Suominen manufactures nonwoven fabrics in rolls for wiping products and other applications. Suominen’s nonwoven end products, such as wet wipes, sanitary napkins, and wound dressings, are present in people’s daily lives around the world. (

Goodbye to the Excel era

Suominen’s project portfolio acquisition process started from the requirements of an extensive development project, the cost-effectiveness program Optima. The Optima program involved dozens of different programs and projects of various sizes. In the initial phase of Optima, it was stated that it is necessary to say goodbye to the “Excel era.” Following Optima’s example, the Thinking Portfolio project portfolio was also launched by Suominen’s R&D development projects, growth investments, and ICT, whose projects were previously managed using Excel and Word as well.
Mika Rapeli, Director, Growth Projects at Suominen, is pleased that Thinking Portfolio adapted well to the needs of Suominen’s various functions. The portfolio views have been made to serve different parties, and the portfolio will continue to be effortless to deploy in new functions. Next, it will be utilized in the new strategy program and the Marketing and Category Management functions.

Thinking Portfolio references and presentation were convincing

During the acquisition phase of the project portfolio solution, several applications available on the market were reviewed and discussed with people specializing in project activities. Thinking Portfolio was recommended by a former colleague who had seen a presentation on it. Thinking Portfolio references also spoke for themselves.

– When we saw the presentation ourselves, we were convinced. The Thinking Portfolio interface was clear, and we learned that there is no need to do massive integrations with other systems. Also, in terms of cost, Thinking Portfolio was incredibly competitive. I recommend also to others.

Thinking Portfolio helps in many ways

With the help of the project portfolio, control is gained in the process, and issues can be handled openly and presented to the management in a unified format. When the use of the project portfolio harmonizes operating methods and brings structure to project management, the insight for risks also improves. Also, the assessment of the dependencies between projects and the ability to allocate resources to different projects and see their utilization rate helps to present the overall picture.

The project portfolio itself serves as an information channel and planning aid, especially in R&D projects. In the portfolio, Suominen follows the principle of openness. Users can view everything that is going on in the portfolio and use the data in their brainstorming and planning. This is a definite improvement on the previous one, says Rapeli.

– When data is stored on factory-specific servers, and only accessible by a small group, valuable information is lost when there is not even knowledge about its existence. Thinking Portfolio brings a definite improvement to this. We have also entered the R&D idea portfolio into Thinking Portfolio. We got project reporting and communications on one platform. We have moved away from passive data processing to the world of cloud services and databases, where data is accessible to the entire organization.

– Project portfolio users are happy when forms and reports are obtained directly, without the need for searching and doing multiple jobs. When the information is within the company, it should be available directly, and now it is realized.

Thinking Portfolio also set in motion the development of the project model

Suominen is providing training for more Thinking Portfolio users. In connection with the training, projects are entered, i.e., learning takes place hands-on. As the manager in charge of the implementation project, Mika Rapeli is satisfied with how nicely the new portfolio service has been received. He wants to thank both his staff and the Thinking Portfolio staff for making the project portfolio a tool for Suominen’s project management.

– Thinking Portfolio has been the driving force in developing our project management. So, we have started 180 degrees in a different direction than traditionally emphasized, i.e., the processes are first put in order, and then the application is turned on. The lightness of Thinking Portfolio has also made this reverse development possible.

– Multiple functions are eager to start using the portfolio now and, at the same time, start implementing the Stage-Gate model, which was previously only used in R&D. Learning increases, and risks decrease.

– Thank you to the whole Thinking Portfolio team, especially of course to Asko and Keijo. The product and concept, people, and service have been excellent during the journey! The same goes for our team, i.e., thanks to Charlie, Riga, Tom, Nicolas, Megan, Anna, Miika, Virpi, Timo, Lynda, Minna, and of course, Markku who made this project possible with the top management from the beginning. Thanks for the excellent support to Pramod, Mari, and Jamie and Inari, Julia, and Emilia for the upcoming internal “launch.”