Alandia Insurance is a marine insurance company from Åland, Finland, operating in 2 countries with 4 business locations. It employs 110 people divided between its offices in Helsinki, Stockholm and Gothenburg and at its Head Office in Mariehamn, Åland. HR digitalisation has been a driver of change within the company for some time now.

Choosing the right HR system – a procurement story

With the main target of improving HR practices, Alandia Insurance decided to acquire a comprehensive HR solution. With clearly set goals, a good requirement specification and the support of the management team, the project became a textbook example of how to approach the procurement process of an HR System.

Anne-Christine Silander is a senior HR manager with Alandia and has a wealth of experience in the field. She has long been determined to steer their HR processes into the digital age. “We had been discussing the option of implementing an HR system for a long time,” Anne-Christine says. “Finding the right HR system was an important step in our journey. After much consideration we decided we should wait until the time was right, as choosing an HR solution is a major decision and most definitely not one to be rushed.”

To Anne-Christine, being thoroughly prepared was essential to the project’s success. “We had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, and we needed to consider whether the existing processes were appropriate and how we would need to adapt them to the new digital environment.”


Getting management involved early makes a big difference

Anne-Christine succeeded in getting the active participation of her management colleagues. “There was strong support for the investment among the management team,” she says. Something that was an important factor in the success of the procurement.

“It was clear to everyone, including the management, that we needed an HR-tool that made it possible to work digitally with our HR-processes,” she continues.

"It’s important that employees from different parts of the organisation are involved in the procurement and implementation processes."

Building the procurement team

An HR system is a very important part of the IT structure within any organisation, and employees from different departments need to be able to use the system and understand its features. It’s important that employees from various teams are involved in the procurement and implementation processes.

“Besides myself and our HR specialist Jaana Gustafsson there were a number of people involved in the process,” Anne-Christine says. “Our IT-coordinator played a central role in the project, as did a representative from payroll. We also asked some of our managers and employees for different perspectives.”


At the heart of the procurement: The requirement specification

Having fully mapped out their HR processes, with input from the various stakeholders, Alandia specified the requirements for their future HR system. Usually, these can be grouped into two categories: requirements that must be met and requirements that, if possible, should be met; in other words ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’.

Anne-Christine stresses that every organisation has their unique requirements and needs. “An example of one of our must-haves was that any system we chose must make it easy to distribute information to different locations and to keep in touch with our employees at all times. Also, as we have operations in Åland, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki, we need to be able to work within the requirements of both Swedish and Finnish law,” she explains.

"Sympa’s solution met our specifications for features, language and cost and it was neatly tailored to fit the needs of a modern, pan-Nordic business.”

The HR Solution of the future

Anne-Christine and her team have made huge progress with the digitalisation of their HR processes. The main focus for the future is to explore the reporting module’s full potential. “It has been great fun implementing Sympa HR,” says Anne-Christine.

“We have now built a salary structure, set up a process for performance assessment and classified all the roles within the group. We have created a process for appraisals where we can set performance targets at an individual level and have gathered together all our employees’ documentation and data in one place. These are some of the things that have been made possible with Sympa HR.”

Looking back at the procurement and the implementation of Sympa HR, Anne-Christine is pleased with how everything turned out. “The work progressed very much in line with our expectations and we are close to reaching the goals that we have set for the project.”

For Alandia’s HR department the digitalisation process continues at full speed.

"I am pleased with how everything turned out. The work progressed very much in line with expectations and we are close to reaching the goals for the project.”

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