Wood working23.02.2018

Success stories: Sharing knowledge makes the customer king

Loading Koskisen plywood products into trailer.

Maija Saarinen, Head of Customer Support, production planning and dispatch operations for Koskisen’s Panel Industry, has reason to be pleased. Last autumn was a time of many new developments, and Panel Industry is buzzing with activity. Good results have been achieved particularly by sharing knowledge. “The sales area for chipboard is relatively narrow: our main market, in addition to Finland, is Scandinavia and the Baltics. That explains why customer service for chipboard was previously handled by a rather small group of people. With the integration of Panel Industry, we have broadened our knowledge such that more and more people have been able to fill in for one another and share responsibilities and tasks in both plywood and chipboard deliveries,” explains Saarinen. This all means that Koskisen’s Panel Industry customers will be getting even better service, since a bigger group of people will know how to care of customer relationships.

Besides broader knowledge, digitalisation and automation are also being used as a means of enhancing customer service. “By making use of digitalisation and automation in customer service, production planning and dispatch operations, we can minimise unnecessary routines, which allows our professionals to focus their expertise on more meaningful tasks, i.e. serving customers,” says Saarinen. 

Training plays a big part in developing Panel Industry’s customer service throughout the production process. Training in customer orientation and in gaining a better understanding of customers’ processes was provided in the autumn and winter. “We have reviewed and developed all roles, from production planning to customer service and dispatching, so that we can focus our existing resources on customer service and its development, as well as on identifying customer needs and solving any problems,” adds Saarinen.

In her view, soft values can achieve concrete results: “If our employees are happy, there is a good chance our customers will be happy, too. When employees feel that they are important, are doing the right things, are valued and enjoy their work, it shows also on the customer side.” The outcome of the new developments will be measured very soon, as right now both work and customer satisfaction surveys are being conducted, and the responses are eagerly awaited.