ALTEN’s global network brings relief to skills shortage – also generates savings

Vesa Sokka works as Technical Unit Manager. He has been building ALTEN Finland’s global network from the beginning and continues to develop it according to the customers’ needs.

A large-scale engineering project requires extensive expertise, which is not always easy to find in Finland’s limited market. ALTEN Group’s global network meets this challenge. It improves the availability of experts and offers our customers flexibility and cost efficiency in engineering projects.

ALTEN Group operates in 30 countries and employs a total of 54,000 people. The core of ALTEN Finland’s international network consists of design teams in Romania and India. The network’s expert pool is managed through ALTEN Group’s own delivery centers. Competence is available in areas such as mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics and electrical design. In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of special expertise, such as strength calculation and plant engineering.

Starting from the customer’s needs

We started to build ALTEN Finland’s international network a few years ago, with the support of ALTEN Group, to meet our customers’ needs. The customers’ primary motive back then was cost-effectiveness: savings in basic engineering in large-scale projects. We responded to this need by first establishing a design unit in Romania, and pretty soon expanding our network to India.

Our global network engineering teams always include an experienced engineer as well as younger ones working under senior engineer’s guidance. This is how we ensure the transfer and development of know-how, and the continuity of the team’s work. When a new team starts with us, they of course need support from Finland. But the expertise is strengthened through cooperation and the teams become independent over time.

Building the network has required a lot of interaction with people from different cultural backgrounds. At the same time, we have learned to understand cultural differences and work with them, and we have found suitable counterparts in our target countries. We now have excellent networks in India and Romania, which allow us to quickly expand our operating model to meet the needs of new customers.

Competence is carefully verified together

Ensuring the quality of expertise is always important when procuring engineering work, regardless of whether this happens in Finland or the international market. The distribution of work to the global network takes place in close cooperation with the customers, in accordance with their goals.

The process is easy for the customer. If we need new resources for the global network, our local HR teams search for candidates and conduct the first interviews. ALTEN Finland then selects the most suitable candidates and presents them to the customer. The final decision rests with the customer: for carrying out the work successfully, it is essential that the customer can trust the team and its expertise. At ALTEN Finland, this requires a careful process and special attention, especially when starting a new project.

Balance to the workloads, flexibility and savings for customers

Our network eases the skills shortage tormenting Finland, and our customers benefit from this. The availability of experts is better in Romania already, and even more in India, where the population is large and technical education important.

The availability of experts makes it easier to plan projects and organize work. For example, load peaks can be balanced quickly with the help of our global network. Together with the customer, we ensure that the work is divided adequately – the most demanding expert work and product development are usually concentrated in Finland, while the basic engineering can often be transferred to the network.

The flexibility is necessary especially in large projects. When the workload decreases in one area, the experts can be transferred to another – the basic tools, design software and databases are the same. Flexibility also makes it easier to scale the work. In addition, the global network brings significant savings to the customer – the cost level of engineering work is significantly lower in Romania and India than in Finland. In a large project, this has a huge impact on the total cost.

A ready-made operating model ensures smooth cooperation

Building the operating model of our global network has required a lot of long-term work at ALTEN Finland. We are proud of the result: our operating model is ready, refined and tested. There are many companies in Finland that may need the expertise of our network. At ALTEN Finland, we take care of practical implementation – our customers benefit from the end result.

The author Vesa Sokka works as Technical Unit Manager in a team of more than 40 people in Finland, and also supervises design work in Romania and India. He has been building ALTEN Finland’s global network from the beginning and continues to develop it according to the customers’ needs. Sokka has had a long career at ALTEN Finland in expanding areas of responsibility, but his passion for design has remained – when time permits, Sokka still enjoys thinking of new technical solutions.