Production continues amid the pandemic
The stable and innovative business environment of Helsinki and Finland helped GE Healthcare Finland manage the crisis. To ramp up production, the company needed to increase the number of production lines, employees and work shifts – quickly.
“A large part of our production infrastructure comes from Finnish suppliers. Business life in Finland has continued to function amid the pandemic, so our suppliers were able to deliver new infrastructure very quickly,” Muuranto notes.
The technology business is full of dependencies. Fortunately, Muuranto says, Finnish suppliers understood the severity of the situation and prioritised their production to meet GE’s needs.
“The gas measurement module, for instance, includes hundreds of parts. Sometimes only one supplier can deliver a certain part, and that part may further consist of parts from five other suppliers. This makes it very hard to increase production quickly. At the end of the day, the Helsinki factory was able to scale up its manufacturing staff and infrastructure much faster than we were able to get parts from all the global suppliers.”
Finland’s ecosystem as a backbone
On the production line at the GE factory in Helsinki, gas measurement modules and patient monitors are assembled by people and robots, but mainly by people. The company therefore needed to recruit more employees.
“We put the word out that we needed new workers and contacted technology companies and their central federation to seek out people who had been temporarily laid off. Our employees shared our recruitment post to their personal networks in LinkedIn and it worked well. We got hundreds of competent candidates in a short time,” Muuranto explains.
The company added close to 200 new manufacturing employees to complement its permanent production line staff. They are still needed as the production of gas measurement modules and patient monitors remains at a record high.
Muuranto points out that competent employees are an important part of the Finnish ecosystem.
“In general, we benefit from a skilled and highly educated workforce and Finland’s smooth cooperation between industry and public healthcare and research. The legacy of Nokia has generated many innovative companies with deep expertise, which we use in designing, simulating, testing and manufacturing our equipment.”