SSC Finance has grown very fast and in a very short time. Having started the relocation of the Finance function for the group in the last days of August, first tasks were assigned to SSC Finance on November 11, 2015. Now Finance employs 22 people and intends to grow.
A road of few bumps
Sara Bergek, Finance Manager of Tele2 SSC, comments: “The knowledge transfer method has been very well structured with six weeks on site in Sweden and about one month of support in Riga. Overall, the process has been very smooth. It has been crucial to secure the quality of services in this process and we would not have completed this sign-off if we were not assured about that. I feel very confident in handing over these tasks to Sanita Ansone and her team in Riga.”
We caught up with Sanita Ansone just recently to learn about the success of transfer and the biggest challenges.
What was the biggest challenge in relocating Finance function to Riga?
It was a challenge on its own! Listing the challenges met on the project – first, building the best team for the project. I am happy to see my great team succeed in the project so well! Second thing must be the fact that we have approached two different countries and cultures – Sweden and The Netherlands – so for myself it was a big challenge to ‘read’ them properly. Their work culture is a bit different – in planning and working – so while working with their teams we had to attune to their approach. For the team it was an opportunity for personal growth in establishing and maintaining close relations on a personal level with the employees involved in the knowledge transfer process. It was clear that most people would not stay with the company after the transfer but the only way to succeed in building competence, was to treat it with delicacy. My team managed to establish close and personal bond within team.
The best thing your team or colleagues have thought you.
It was a kind of an ‘eye-opener’ to watch our team becoming a good support team during the knowledge transfer process. Being the “rookies” and completely new to the company, they managed to become a good support on a professional and personal level. They became great team-players in this challenging environment.
You have spent a lot of time in close cooperation with teams in Sweden and The Netherlands. The most memorable or valuable lore you have gained in that time?
One of the idea, which I can now copy with pride, is Fika from Sweden or Day Start Meeting, as it is in the Netherlands. I find those activities useful in sharing information and bonding. It looks a lot like just drinking coffee and actually doing nothing, but it also adds to efficiency – you share knowledge, generate feedback and plan for teamwork.
The moment that surprised you the most while on site for knowledge transfer?
I was actually surprised about what you can achieve in a short time. When I was just starting in SSC, I was asked if I believe we can transfer certain processes and functions in 6 months’ time. I thought and said “Yes, we can”. We actually have been able to do that in 4 months! There were, of course, some difficulties and some speed bumps on the way, sure, but having the great team we are now fully responsible for tasks that were once new to us. I was surprised myself by this, but I am glad we have done it!
If SSC Finance was a dish, what would it be and why?
It would be buffet breakfast – because we currently have been working with bits and pieces from different systems and tasks. Right now, each person in our team is doing a completely different thing. So it looks a lot like a ‘swedish-table’* here.
The motto you live by?
I keep reminding myself that I am solely responsible for my valuable life and how I want to spend it. Sometimes it is good to stop and think about where you want to be and how you want your family and colleagues to talk about you when you are 90. To make a sort of a history – for yourself.
*Fun fact: the term “Swedish table” is only used in Eastern Europe languages (”zviedru galds” in Latvian, “rootsi laud” in Estonian and “švediškas stalas” in Lithuanian). Swedes prefer to use the term “Smörgåsbord” which literally translates to “sandwich table”, and refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes. “Smörgåsbord” became internationally known, spelled “smorgasbord”, at the 1939 New York World's Fair when it was offered at the Swedish Pavilion's “Three Crowns Restaurant”.