Teknikum Group leads and monitors strategy process in LATO since the beginning of 2016.
– We were looking for a new kind of advanced software to support us in executing our strategy. We got a tip about LATO from another industrial company, who had already gained good experiences of its use in their international organization, says Juha Myllärinen, the Director of strategic management at Teknikum.
The Group designs and manufactures a variety of customized high-tech polymer products for various industries, such as marine and mining, infrastructure construction and other heavy industries. The Group employs approximately 400 people and earns annual net sales of about EUR 50 million.
In 2014 arrangements were made in the ownership of Teknikum whereby more than 40 per cent of the company’s shareholder base changed. Consequently, the company conducted a broader strategy work, which is the basis of the renewed vision stretching to 2018. During this strategy period, the content of the strategy will be fine-tuned in the annual review process to be launched.
From separate documents to one data source
Teknikum monitors the implementation of strategy partly on a monthly basis and partly on a quarterly basis. The Management team and the extended management teams are the main forums for the management of the strategy.
– In the past, we followed the execution of strategy primarily with PowerPoint and Excel files, says Juha Myllärinen. – The biggest challenge was to create the big picture from the separate data. Also, document version control was difficult, one cannot always be sure that everyone is updating the latest version and at the appointed time.
LATO provides us with a clear overall picture, and does not require any manual work in combining and interpreting of the data, continues Juha. – We can now follow strategic goals in an integrated manner and streamlined reporting practices. Goals are displayed transparently throughout the organization and their sub-goals, including making the responsibilities clear for everyone.
– Monitoring the implementation of the strategy is a prerequisite for success. The realization of a strategy calls for a large number of hands-on projects, requiring a lot of specific and often local knowhow. We want to be able to track and follow these activities.
LATO framework at Teknikum
At Teknikum, LATO is used by the Management team and the key people in sales, international operations and production. During the starting period, approximately 30 people actively use LATO.
Teknikum has three strategic themes or focus areas; organic growth, improving profitability and boost internationalization through growth and acquisitions. These focus areas contain several goals and their sub-goals, created and accounted for by responsible persons. This goal hierarchy is continuously visible to all users. Budget targets are also displayed in LATO as monitored indicators.
The follow up cycle of goals and actions
– The progress of goals is monitored on an ongoing basis, such as weekly update rhythm, Juha Myllärinen says. – High-level goals and themes we follow on a monthly basis, while the financial reporting figures are updated. We are careful to create goals so that we have easy access to any numeric data to support and monitor them.
– All in all, the LATO tool is easy to use. I would say that a truly effective use requires internal training to build the right mind set. It is important to use some time in describing the goals and actions and choosing the right performance indicators so that they can be followed over time. For example, some tasks related to Teknikum’s goals may last over several planning periods and it is important to break them into smaller entities, in order to recognize progress, for example for remuneration.
– We also emphasize interaction, it is important to discuss and give comments, so we also communicate and give feedback in LATO.
Teknikum introduced the LATO tool for new users and groups in online meetings, and double checked the commitment by having another personal discussion with each user.
– For us the role of LATO is to make sure that things are moving, Juha Myllärinen summarizes. – Smaller and more concrete goals are much easier to handle than one large entity.
Teknikum Group consists of factories in Vammala and Kiikka and of Teknikum Sekoitukset Ltd in Kerava. Internationally, the company has a production company in China, a sales company in Germany and, most recently, a strategic acquisition was made for the share of the Hungarian rubber and plastic industry company. The company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015.