Partners collaborate to develop innovative solutions
Sanoma is an industry leading media company whose products and services impact millions of people’s lives in the Nordics on a daily basis. The media industry in the region is constantly evolving. Due to these unique market demands, Sanoma choose to only work with proactive partners who can help them reach their business goals while keeping up with the pace of change.
By partnering with Arvato and Telia, Sanoma has been able to develop their operations and become more agile than ever before. This partnership-based approach has also raised the quality and improved cost-effectiveness.
Taru Puntari works as a manager at the financial service center that provides services to the entire Sanoma Group. She is responsible for the Finnish team, which serves as a link between business and service providers.
According to Puntari, most of the service providers focus on only one customer group. But Telia and Arvato, were able to provide solutions for both. “Maintaining customer relationships is important to us,” Puntari says. “Payment must be as easy and customer-friendly as possible.”
“We did not seek a service provider who merely produces the service. We wanted a partner with whom we can solve issues together.”Taru Puntari, Manager, Financial Shared Services, Sanoma Group
Customer focus is key
Sanoma has two different customer groups. While the volume of consumer customers is large in this segment of the market, the euro value per customer is small. Another customer group is B2B customers. While their number is smaller, the value for each customer relationship is greater.
Sanoma also require flexible partners, who can meet the challenges of the entire business. To help meet their needs, tendering processes are carried out regularly to ensure service quality and competitive pricing.
“Previously, we used multiple service providers,” she says.
“We wanted to find out if it would be more beneficial for us to combine and centralize services and this decision turned out to be a success.”
Improving quality using a new partner was Sanoma’s overall goal. During the selection process, prospective partners were assessed on their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and knowledge. It was also crucial that they possess industry expertise and that they understand and follow market trends. Puntari explains that this knowledge and perspective would help Sanoma and the new partner to uncover new development ideas
“We gained unexpected benefits as well as financial ones. For example, we gained savings arising from international debt collection as it was part of the comprehensive service.”Taru Puntari, Manager, Financial Shared Services, Sanoma Group
Puntari recounts that in the competitive tendering process, Telia and Arvato made a proposal that proved that the companies had understood Sanoma’s requirements. The solution Arvato proposed integrated invoicing and collection services as a whole, which brought about new synergies.
“We didn’t want a service provider who merely produces the service,” Puntari says. “We wanted a partner with whom we could solve issues together.”
The contract period started in November 2016 and according to Puntari, the introduction of the service went smoothly both technically and schedule-wise. “The implementation project was successful, and the goal was reached on schedule,” she says. “Right from the start we shared a common understanding of the content and scope of the project.”
Puntari says she was always kept informed about whom to turn to when necessary. In addition, the work was easy in other respects, too: issues were raised, discussed and solved in an open and professional way.
“The project was well-managed, and we maintained close cooperation which helped ensure we got things up and running very quickly and efficiently.”
Regular quality checks
Puntari describes the Telia and Arvato services as working well. In addition, the customer relationship management and maintenance has been carried out as agreed, without any problems.
“We have regular quality monitoring meetings, and the communication is really transparent. It helps that the same people have been involved right from the beginning.”
As regards the co-operation, Puntari appreciates it having a clear focus on the important issues for Sanoma. For example, reporting has been streamlined to better meet the company's needs.
“We gained unexpected benefits as well as financial ones. For example, we gained savings arising from international debt collection as it was part of the comprehensive service.”
According to Puntari, cooperation with Telia and Arvato has been smooth, uncomplicated and transparent.
“I can recommend this kind of approach to others as well. The quality of the service is good, and it is monitored with a precise set of indicators,” she explains.
Puntari considers Telia and Arvato as Sanoma’s partners rather than simply as service providers.
“The cooperation between Telia and Arvato works well. It is clear to us who our partners are.”
Outi Strengell-Hytönen, Director of Financial Services at Telia Finland shares similar views about the cooperation.
“At our end, we strive to generate added value by proposing new development targets and practices, and are developing and solving things together.”
Strengell-Hytönen describes Arvato as a forward-looking partner with whom it is easy to meet the customer's various needs.
“We have a great and solid team: Sanoma, Telia and Arvato cooperate to develop service and quality together. We always remain focused on doing things better and better.”
Per Savander, Key Account Manager for Arvato in Finland is responsible for the Sanoma customer relationship. Savander notes that Arvato is part of the Bertelsmann Group, one of the world's largest media companies.
“Sanoma is an important customer for us. The company has both private and corporate customers in many different publishing channels, and has well-optimized processes. Based on the success of this project, our long-term cooperation has a strong foundation to build on.”
“The project was well-managed, and we maintained close cooperation which helped ensure we got things up and running very quickly and efficiently.”Taru Puntari, Manager, Financial Shared Services, Sanoma Group
- Provides consumers with content, offers marketing solutions to business partners and helps teachers to develop children’s talent
- Operations in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden
- In 2017, the net sales totalled EUR 1.4 billion
- Employs over 4,400 professionals
- Shares are listed on Nasdaq in Helsinki
- Reaches most Finns every day
- Telia is a new generation telco, international and locally strong. We help to create new kinds of connections and want to bring you, your company and your community closer to things that matter to you.