Rocket science – log X-ray specialist Finnos strives for collaboration excellence
Forward-thinking technologies, sophisticated digitalization and effective collaboration processes are critical success factors to Finnos Oy, a leading log X-ray system manufacturer specialist for the sawmill and wood related industries. The Finland based company combines its expertise in advanced measurement technologies and highly customized software solutions, enabling their customers to optimize wood sorting processes and to sustainably save large quantities of valuable raw material. In order to streamline the communication and business processes across the various departments Finnos Oy chose Taskworld as a management tool for all project, task and collaboration related processes between the teams, departments and customers, bringing more agility, transparency and efficiency into the constantly growing business.
Finnos, established in 2016 to continue the pioneering X-ray technology development of its predecessor Bintec, provides innovative X-ray turnkey solutions to the sawmill, pulp, energy and plywood industries across the globe. The Finnos solution portfolio utilizes data collected during the sawmill processes, enabling the industry to digitize their business operations. This data fusion method brings added value to clients in the form of raw material savings and more accurate sorting, helping them to chart, identify and eliminate obstacles that hinder the productivity. Following the guiding principle to revolutionize the business operations through collaboration, Finnos Oy consults, manufactures, develops and maintains all solutions and accompanies their customers with state-of-the-art methods that adapt to their evolving needs.
Need for aligning business operations
“When launching our business, we started from a clear, empty table. During the ramp up phase our teams and projects were kind of easy to handle, even with Excel or basic pen and paper techniques. But with our fast growing business we came to a point pretty fast where we needed to align our business operations in order to manage our projects and tasks more efficiently”, describes Finnos founder and CEO Jere Heikkinen. “This was the starting point for us to really consider the options available to build up our management tools for our mechanical design, software development, manufacturing, delivering and machine vision processes. In the first step we needed to understand what kind of core and support processes we have inside our various departments.”
One main focus was the designing and development process. Finnos is developing a lot through the year. From over 40 employees today half of the team is actively involved in the product development and designing process. As Finnos uses lean and agile development methods they need to split up their projects in small tasks rather than handling big projects. On this basis the project team already had quite a clear vision of what they would need to drive and support their business. In the next stage Jere Heikkinen and his team scanned the market for cloud based task management solutions that would enable Finnos to manage project tasks in a transparent and efficient manner. As Finnos serves also very big customers they were looking for a trustworthy tool that complies with strict data protection and security regulations such as GDPR.
“We were considering options like Trello and other leading task management tools. But Trello was not quite enough for our purposes, despite the fact that the software was hosted on servers outside Europe. We needed more structure and integrated processes in the software. In Trello for example it was not possible to handle several workspaces at the same time. Many of our complex software projects are overlapping, and we don’t want to check these tasks in each of the workspaces”, explains Finnos CEO Jere Heikkinen. “Instead we found out that Taskworld was the tool that has almost everything we need. With Taskworld and server locations in Germany and Switzerland, the possibility to create and manage tasks in multiple project locations and their willingness to develop features that we would possibly need in the future, we have found a reliable partner.”
Agile processes along the supply chain
Finnos provides wood related industries intelligent digital quality control solutions with machine vision technology. (Source: Finnos)Finnos started to use Taskworld in their live environment with the beginning of 2017. The first members that started using Taskworld as a daily business tool was the management, for coordinating and planning purposes of internal and customer projects. After the initial setup phase Finnos onboarded all users one after another and also integrated external customers into the running projects. Today Taskworld is used in every department and by every employee to organize the daily work, teams and customer projects. The Finnos employees also have the mobile Taskworld app installed on their mobile phones, so they can keep track of the progress of tasks anytime and anywhere.
In total Finnos handles almost a hundred customer projects with Taskworld, varying from a few hundred Euro to nearly a million Euro in size – plus the internal projects that sum up also to hundreds of managed projects. “Taskworld makes us fast, agile and efficient in our daily business and in handling our resources. Managing a variety of parallel projects can be quite a challenge. Taskworld forces our people to follow the routines and given processes in a very handy and comfortable way. It gives us the transparency we need when working on a large number of projects and also the space to focus on individual customer needs and the creative parts of our business”, explains Jere Heikkinen.
Transparency and efficient collaboration
When a team finds something where it can improve the quality management processes, Taskworld makes it very easy to adapt new processes. Today the project manager just makes changes to the specific task in Taskworld and the team members follow the process just the way it is described, so that it spreads throughout the company immediately. The quality management checklists regarding the physical products are also documented in Taskworld. The responsible quality control engineer just checks everything that is one the list for each product – and the customer is able to follow the quality control and delivering process in real time. “Being able to see the progress of the project and to optimize the process of coordination and planning is vital to our customers. Even for our complex projects we don´t need to have big meetings with five people from each project team. The customer´s project manager is already up-to-date beforehand which makes the coordination and planning process just between our project managers very constructive and smoothly”, sums Jere Heikkinen up.