From Finland to Estonia to the Hustle of London & Paris

On a recent trip to Europe, I was fortunate to combine work with pleasure. Finland is diverse from Helsinki to the arctic circle, and we were thrilled to gain picturesque views of the northern lights. I was surprised there are multiple cruise ships that go from Helsinki to Estonia each day because the people and countries are interconnected. Old Town Tallinn, Estonia is the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe.

From there, moving on to the hustle and bustle of London and Paris and surrounding areas brought a well-founded view of Europe. While outside London, I was able to meet with a client, and while in Paris, I met my global strategy group with members from North America, Europe, and the Pac Rim. Thus, it brought up the importance of the interconnectedness of the world especially with the current volatility.

International Business Expansion Success Stories: From Finland to Estonia to the Hustle of London Paris - LMA Consulting Group

International Business Expansion Success Stories: From Finland to Estonia to the Hustle of London Paris

Interconnection of People, Technology & Businesses in Europe

On my trip to Europe, I saw the interconnection of people, technology and business everywhere I looked. First, every country spoke a significant amount of English as the common language. Common technology platforms are taking over around the world. Frustrating not to talk to a person, yet most airports require scanning of documents to get through security and customs. Airlines are now cutting off groups by requiring scanning of boarding passes. In some ways, it is more efficient with fewer errors, but on the other hand, there is a need for the human connection in some situations. Similar to NY, London and Paris are dominated by cabs, but you can easily schedule a Bolt or Uber (although you might have to wait for multiple drivers to decide if they want to pick you up). Taxi cabs are more reliable.

My friend asked in every location we visited about people, and the unanimous response was that there is a lack of skilled people across the board. In Finland, I wanted to keep the shuttle driver on our good side (to avoid -23 degree weather), and so I tipped for each trip. It was well worth it! In the UK, our client expressed frustration over finding enough people (and it limiting growth). They are working on automation around the clock in a critical work cell. People and technology often go hand-in-hand.

In the UK, it worked out to our advantage in that we got the premier expert on British Royalty for a tour of the Cotswolds villages (as I think no one else was available, and staying at the Four Seasons on American Express points has its advantages), and so it was quite the interesting conversation to/ from the beautiful country and my almamater (for summer school) of Oxford University. I sent my best friend from college an important picture of a Cadbury bar since we lived on them for breakfast.

In Paris, we arrived in-between strikes about the increasing retirement age mandate. Who knew people scheduled strikes? Luck was on our side again because we came during a down season which meant we had access to the best guides and experiences. From a business perspective, I met colleagues from around the world in Paris to discuss the future and the path to success. Again, the need for people to fill in on bookkeeping duties and research support arose as availability of resources is key to success. Clients frequently contact us about how to get connected with business, technology, and other resources.

From a work perspective, Europe is the best place for me to go because I am more of a night person, and so I had Teams calls every night to ensure clients’ business continued to run smoothly. And, fortunately for me, one of my colleagues joined us in Finland and the UK and so there was also opportunities to collaborate in person.

Interconnection of Business

With China flexing its muscles over Taiwan, flying multiple balloons over the US (did you know there were more than the one discovered by a reporter?), buying up assets in Africa and Latin America, we should be well aware of how our businesses are connected. Dig into the following:

  • Who are your suppliers’ suppliers? Do you know who and where they supply materials?
  • Who are your customers’ customers? Do you know who is in their supply chain and who they are dependent on?
  • Who do you consider your key talent? Do you know what engages your key talent? Could they be talking to the competition?
  • Are you in control of your manufacturing? Do you produce internally? Do you have backup plans that can scale? Are you paying attention to which countries are aligning with China? Are you sourcing anything from these countries?
  • Do you have the appropriate technology to connect with your end-to-end supply chain? From reliable internet to modern ERP systems to AI, IoT and robotics, you need the appropriate technology to connect, gain visibility and efficiency.
  • Do you have a SIOP (Sales Inventory Operations Planning) process? (also known as S&OP) SIOP brings people across your organization together on a common goal and extends this alignment to your supply chain partners. Download our complimentary book, SIOP: Creating Predictable Revenue and EBITDA Growth

Start taking action to stay ahead of the fray and succeed in this interconnected world.

Please keep us in the loop of your situation and how we can help your organization stack the deck to not only survive but also to be prepared to take advantage of the vast opportunities to come in the next several years. One great way to start your journey is to roll out a SIOP process to better navigate the volatility and uncertainty. Learn more about how to use SIOP to succeed during volatile times in our new eBook SIOP (Sales Inventory Operations Planning): Creating Predictable Revenue and EBITDA Growth. Download your complimentary copy.