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Isku | Processes can be outsourced and developed simultaneuosly

Asko Dahlbom, CFO, Isku

It’s true! With Efima we outsourced and developed our processes at the same time.

Isku is a Finnish family company with long traditions. It designs, manufactures and markets furniture and interior design solutions for homes, kitchens, offices and public premises. The company has operations in Finland, the other Nordic countries, the Baltics and Russia. Isku employs about 900 people, 600 of whom work in Lahti. 

In the past few years, Isku has focused on renewal. The company’s strategic goal is to offer ”superior service”. An essential part of strategy implementation is to build supportive, strong partnerships through networking in sales, distribution and service, but also in business support functions. To develop its financial management, Isku looked for new and creative ways of working. It decided to outsource processes, but at the same time develop them in a way that would allow consequent fit-for-purpose reorganisation. Efima became a competent partner for the task. From the very start, the collaboration was well aligned and productive. 

Outsourcing or development? 

As part of Isku’s strategic renewal, the company evaluated its own resources and competencies. In IT systems, this meant a ”health check”. As a result, Microsoft Dynamics AX – already in use on the industrial side of the business – was chosen as the system environment. Asko Dahlbom, CFO, describes how Isku strived for modern business management, and decided to start by fixing the processes in financial management. The processes had been benchmarked and found to be efficient as such, but they were inconsistent. ”We were therefore pondering, how we could improve the processes in order to outsource them, and at the same time run our daily operations. We could not free our own resources for the development. And the systems were not fit for outsourcing either”, Mr. Dahlbom says. 

Have it both ways 

In Efima, Isku found a partner who saw combining outsourcing and development as an opportunity. When the outsourced process is developed in conjunction with the outsourcing, organisational decisions can be revised later when things change. The company may continue to outsource or the process can be insourced again. At the same time, the outsourcing partner be.comes a resource for temporary staffing. 

To support its Microsoft Dynamics AX -system, Isku acquired applications for travel and purchase invoices from Efima. In addition, the travel and purchase invoice processes were outsourced, with a view to simultaneous streamlining and development. At the moment, the bookkeeping process is being developed. ”The benefits are manifold”, Mr. Dahlbom says. ”The quality of work has improved and we have gained experience and new competencies. Our own operations have been subject to a health scrutiny, and I personally have been able to review my own thinking. Our organisation is constantly learning. Efima has supported our flexibility and proficiency and at the same time taken care of the quality of our processes and financial management.” 

The core of business 

It is important to Mr. Dahlbom that financial management is organised from a business standpoint. ”The mission of a CFO is to support the core business of the company instead of just managing a support func.tion. We develop our financial management from our supply chain’s perspective and providing support to our sales”, he states. ”We can only win from the cooperation with Efima. We work together systematically. Efima’s philosophy seems to be that these things are not larger than life, they just need to be solved”, he smiles.