Outokumpu, the global leader in stainless steel, is set to open a multifunctional business services center in Vilnius. Outokumpu has its headquarters in Finland and its products are used in demanding applications around the world, for example in the construction of 3 World Trade Centre in New York and in the reconstruction of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. The company is now planning to centralize some of its supporting operations in Vilnius for cost efficiencies and process harmonization. On top of the cost benefits, the company says that Lithuania was chosen due to its well-established service center infrastructure and good availability of competent and multilingual staff.
This service center is planned to be an important part of Outokumpu’s global operations. The center will not just focus on services traditionally delivered from shared service centers, but also provide services requiring specialized skills and expertise. The operations of the service center include finance, master data management, procurement and IT.
With plants in Finland, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the US, plus sales units and service centers in almost 30 countries, the company currently employs around 11,000 people worldwide. Listed on the NASDAQ Helsinki, it also boasts a substantial output and turnover. In 2015, Outokumpu delivered 2.4 million tonnes of stainless steel, bringing in total revenue of €6.4 billion.
According to Mantas Katinas, general manager of foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, global companies in a range of sectors are interested in Lithuania’s potential in both shared services and manufacturing. “Service centers in Lithuania are most commonly associated with banks and financial institutions,” he explains. “We are also seeing, however, that companies in other sectors see Lithuania as an attractive location for multifunctional service centers that help them to optimize their processes. For example in Outokumpu’s new business service center, the process areas which the employees will be working with are likely to be quite wide, and people working on those topics will be able to participate in continuous process improvement.”
For Lithuania’s Minister for the Economy, Evaldas Gustas, the arrival of multinational Nordic companies like Outokumpu gives a positive signal to other international companies “The fact that companies which are listed on stock exchanges and rated at the very top in terms of transparency standards are deciding to expand in Lithuania shows that the investment environment here is favorable,” commented the Minister. “It is a good signal to other companies in developed economies which are considering the possibility of expanding, and are looking for a secure, growth-oriented location.”
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