The new service center is planned to manage most of the finance, accounting and customer service operations in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). According to the plan, customer service and financial services will be combined from various locations in Europe.
The new setup is expected to bring benefits related to process harmonization, better management of resources, as well as improved collaboration and efficiency. Increasing the cost efficiency is essential for achieving the targeted cost savings of the company's rightsizing program. Ahlstrom's customer service functions in Munich will continue to operate as today.
The targeted cost savings from the reorganization as well as the respective non-recurring items to be booked are included in the €50 million rightsizing program announced in January 2014.
"Customer service and finance operations at Ahlstrom are very fragmented today, since employees are working in small teams across multiple locations. Centralizing EMEA customer service into two main locations, Vilnius and Munich, enables us to offer better customer service," says Sakari Ahdekivi, CFO, Ahlstrom. "Centralizing financial services into Vilnius will enable business support in a more unified and efficient manner. This approach will also support our rightsizing program."
The planned reorganization is expected to affect approximately 60 jobs in Europe.
Ahlstrom established a customer service center in North America last year. Vilnius was chosen as the location due to its existing service center infrastructure and favorable cost base.