I remember myself some 3-4 years ago. I had a struggle in deciding if I could go and study in Helsinki for a Master’s degree, or is it totally out of question for me, as I lived in Rauma at that time. I decided to take this crazy step and travelled twice a week to Helsinki along with a full-time job. I became a student in Master’s program in Logistics Management.
My studies were very interesting and fulfilling, but I could not get rid of my worries at work. My job challenge was to gain real benefit for the company by introducing common transportation and logistics services (by air and ocean) throughout a big corporation operating globally. This was a big and real challenge. Fortunately, I was able to concentrate on this problem in my Master’s thesis project. I researched the current state of logistics in business units, and revised the existing approach with the help of my colleagues and thesis instructors. These efforts helped to take a new perspective and look at the old and familiar problem with new eyes.
The key suggestion for the company was to strengthen the global logistics by managing it through an effective steering global logistics group. This group should be connected by well-working communication between the responsible persons in business units. The next step was to investigate, collect and prioritize the needs and wishes of the business units, as well as to investigate their experiences with current logistics. Based on this information, and with the help of the members of the steering group, to establish a list if KPIs for the corporate logistics provider, that would address their needs, and conscientiously select the best out of the desirable providers. Only after it could be possible to introduce corporate contacts for transportation and logistics.
The key finding was, that launching contracts with a global transportation and logistics providers alone is absolutely not enough. The critical issues are: (a) to involve the business units in constructive cooperation by identifying and following mutual interests and gains, and (b) to closely follow the implementation by monitoring a carefully selected list of KPIs that would reflect the real needs of business units. In short, to establish the needs, to identify mutual interests, and to closely follow the performance.
This was an interesting and challenging job. I learned a lot while working for Metso and Valmet where all types of logistics were well-organized and extensively used, and my experience there was diverse.
Half a year ago I got the position in Cargotec where I have been leading Logistics for the Cargotec group. The company has over 10 factories where equipment is produced in such countries as US, Poland, Malaysia, and China. On the other hand, spare parts warehouses are located, for example in France, and multiple other countries. All of these places need to be connected with well-working logistics.
This is a challenge and a big gain for the company. Interestingly, this is also a continuation of my thesis topic, but growing in size and scale. After the first implementation, it will make another round of testing myself, the selected approach, and the new steering logistics group that will play a key role in these developments.
I am looking forward to the future, to effective cooperation and enthusiastic and experienced colleagues, and to find good solutions together. The next immediate steps include defining the global logistics strategy for the next three years, hearing everyone, exploring the current ways, finding mutual gains, prioritizing and deciding together, and following implementations effectively.
In addition, I want to thank my work colleagues, my fellow students, and Metropolia instructors from my previous studies. I use all my lecture notes and my thesis results from Metropolia still today. They have been absolutely helpful.
Even though I graduated two years ago, I still remember your contribution to get us to graduate in time. It was really worth of travelling 67 times between Rauma and Helsinki, nearly 35 000 kilometers in total, between September and May 2016 by Onnibus. I am now living in Turku, where we moved from Rauma, and almost every week I am in Helsinki, Ruoholahti, passing by Metropolia. My many thanks to you all, from Pasi Kurkinen, the “long distance man”.
Pasi Kurkinen, Master of Engineering in Logistics Management (2016) lives in Turku and works for Cargotec Corporation as a Global category manager for logistics. He moved to this position half a year ago, after working with global logistics in Metso and Valmet. Two years ago Kurkinen also completed his Master’s thesis project in Metropolia UAS on his key challenge at work – how to implement unified logistics contacts in a global company, and how to commit business units to change from individual to corporate transportation and logistics.