Solventor is a private company providing consulting, advisory, project management and interim management services, located in Espoo, Finland.
Martti Kouhi – BIO
Within ICT I have five years of experience from finance leadership of a world class ICT organisation, during the period in which the global organisation was founded and stabilized. During this time I gained a clear insight on how ICT and its financial implications are strategically managed; how the IT elements are divided to those that directly support the company strategy, those that improve profits via increasing sales or cutting costs, and those that form the basis of the operations, and how each element should be managed. This period also included a large scale global ICT outsourcing to three different providers, and the management of its implications to both the ICT cost structures and related finance processes.
Another theme throughout my career has been shared service centers. I had a key role in setting up one of Europe’s first international shared service centers in Scotland, that has subsequently grown to a center of ca. 1000 people, and been followed by five other centers within the company. The project included selecting the site and a joint venture partner; identifying, redesigning and negotiating the processes to be transferred; recruiting and training the staff; and the actual transfer of work to the center. I also did some of the groundwork for setting up the next centre in South-East Asia, did troubleshooting and service improvement work in the original center, and later took it up the value chain by setting up an analyst team there. In CFO roles I have seen the centers from the customer perspective, and in conjunction with a divestment have even repatriated work from service centers. In addition to the financial service centers, I have been setting up a customer service center.
Transformation of the Finance function was a central task in my role as a CFO in a company whose 200 M€ revenue consisted of 5 business areas, 18 geographic areas, 10 jurisdictions and 4 currencies. The company had longstanding problems in all areas of financial management: budgeting, management information, balance sheet, cash management, credit and receivables, stock management, fixed assets, accounts payable and fiscal reporting. I built and executed a turnaround program that addressed each separate area, and resulted in restored management confidence, vastly improved controls, analysis and predictability, and PwC changing its opinion from ”not acceptable” to naming some areas as best practice in the region.
A step change in Finance delivery was also needed later in managing the finances of a new global organisation, where financial information was fragmented across some 100 countries and 30 ERP systems, with no real tools to address the situation From this starting point a system and organisation was built that could provide a reliable analysis of the big ticket items within a day of the month end close and a detailed analysis in the next couple of days.
Working in international and multicultural environments has been the norm throughout my career. I have lived 7 years in London and the Caribbean, and worked many years in global, virtual organisations. Presently I live in Espoo, Finland, and in addition to family and friends my interests include reading, jogging, tennis, kayaking, DIY, fishing, and diving and spearfishing – the latter two though having dramatically suffered since moving away from the Caribbean. My education is a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration.