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Stora Enso brings its finances to Tallinn

This year Enterprise Estonia announced its support for the development of Stora Enso’s Tallinn Service Centre to the tune of 200 000 euros. Stora Enso is the leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. Worldwide the company employs some 26 000 people and is publicly listed in Helsinki and Stockholm. But for the jobs requiring the most precision, the company comes to Tallinn. Why is that?

‘The decision by the Stora Enso Group to establish its main and central Financial Services Centre in Tallinn is high praise for our development potential and the local economic environment,’ says Martin Leiger, Head of the Stora Enso Tallinn Service Centre. In addition to jobs linked directly to financial calculation, other posts in new areas are also being created in Tallinn.

‘When the decision was made to create our financial service hub in Estonia, we realised that it would offer us the valuable opportunity to evaluate our activities and efficiency to date, possibly finding areas for improvement in our processes, organisation and cooperation. In addition to the more traditional shared finance- and accounting services, the Tallinn centre will include the continuous development, improvement and automation of processes, including the application of robotics, which will give people the opportunity to focus their energy on more value adding analytical and creative tasks. We are very pleased that Enterprise Estonia is actively supporting our efforts to promote Estonia as a service centre country in a really competitive global environment,’ says Leiger.

A longer-term goal is to bring the work done in all the different finance service centres to Tallinn. This includes the sub-contracting service. Leiger claims that the main innovation in the new centre will be its hybrid character – both people and software robots will work here side by side, covering work areas that suit one or the other better.

It is because of the robots that the jobs will not just be transferred to Tallinn one-to-one. Currently, 50 posts have been created in Tallinn.Keyword: robots.

‘This is a significant example of our innovation capacity and the level of automation. Our new colleagues have taken study trips to other service centres with the aim to bring the “know-how” from those service centres to the organisation in Tallinn,’ says Leiger, thankful to the people who carried out this somewhat stressful task.

‘We have also created a framework of processes and systematic routines which we call iWoW in-house, which stands for Improved Ways of Working. This is a framework that covers the entire service centre and provides a common roadmap to our processes and enables us to significantly improve management and communication through clearly structured activities.’

Leiger claims that the Tallinn office of Stora Enso has significantly raised its ability to manage the huge volume of data they administer – both in making management decisions and in offering added value to business units. ‘We are currently mapping the different data volumes we use and creating the framework to administer them. Hence it is development work in progress and we will hopefully reach our first goalposts and innovation achievements next year.’

Stora Enso is a good example of a traditional sector like forestry, wood or the paper industry, where, like others, they are actively looking for and applying solutions creating higher added value. This is demonstrated by the fact that just a decade ago the next engine of the forestry and wood industry was considered to be bioenergetics, and today the main innovation in the sector is linked to biochemistry and totally new materials.

‘We definitely wish to be a pioneer in this field in the world. New products such as lignin open the door of the forest industry to a totally new field – that of biopolymers. The opportunities are really limitless and they also serve one of Stora Enso’s main promises to its customers – we believe that everything that is produced today using fossil fuels will be produced using renewable sources in the future. This is what we are working towards every day.’

Support from Enterprise Estonia helped to decide on location

Although Martin Leiger says that Stora Enso would probably have implemented the project even without the support from Enterprise Estonia, it is thanks to the latter that they are now able to concentrate on development and automation and on creating more jobs, creating added value. Such posts have been traditionally located in the offices in Finland and Sweden.

‘The support allocated to us was an important signpost for us as well as Estonia on the whole. On one hand, it gives Stora Enso the security that we are operating in a secure economic environment that is open to foreign investment. On the other hand, this decision is a small working triumph for the organisation in Estonia because in these kinds of decisions there are more candidates than just one when it comes to deciding upon a location. We are of course very happy with that decision.’

Enterprise Estonia’s development centre support is aimed toward companies that operate in at least two countries and are part of a group with a revenue of at least 100 million euros over the past few years. As a result of the project, at least 20 new full-time jobs must be created, the average salary of which must be equal to at least one and a half times the Estonian average county-based salary according to the location of the centre to be established. The aim is to bring support and development centres with greater value added to Estonia. Enterprise Estonia has previously supported the development of ABB’s regional business service centre in Tallinn and the expansion of Arvato Financial Solutions’ innovation and development centre

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