Arkea is a conglomerate that provides food, cleaning, facility, real estate, and household system services. The company’s roots are in the 50s organizing school meals for the City of Turku. Nowadays Arkea is operating at a national level and provides services to both municipal authorities and the private sector. Their focus is on providing food and cleaning services to day-care and healthcare services and schools. In the private sector, Arkea concentrates on staff restaurants and office cleaning, as well as catering and real property maintenance services.
Corporate responsibility is important to Arkea and it shows in its daily operations. The company considers the environmental impact of its operations and processes. It strives to pay attention to all the parties and communities that their business affects.
Although Arkea’s roots are in the City of Turku, its operative environment is on the free market. Therefore, the company must be able to react swiftly to changing situations, but the reporting process was rigid and slow. Main goals of the project were strongly linked to increasing competitiveness and, thus, growth and profitability.
“At Arkea, we began thinking about the possibility of updating the entire financial administration system, because the previous system did not support our needs in rapidly changing business environment. Reporting required a great deal of manual work and the old system could not be developed to suit Arkea's needs. The goal was also to improve and streamline financial operations, which would lower administration service costs”, says Pirjo Kankaanranta, the CFO of Arkea.
A partner to match future needs
The scope of the project required changes in Arkea’s processes as well. Arkea wanted to find a partner that could implement a wide-scale reform project so that systems and new processes would seamlessly work together while managing the project as a whole. The long-term goal was to find a partner that actively develops their own processes and services and therefore continuously improving Arkea's processes in the long run.
The required process changes had large impact on business, which is why choosing a suitable partner was important. The service requirement included accounting and reporting, accounts payable and receivable, payment transactions and day-to-day financial management services. Before competitive tendering, Arkea mapped out their current processes so that they could sufficiently describe what their requirements for the systems and partner was.
“For Arkea, the key criteria for choosing the new solution were system architecture and how it could be integrated to existing operative systems the user-friendliness of these systems in Arkea's day-to-day operations as well as service and systems costs. What was also valued was the partner’s ability to develop processes in a comprehensive manner and to utilize various smart solutions in financial administration”, Kankaanranta describes.
The partnership between Arkea and Staria has begun successfully.
“From the beginning our cooperation with Staria has been fluent and straightforward. The project progressed as planned and Staria has actively searched for solutions for Arkea’s needs. While service production has only been ongoing for a few weeks, people at Arkea have already noticed the improved efficiency of various previously manual work phases. I’m eager to see how fluently our processes will work after our partnership has been going on for a few months”, Kankaanranta says.