Making quality happen

Apr 29, 2020

“We make it happen,” says Krisztina Kuusisto, VP, Operational Excellence at Valmet’s Paper business line. She explains how quality is defined at Valmet, and how we ensure it’s integrated in each phase of our value chain.

Making quality happen

“It’s important for Valmet to manage quality across its value chain. However, everything starts with understanding what quality means to our customers,” says Krisztina Kuusisto, VP, Operational Excellence at Valmet’s Paper business line.

Valmet is close to its customers and maintains a continuous dialogue with them to gain a deep understanding of their needs and expectations. And Valmet has the processes in place to respond proactively.

For example, the quality-related demands of a pulp or paper producer or an energy company on its technology provider may be related to the quality of its product, environmental impact, cost-effectiveness or the reliability of the processes using Valmet’s solutions.

Everything starts with understanding what quality means to our customers.

“However, our approach to the quality we deliver covers more than just our technology, automation and service solutions: from our perspective, the whole project is our ‘product’ – starting with product development and ending when the production warranties have been fulfilled and approved,” says Kuusisto.

The customer experience we offer is an important aspect of how our customers perceive us as a technology partner.

“We gather customer feedback and maintain an open dialogue with our customers concerning our cooperation. That’s how we know that our customers value things like our ability to manage meetings efficiently with the right people in place, that we give prompt and comprehensive answers to their inquiries, and that we can offer them easy access to all relevant documents at the right time. We’re constantly striving for a combination of high-quality products, services and customer experience.”

Continuous improvement of our own operations

Valmet is also continuously developing the quality of its own processes. Lean thinking – doing things right the first time – is adopted and executed broadly across Valmet. Lean is a way to operate in delivering accelerated performance and reaching the company’s strategic targets.

“We’re regularly training our people in Lean. One of Valmet’s global training programs is Leading through Lean, which is designed to give participants understanding and tools for day-to-day Lean deployment,” says Kuusisto.

Another important quality-related method that is actively applied at Valmet is Continuous Improvement (CI); this means that Valmet is constantly driving smaller and larger process improvements forward step-by-step. As part of Valmet’s positive quality culture, all employees are encouraged to play their part in developing and delivering high quality, and to look for and report areas in need of development. The CI feedback process is used a lot at Valmet and produces thousands of improvement initiatives every year.

Managing quality every step of the way

To manage the quality delivered by its supply chain and external resources, Valmet has set and communicated clear requirements concerning quality, and has the related approval processes in place. Not only does Valmet meet with its suppliers regularly to discuss quality, it also provides support and training for its key suppliers in quality issues such as Lean training.

“We’re very keen to ensure that high quality is delivered at every step of our value chain, from planning and production to customer delivery and beyond. The way we see it, quality doesn’t just happen – we make it happen,” Kuusisto says.