Room for growth

With an all-in-one spend management solution that integrates seamlessly with ERP, businesses can fully focus on what matters the most. TEXT: TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO


n their quest for growth and success, many businesses are increasingly automating and digitizing aspects of their spend management. While some are using corporate bank cards to manage employee expenses, others rely on specialized solutions for invoice scanning and processing. Heavily depending on randomly chosen practices and personal preferences of CFOs, the current field of spend management is, to say the very least, quite versatile. First challenges arise when these disparate solutions create data delays and inconsistencies. “For example, bank card data may be available real-time, while invoice data lags, leading to delayed analysis and decisionmaking”, Hristo Borisov, Co-founder and CEO at Payhawk, explains. “Additionally, the use of different data formats means the data can’t flow through systems as it should. This creates manual reconciliation tasks and negates the efficiency gains of digitization.” Borisov points out that from the users’ perspective, an all-in-one solution can streamline processes, eliminate manual paper-led reimbursement requests, and offer real-time expense tracking, ensuring quicker reimbursements and user-friendly experiences. At the same time, the accounting department benefits from data accuracy, enhanced compliance with spending policies, 20


Hristo Borisov, Co-founder and CEO at Payhawk

efficient approval workflows, and seamless ERP or accounting software integrations, reducing administrative burdens.

Best tools for business-critical decision-making Payhawk innovates finance processes such as approval workflows, custom fields for spend categorization, and supplier invoices, while also expanding proprietary payment rails. Utilizing sophisticated tools such as artificial intelligence for automated data input, these improvements empower financial teams and non-finance colleagues to efficiently handle company expenses and reports – thus

providing finance departments with greater confidence in decision-making and financial planning. It goes without saying that successful integration between spend management and ERP plays a pivotal role in enhancing business operations. With that, companies can genuinely find a balance between being both convenient and user-friendly, at the same time maintaining data integrity. “Companies must be able to minimize the reliance on numerous niche software solutions, thus reducing the complexity of reconciling data between them and the ERP”, Borisov says. “In addition, an ideal all-in-one spend management solution is committed to delivering best-in-class usability in all situations.” The more value a company can extract from all the features and benefits of a spend management solution, the more useful it will find it. All-in-one spend management solutions with live integrations are the most beneficial for companies that use ERPs, have multiple entities across Europe and the USA, and manage diverse spending across their workforce. These solutions offer value to businesses of all sizes by digitizing expense management and saving time on manual tasks. |


Kansainvälisen kaupan aikakauslehti

• Tuulessa itää kasvu. Päästötön sähkö tuo investointien vyöryn. • Suomi valmistautuu Ukrainan jälleenrakentamiseen. • Palveluviennin tase on pakkasella. Lue nämä ja muut artikkelit Kauppapolitiikka-lehdestä. Tilaa maksuton lehti tai lue verkossa



Value chain marketing: Influence all buying power ”The key to success is to influence all decision-makers along the value chain at the right time, with the right solution.”



– Kaj Pärkkä, Account Director at creative digital agency Buorre

As the efforts to find the ideal route to the customer’s heart seem to become more scientific as time goes by and technologies evolve, companies seem to lose sight of what still should matter the most: the customer experience. Fragmented target groups and diversified needs don’t qualify for excuses anymore – the time has come to turn those challenges into competitive advantage by mastering them in a way that lifts you above the rest. TEXT: TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO


he good news is, it does not have to take more than a refreshed, comprehensive way to present yourself to the audience. When the entire approach is based on customer needs and wishes instead of mere product development and sales, it goes without saying that customer experience has what it takes to reach new heights. “We need to step into the customers’ shoes to understand them, and that is where it all should begin”, Kaj Pärkkä, Account Director at creative digital agency Buorre, points out. “Adding value to buying process creates satisfaction, which again leads to customers returning and even becoming ambassadors to the brand and service in question.” Value chain marketing can address issues and elements that are beyond reach when it comes to traditional target group marketing, and that just might be the missing detail with many. 22


Who is making decisions, and who is influencing who? Every team member has different expectations towards the chosen alternative. While a product engineer, for example, pays most attention to the product’s ability to perform and available support, the procurement specialist’s focus is on price. The managers are interested in bigger entities such as agreements, lifecycle costs, and purchase history. With value chain marketing, understanding and actions can be established to influence all these people and their interaction with each other. As buying personas and their actions overlap quite often, that becomes an even more critical, also and especially from the customer experience’s point of view. In addition, different target groups often interact with each other in the value chain.

Developing an ecosystem for value chain marketing begins with traditional buyer persona analysis. It is essential to gather information about what everyone values in their respective responsibility. As these personas are strongly connected to each other, it is vital to find the ones that influence the decision making the most, and then create and execute a well-targeted marketing plan. While this approach is apparent with long industrial value chains, it is equally crucial to any company that plans to internationalize its operations. “Value chain marketing helps design series of elements that can be used to communicate with and support each buying persona in a relevant, value-based manner”, Kaj Pärkkä says. “It is a selection of tools and strategies, out of which the right combination is put together for the entire value chain.” The key to success is to influence all decision-makers along the value chain at the right time, with the right solution. After all, decisions are not made based on only one standpoint, but on complex influences from everyone involved. Value chain marketing maps out these relationships and finds the most powerful path to influence buying behavior. |



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Free weekends for marketing directors MARKETING

With continuous fragmentation of target groups picking up speed, an endless amount of data pouring in, and the number of potential channels increasing rapidly, it is justified to predict that the average lifespan of marketing directors – or at least their marriages – will soon show a steady decline. The eternal tugof-war between marketing and sales, combined with the typical battle between branding and lead generation, seems to do more harm than good. Literally drowning on choices, unable to find their way out of the jungle of options, marketing directors need help. TEXT: TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO


odern marketing has become increasingly goal-oriented, as it should”, explains Matti Aalto-Setälä, VP, Business Development at Luxid, a Finland-originated, globally operating digital marketing agency. “To be able to provide sufficient return on investment, marketing needs clear, measurable objectives – precisely like sales.” Aalto-Setälä points out that sales must demand ambition and results from marketing, and vice versa. In a data-driven business, this

is the minimum demand. “Marketing must be able to produce relevant leads for the sales force”, Pasi Voho, CEO at Luxid, adds. “The organization, culture and line of business each have an impact, but at the end of the day, an end-to-end solution for supporting sales must be built, and marketing must stay on top of things throughout it.” Aalto-Setälä and Voho remind that while modern technologies enable a vast number of capabilities, the implementation and use of them are still extremely difficult for many. That is where the nightmares for marketing directors typically begin. Luckily, there are experts in this field to turn to.

From one end to the other, marketing is about managing the right capabilities

“To be able to provide sufficient return on investment, marketing needs clear, measurable objectives – precisely like sales, says Matti Aalto-Setälä, VP, Business Development at Luxid. 24


Instead of joining the endless rat race of chasing random leads, marketing directors should remind themselves that even though technologies keep evolving and customer behavior changes, the principles of marketing and sales have remained very much the same. “AI and other new technologies enable taking care of routine matters more efficiently”,

“AI and other new technologies enable taking care of routine matters more efficiently”, says Pasi Voho CEO of Luxid.

Pasi Voho explains. “The roles may change, and boundaries stretch, but successful marketing is still very much about putting the customer into the core, understanding customer needs and competitive situation – and delivering a relevant, memorable story about unbeatable benefits.” The amount of data does not guarantee success, either. The key is to pick up the most meaningful pieces and utilize them in a way that helps make a difference. “Marketing must be smart and combine data from several sources, and turn the outcome into tangible, executable decisions”, Matti Aalto-Setälä points out. “It takes special skills to analyze all available data, but modern technology provides efficient tools even for that”. In spite of modern development – or, rather, just because of it – mastering the required capabilities is still the key to both more productive marketing and smart workload. Trust is still built between people, and even in the crossfire of disruptions and new technologies, competitive advantage is created by people who know their business thoroughly. |


14.11.2023 HELSINKI

8.12.2023 ESPOO

13.2.2023 ESPOO

14.2.2024 ESPOO

Loppuunmyytyjen koulutusten uusinta totetutukset: ChatGPT viestinnässä 26.10.2023 ChatGPT markkinoinnissa 7.11.2023 ChatGPT asiakaspalvelussa 23.11.2023

ChatGPT ja muut luovat tekoälyt sisällöntuotannossa 4.-5.12.2023 ChatGPT tuotekehittäjille 8.12.2023 ChatGPT-ohjeistuksen luonti organisaatiolle 16.1.2024

ChatGPT HR:ssä 24.11.2023

ChatGPT viestinnässä 18.1.2024

ChatGPT assistenteille 30.11.2023

ChatGPT käytännön johtamistyössä 18.1.2024

Varaa paikkasi, ennen kuin ne loppuvat. Liput koulutuksiin ja tapahtumiin myynnissä nyt! GROUP BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023


Helsingin Sanomien digitilauksella laatusisällöt myös yrityskäyttöön - tutustu uuteen kirjautumisratkaisuun ja sen hyötyihin asiantuntijoillesi.

Digi organisaatio -tilaus on yrityskäyttöön suunniteltu tuote, joka sisältää rajattoman lukuoikeuden Helsingin Sanomien sisältöihin verkossa ja mobiilisovelluksessa. Palvelu on tilattavissa valitulle tiimille työkäyttöön tai henkilöstöeduksi.


elsingin Sanomien digitilaus on investointi hyvään työntekijäkokemukseen.

Digi organisaatio -tilaus tarjoaa päivittyvän uutissisällön ja taustoittavat jutut myös hybridityötä tekeville asiantuntijoille. ”Digitaalinen uutismedia on hyvä työkalu esimerkiksi oman toimialan seuraamiseen, ja laadukkaat digisisällöt tukevat tehokasta työtä ”, summaa Sanoman Business Development Director Joni Lindholm. ”Helsingin Sanomien digitilaus on investointi hyvään työntekijäkokemukseen”, kertoo Lindholm.


irjautuminen on vaivatonta ja turvallista ja palvelun käyttöönotto nopeaa.

Palveluun kirjaudutaan tutuilla työpaikan Office-tunnuksilla, ja tilauksen aktivoimiseen tarvitaan vain organisaation yksilöivä Microsoft Azure AD Tenant ID -tunnus, jonka saa oman organisaation IT-käyttäjähallinnasta. ”Kirjautuminen on vaivatonta ja turvallista”, kertoo Lindholm ja jatkaa ”Yrityksille digitilauksen tekninen käyttöönotto on nopeaa, puhutaan tunneista ei päivistä.”


ritys maksaa vain aktiivisesta palvelun käytöstä.

Palvelun käyttö aloitetaan tutustumisjaksolla, jonka aikana tieto tilauksen aktiivisten käyttäjien määrästä toimitetaan asiakkaalle kuukausittain. Näin palvelun käyttöä on helppo seurata. Tutustumisjakson jälkeen tilausta jatketaan aktiivisen käyttäjämäärän mukaan. ”Yritys maksaa vain aktiivisesta palvelun käytöstä”, kertoo Lindholm. Jokaisella käyttäjällä on henkilökohtainen lukuoikeus, joka päättyy automaattisesti, kun työpaikan käyttäjätunnukset eivät ole enää käytössä. | 26


Digi organisaatio

– Asiantuntijasi arvoista luettavaa. Tilattavissa henkilöstöeduksi tai rajatulle käyttäjäryhmälle työkäyttöön:

• Laadukkaat digisisällöt aina saatavilla myös hybridityötä tekeville. • Yrityksen kaikki digitunnukset vaivattomasti samalla tilauksella ja laskulla.

Kirjautuminen ja käyttöönotto on vaivatonta:

• Palveluun kirjaudutaan työpaikan Office-tunnuksilla. • Tarvitset vain Microsoft Azure AD Tenant ID -tunnuksen, jonka saat IT-käyttäjä­hallinnastanne.

Yritys maksaa vain aktiivisesta palvelun käytöstä:

• Palvelun käyttöä seurataan kuukausittain. Toimitamme aktiivisten käyttäjien määrän asiakasyritykselle sähköpostilla. • Lukuoikeus päättyy automaattisesti, kun työpaikan käyttäjätunnukset eivät ole enää käytössä.

Tutustu tarkemmin osoitteessa


Ruoholahdenkatu 21, Helsinki

Muuttovalmista, tehdashenkistä toimistotilaa Laadukkaasti remontoitua toimistotilaa aina 1500 m² asti Baana-pyöräväylän ja hyvien liikenneyhteyksien varrella Palveluina mm. co-working-tilaa, ravintola, kahvila ja kuntosali

Tilan vuokraa JLL. Ota yhteyttä: Katri Lehtonen, +358 400 46 77 36 BUSINESS CLASS | AUTUMN 2023


Tiimi Euroopan siisteimmän kentän takana. Siistiä! Helsingin lentokenttä palkittiin Euroopan puhtaimpana. Kiitos Finavialle, että saamme olla yhdessä tekemässä entistä viihtyisämpää lentokenttää.



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