As of February 13, 2017, Petri Lehmus is Managing Partner of AAC Global. We asked Petri about his background and his plans for AAC.
1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you, and where do you come from? What are you known for?
If I needed to describe myself in a couple of sentences – I’m a family man of 40 who has grown to understand the business world through a family business. I’m all about reliability, a positive frame of mind, and seeing the funny side of things.
I graduated from Helsinki Business Polytechnic with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (IT). Later, I completed a Specialist Qualification in Management while working. I have held many different positions in software development and ICT. In my 17 years in the world of business, I have worked as a CEO, vice president, director of a business unit, and in the senior management of a quality assurance and testing unit – in addition to work at a few start-up companies.
The most exotic phase in my varied working career was when I, together with a team, launched a subsidiary of Digia in Chengdu, in the province of Sichuan in China, and began service production operations there.
2. Tell us about your history at AAC!
I came to AAC three years ago as a consultant to run the Accelerate project and to provide management consulting on project leadership and technological choices.
The project aimed to replace AAC Global’s information systems with modern solutions, and to build a new customer portal to serve customers more effectively. As a project team, we were successful. We made choices appropriate to the changing situations and achieved the goals on time and within budget.
Our success is proven by the new efficiency that our solutions provide to our operations, enabling us to offer even better and faster service to our customers.
After the project ended in spring 2016, I transferred to AAC Global as Director of the Technology and Business Support unit and, a few months later, to head our customer service units. In that role, I was responsible for customer relationships, the development of various system solutions to streamline our customer service and operations, the deployment of marketing automation solutions, and various production development measures.
3. What are the top three tasks on your to do list?
Personally, my first priority is to make AAC’s company culture more open and transparent in cooperation with the entire personnel. In addition to modern tools and smooth processes, I want our employees to have more opportunities to participate in the continuous development of the company and our services.
I am a firm believer in teamwork. I know that together, the AAC people can offer our customers the best multilingual communication solutions on the market – now and in the future.
I also want to give a boost to our company network and streamline our processes. Skilled people are the foundation of operations for AAC, as they are for any service company. We are as strong as our personnel and our stakeholders are. Our partnership network plays an important role in our ability to offer comprehensive, flexible, high-quality solutions to meet our customers’ needs.
4. You emphasize the importance of teamwork. How would you describe yourself as a person, a supervisor, and a colleague?
I’m a good-humored and honest person, with a positive outlook to life. I like working with people, which is probably why I value teamwork so much.
As a supervisor, I believe I am fair and open to dialogue and different viewpoints. I’m demanding but also flexible; I motivate my team towards higher achievements and actively participate in the work.
As a colleague, I’m reliable, helpful and willing to look for solutions together.
5. What is your management philosophy?
My management philosophy focuses on the importance of working together.
I first try to see the company's operations as a whole and in the context of the prevailing trends, the market environment, the competition, customers and stakeholders. This big picture is a necessary basis for creating shared objectives for the organization and succeeding in achieving them – together.
The achievements of top individuals are important, but I believe that when growth and new achievements are the target, it is more important to create the best preconditions for working and succeeding as a team.
6. What changes will the customers be seeing first?
Faster and better customer service. The continuous development of our digital solutions, services and processes will allow increasingly streamlined, flexible and comprehensive customer services. This means even more active cooperation with customers and finding the best solutions to their needs from our extended service selection.
We plan to organize new customer events and to produce new materials on multilingual communication – blog posts, eBooks, webinars and videos – all available free of charge.
Our customers may also expect to see AAC Global grow as a company and as a provider of multilingual communication services in Finland and the other Nordic countries.
7. AAC Global is known as the leading provider of language services in the Nordic countries. How do you believe the brand will develop in the future?
The AAC Global brand is strongly tied to translation and training services. These remain at the core of our service selection, but we also want to increasingly emphasize our multilingual communication solutions.
We aim to make our brand more visible in international markets, making AAC Global a name that people will recognize even in countries where we don’t have branch offices.
8. Imagine that we fast-forward one year: how will AAC’s services for customers have improved during that year?
Our ability to listen to customers’ wishes will have improved. Our continuously developed processes and state-of-the-art tools and systems will have enabled us to streamline our operations based on customer needs.
We will also be responding more quickly to customer contacts and our customers’ changing needs, and we will be offering more flexible and comprehensive services.
The scope and quality of our deliveries will also have improved further. We will no longer deliver just individual translations and training courses; instead, our customers will be aware of the full potential of our multilingual communication solutions.