Lean Growth in Nordic Climates

Looking to be ‘lean’? Worried about waste? Siili Solutions provides a practical example of how lean management can help cut through the clutter and clear a path to success.

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As a concept Lean has evolved itself over the past 30 years, migrating as it has into the heart of the startup community. The CEO of Siili Solutions, Seppo Kuula, provides some advice about how the benefits of Lean can really work to the advantage of your company.

Benchmark your best clients

For Siili, a pivotal point at the start of their Lean journey was admitting that they “were just selling resources, not solutions,” Kuula explains. An obvious question we think we can answer until we look more closely – are we really helping to solve our customer’s problems? They looked for the answer by identifying their best-performing clients and compared them with the rest. In this way, they could highlight the actions and processes that were really affecting change and streamline around these activities.

Value? Whose value?

Once they had worked out what they were doing right it helped them to focus. Kuula gets energized as he brings out the core of Lean philosophy, stating that the “the key issue was doing the value creation together with the customer!” Again it’s simple, but to what extent are we totally flexible to the customer’s needs? Is your company thinking ‘sales’ or ‘solutions’? For Kuula and Siili collaboration was critical, emphasizing how they “understood that the key issue was doing the value creation together with the customer.

Are you trapped in your own architecture?

Not only is architecture redesign a service Siili supplies to its clients, it is also something which Siili has applied internally. As Kuula puts it, it was crucial, “to walk our talk”. Sucking the marrow from Lean is more than putting out a minimum viable product (MVP) and following the ‘build, measure, learn’ feedback loop. “Iteration rounds are not enough if you are not continuously able to integrate the best practices to your organization,” insists Kuula.

The Nordic approach to Lean

When asked about the effectiveness of Lean in the Nordics, Kuula is clear: “I think that lean startup methods work in the Nordics better than anywhere else!” Kuula goes on to say, “Our culture is about eliminating the waste. It’s in our nature. We don’t always do as we were asked, but often in the most effective way.” So Lean and the Nordics are a perfect fit. If you want proof, just glance at Siili’s figures for the last four years since going lean, growing at 30% annually! Pretty healthy statistics and the best motivation to get your company Lean.


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