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KPA Unicon has overcome one of the major problems in large international companies – the slowness of decision-making. To lessen bureaucracy, the company has shifted decision-making power from top management to multiprofessional teams of specialists. The move has strengthened the company’s sense of community and culture of collaboration. These are the strengths of KPA Unicon’s expert work.
“Customer satisfaction has increased considerably over the past two years during which we have developed our team model. Our decision-making has become faster, as have our operations overall,” says Jukka-Pekka Kovanen, Managing Director of KPA Unicon.
The team model relies on continued staff training and increasingly streamlined internal processes. The model has also been fine-tuned with the support of outside experts, for example through various training events. The result is an operating model built around competence and trust.
“Our employees have been able to work more independently and develop their special competence as part of a team and our customer operations. The results can be clearly seen in our personnel satisfaction surveys. What is more, our staff turnover has dropped to near zero. We have invested a lot in this and it has paid off,” says Kovanen.
The team model is an asset for KPA Unicon
KPA Unicon has nine independent teams in Finland, which specialize in different projects and in solving different types of challenges. The same model has been adopted in the Group’s country units operating in five countries worldwide. The teams of 7–14 specialists work with the customers from sales to delivery, providing full life-cycle services.
Multiprofessional teams comprising specialists in various fields ensure that customers do not need to seek competence elsewhere and that each project can be carried out as a single, clearly managed entity.
“We wanted to move away from the model in which the coordinators change as the project progresses. Earlier, we had to recruit and train new people at the beginning of each stage. In addition, customers often sought complementary competence from another company. The situation wasn’t beneficial to anyone,” Jukka-Pekka Kovanen explains.
In the present model, teams can serve customers based on the one-stop principle. Each team has the competence required to solve challenges faced by customers.
“Our team has welded together very well. We understand how our competence relates to the customer’s needs and are always clear about what we need to know in the future. The company’s quality system offers clear processes that steer our work. If required, we can always get help from our team coach or from top management,” says Juuso Viskari, Project Manager of team Charlie.
Team Charlie comprises 13 specialists stationed in four localities. The team members usually communicate with one another and with customers online. Nevertheless, face-to-face meetings are arranged whenever required. Trust lays the foundation for successful operations.
“The introduction of the team model signaled the management’s trust in us specialists. With trust comes great responsibility, of course, but free from constant monitoring and control. This operating model has generated healthy competition between the teams and has encouraged each team to improve their performance and work more and more efficiently and smartly. It means that we keep our promises to one another and to our customers,” explains Mikko Savolainen, EIC specialist in team Charlie.