Petra Metsola

General Manager, Procurement Center, Wärtsilä Indirect Purchasing

Helsinki, Finland

10 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Finland


Encouraging atmosphere inspiring development every day

As Petra Metsola’s job is all about development and improving the ways of working, during her 11 years with Wärtsilä she has discovered that the company spirit is on her side. “The spirit in Wärtsilä is very forward-looking which makes Wärtsilä a very inspiring place to work. The improvement ideas are heard, and people are very motivated to share their professional expertise to develop the ideas further together,” Petra tells.

Petra joined Wärtsilä 11 years ago to harmonise the company’s travel related supplier base and ways of working. “It might sound a bit funny, but I remember already then being thrilled about all the data and visibility Wärtsilä has to our global network companies through SAP. Seeing the big picture, finding synergies and saving opportunities from the data, gave a great base to get started with the harmonisation project,” Petra shares her early Wärtsilä memories. Today, Wärtsilä has these world-class travel, expense management and travel security processes as well as a payment program in place – and the responsible teams have continued further developing the processes.

In the Indirect Purchasing team, Petra’s responsibility area has extended from her times as a Category Manager of the Travel category. Now, as a General Manager, Procurement Center, she gets to develop and enhance the global way of working throughout the indirect purchasing processes; all the way from choosing the best suppliers, to a smooth ordering process, until the suppliers get paid. “Wärtsilä has operations in more than 70 countries. Our team aims to harmonise this entire process and supplier base, together with colleagues around the world, in order to create positive synergies and to save time and money for Wärtsilä globally,” Petra says pointing out how diverse their playing field is.

As the indirect purchasing processes closely link to other processes in the company – such as customer orders, HR, security and finance processes – Petra’s team is always working closely with colleagues from various functions. “Understanding the processes in other functions has been the key to develop our operations,” Petra begins. “When all the processes are working and linked correctly together, it is like a world-class symphony orchestra playing a very difficult piece. The orchestra sounds perfect together but no instrument playing alone sounds so spectacular itself. It is the same with us in Indirect Purchasing; we need other functions to deliver perfect outcome and to create something significant. And colleagues in other functions need us,” Petra describes the overall harmony the teams aim for.

Referring to the variety of locations and earlier practices, Petra’s work is often about making change happen. And a major part of her work is to listen to local colleagues and discuss why a change in the current way of working would be needed. “I see my task as helping other people to be successful in their work. It’s important that I understand my colleagues’ thinking, and their challenges, and turn them into workable solutions together with these people.”

Streamlining the indirect purchasing tools and the way of working is also needed when an entirely new company joins Wärtsilä family through an acquisition. “It is very rewarding to get to work with these new colleagues immediately on some actual project as we go through their purchasing processes. It is a learning experience also for us; we first learn how the new family members are working and then match that with Wärtsilä's way of working to benefit the new entity.”

Going beyond

As Wärtsilä focuses on ecosystem thinking, Petra is certain that within three years’ time, there will be a great ecosystem consisting of Wärtsilä employees, suppliers, partners, customers, regulators, authorities and even Wärtsilä’s competitors to drive innovations that add value to all parties. Petra sees the ecosystem operating like a positive circle that feeds itself towards outstanding performance and creating something much bigger than if any of the operators were doing things on their own.

In Petra’s eyes, at least the people in Wärtsilä are ready for this. “During my time as a Wärtsilian, we have grown to be more open. Sharing, caring and cooperating beyond our own responsibility area or department is in our blood. I feel people actually see the sum of our joint efforts having impact on the society and it encourages us to work beyond ‘our own tasks’,” Petra sums up the atmosphere she is feeling in the organisation.

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