On board with Insplan
Insplan taking flight to inspect some power lines.

Getting on the buss that FTD (Friday Training Day) morning, I found myself wondering once again about people and their relation to their work. The buss driver appeared to have either passion for being blunt to his clients or then he lacked passion for customer service. Maybe the poor driver just had a bad morning, who knows.. Anyhow, in contrast and despite having had light and short sleep last night because of my mind buzzing with excitement and ideas, I was feeling all fired up and ready to see what the day had offer.

For the day, I had been invited to come and have a look at some some processes documentation at Insplan – an electric infrastructure engineering and service company located in one of the oldest cities of Finland, Porvoo.

My host for the day was Mika Seppänen, CEO and founder of the company. I was particularly excited about meeting up with Mika and his crew firstly because of the objectives of the day, but also because I entering once again somewhat of a undiscovered area of business for myself. Additionally, knowing how much ideas and drive this this trail blazer and future power grid tycoon from Porvoo packs, I was expecting nothing less than being bathed in a river of possibilities.

Mika Seppänen, CEO of Insplan looking bold in to the future
Mika Seppänen, CEO of Insplan looking bold in to the future

Getting back to Insplan, the company offers a full range of power grid infrastructure service from design and documentation to inspection. For instance, they will put a helicopter in the air to inspect the lines for you if you want. Believe me, with the service level agreements of the electric companies towards their clients, when a storm puts a grid on its knees with trees fallen on power lines, it’s no joke. You want to get the lights and the telly back on in even the most remote areas in Finland and fast. Otherwise it will cost them a whole lot more than a helicopter ride.

All in all, Insplan could be seen as a class example of a new player on a market that is setting new standards with their customer-centric-turn-key service offering, but also lean and agile operational model (Remember my blog on legacy?).  In addition to putting the customer in the lime light and offering them a single point for a full service, the company is putting emphasis and focusing on professionalism and quality of service. This approach has set Insplan on trajectory with such steep angle for growth, it might be intimidating for some. But with a solid offering and also the world shifting towards increasingly outsourced model (public sector services to private companies namely), the prospects of the company are looking very good.

If you look at the whole spectrum of services Insplan offers from planning to maintenance, its obvious they cannot do everything on their own. You have to outsource and buy services from others to keep your business running. For a one man, do all show like mine, this is a very important lesson to learn: you need to focus on where you can add the most value – what is the core of your business and let the others take care of everything else for you. Cannot avoid mentioning Don&Branco again -they just seem to be everywhere I go.

When it comes to the daily grind and considering that their engineers, contractors and clients are widely spread across Finland, it makes sense for Insplan to invest a lot in remote work tools. For Mika the case of saving resources (both money and time) not having to travel is so clear, you simply cannot dismiss it. In the quest of sharpening their competitive edge and in addition to video conferencing and remote presence tools, Mika has identified need to develop their enterprise systems and content management to a more holistic and integrated solution. I have to say, I was pretty impressed by the maturity of his ideas in this area. One could easily think that running the business alone simply takes too much bandwidth to start thinking about support functions.

Having been working in this area for the last couple of years at the Bank of Finland, it might have a thing or two to offer them in the area of ES and ECM. Where things with bigger companies tend to get complicated in many ways (organization, IT security, legacy), with Insplan I see a beautiful green field (well, almost at least) to start afresh with a clean implementation. It would be a dream project for a Friday Trainee.

By the way and as a side remark, remote connectivity tools are truly something that is changing the world and fast. And it’s not only the small companies, able to pivot on a dime, adopting these new ways of communication, you can see this transformation everywhere. Yes, teleconferencing has been around from ages, but remote presence has stormed in to offices all shapes in sizes during the last year or so with such magnitude, its even difficult to imagine. Let me tell you, this is something BIG. This is the digital disruption, everyone is talking about. This topic calls desperately for a separate, specific blog.

As usual, we had to finish the day feeling we had just started it. Yes, we got a bit of work done with those process charts, but I think most essentially Mika and myself got inspired with both of us bringing something interesting to the table. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet all of the others at office because of a training event and new customer prospects in Kuopio demanding their physical presence. Maybe next time I get to see more of Insplaners. At least I am really looking forward to it!