Franziska Fobbe and Karina Karapetyan are both Data Scientists in Posti’s AI Center of Excellence, in which Henna Oksanen also plays the role Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer.
These Posti employees are at the heart of new work, creating and testing different methods for reducing and transferring repetitive manual work to machines, so that employees can focus on more demanding tasks.
“For example, we build robotic automation solutions for Posti’s internal customers. When the project succeeds, getting a job done will be more efficient, simple tasks are automated, and you will have more time for more demanding tasks”, says Henna.
The solutions developed by the team are diverse, and their impacts are often significant. In addition to the extra time left for meaningful tasks, the number of errors can be reduced so that invoices for customers, for example, are prepared exactly right.
"We are currently working on a project where we are creating an application for holiday optimization. The tool does not require supervisors to manually define the Posti employees’ holidays, but does the job for them, matching all the necessary information and creating a proposal for optimal holiday scheduling. This saves an enormous amount of time in annual vacation planning”, says Karina.
Posti’s customers also benefit from the solutions that AI and automation experts at Posti develop. Through these solutions, Posti can provide more cost-effective and streamlined services that are straightforward and easy to use.
"At the same time as we are making Posti's internal processes run more smoothly, we are also able to improve the customer experience. For example, parcels will be delivered faster”, Franziska adds.
Teamwork for Better Solutions
The ways you work may vary somewhat depending on what you are working on, but collaboration, helping others, and co-creation with customers are at the heart of the work. Whether it is a standalone project or a larger cross-Posti development initiative, information sharing, brainstorming sessions and testing solutions together with customers are all integral to the work. In this kind of work, cooperation between the different departments and teams also needs to work seamlessly.
The way of working at Posti also serves as a glue in building a good work community together. The relationships between colleagues are good, as ideas are exchanged daily, and the same space is physically shared. And when people have similar interests, colleagues can also become friends.
“Since we are mainly data nerds, often even our personal conversations are related to these topics. We have been known to also discuss new algorithms and methods at the coffee table”, Karina says with a laugh.
The transformation underway in Posti and the technological solutions that are changing work life in general also require changes in the way we think and work. A new kind of culture is already present in this team; in everyday life, it is seen as a mindset and agile development. It is also a matter of tolerating mistakes and taking risks, because creating something new requires experimentation.
“We are building a smarter future where people work together with colleagues, but also with artificial intelligence and robots”, adds Karina.
Learning Something New is Everyday
Learning is an integral part of work, not something that takes place separately. Learning occurs all the time in projects by learning new and sharing information, and it is also important to keep abreast of what is happening with different technologies in the industry.
Information is also being shared more widely. Posti offers all its employees the opportunity to take an online course in artificial intelligence and new technologies, the content of which has been tailored together with Aalto University in Helsinki. In addition, Posti employees are offered, among other things, machine learning presentations and an AI café to spread the knowledge and the benefits of new technologies.
Development can also take place by switching roles and taking a leap in one’s career. Henna is a good example of this: she has moved from the Service Production team to RPA Development. The change required studies in IT, but she was lucky to get a position in the course of her studies.
”Getting this position was certainly the best day in my career”, says Henna, who has worked for 12 years at Posti.
In short, a big company offers a great deal of potential, and the AI, data and automation professionals will continue to be in high demand.
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