Providers of public business services developed a shared customer relationship management system to provide clearer and more efficient service paths
To better support and serve Finnish companies, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs together with the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Business Finland, Finnvera, Employment and Economic Development Offices, and Tukes, all of which operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, have developed a shared digital customer relationship management (CRM) system.
The CRM system, provided by Digia, has been under development for two years. The participating organisations have worked together before, but this new joint effort provides all key actors with simultaneous access to relevant data on corporate customers.
As many as 1,400 users in six different organisations are already using the system, and the number will eventually rise to 1,800. The Act on customer data systems for business services (293/2017) enables secure exchange of customer data. The Act naturally requires that any data disclosed, saved and used are necessary for carrying out official work duties.
– Having a single, coherent system makes the service path much simpler and more efficient, because all the key organisations involved have access to the companies' customer histories, says Johanna Kosonen-Karvo, chair of the project group from Business Finland.
More efficient Team Finland cooperation
Public service providers help tens of thousands of Finnish companies. The shared operating model will significantly help to strengthen export cooperation in organisations such as Team Finland. The electronic system allows public service providers to act proactively and select companies seeking opportunities for establishing business operations abroad.
– Finland's wellbeing relies on the wellbeing of Finnish companies, says Juha Markkanen, Senior Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He welcomes the fact that companies using the new operating model will be able to set up business abroad faster than before.
– The system is glue that connects Team Finland actors. We want to effectively promote the export operations of Finnish companies.
Under-Secretary of State Petri Peltonen from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy stresses that one of the key industrial policy objectives of the new Government Programme is to accelerate the growth and internationalisation of SMEs.
– The shared CRM system will significantly contribute to several Team Finland actors’ efforts aiming at supporting corporate customers’ growth.
Kosonen-Karvo emphasises that the data on Finnish companies can be used also in an international network, because the system has very robust information security.
– The strong data security came with a price, but cooperation made the project very cost-effective, she points out.
Customer-oriented service chain
Most importantly, the new CRM system will facilitate the operations of Finnish companies. Esko Mertsalmi, CEO of Pirkanmaa-based Unikie Oy, commends the new operating model.
– When seeking growth and business opportunities in global markets for Unikie, we have often used all cooperation actors’ services. Although service has always been good and of high quality, creating synergies is difficult. The new system and operating models will ensure more seamless and flexible cooperation in the future. For customers, the system offers opportunities for more flexible cooperation between various actors, says Mertsalmi.
Thanks to a seamless and open service chain, the operating model now focuses on customers rather than services.
– A shared digital system significantly reduces the administrative burden on customers, explains Kirsi Wendelin-Arponen from the Southwest Finland ELY Centre.
Although export targets have been an important driver when developing the new system, the tool also serves companies operating in the domestic market.
– Companies find themselves in very different situations and have different needs, so the most important thing is to guide the customer to the right service provider at the right time. Support services may include funding but also advice and encouragement, or referral to an expert in the private sector, she says.