Improving processes means understanding the big picture and thinking outside the box

Adven’s expert in water and wastewater processing, Hanna Kontturi, has solid technical know-how that brings significant benefits to the customer right from the first meeting. Looking at the big picture helps identify the best possible solution for improving the customer’s process.

Hanna Kontturi, Adven’s water and wastewater processing expert, has a broad repertoire of knowledge. She not only works closely with customers as a concept designer, developing various technical solutions for the treatment of industrial water, waste and by-products, she is also involved in Adven’s entire sales process, from the initial meeting to contract negotiations.

“I take the sales process forward, assuming the role of both salesperson and expert. Only the focus of my work will vary somewhat, depending on the situation,” says Kontturi, offering some insight into her work as a sales engineer.

Full picture of customer’s process takes shape from first meeting

Kontturi’s dual roles strongly complement one another. The customer’s problem and situation are tackled head-on right from the first meeting, so a high level of technical understanding is crucial already in the early stages of discussions. This contributes, above all, to better insight into the customer’s problem.

“We look at the customer’s situation from a broad perspective. We don’t fixate on an individual area that might have been the original reason behind the customer’s idea about boosting the process. We look at the customer’s production as a whole and try to find the best overall solution,” Kontturi explains.

Energy and cost savings through synergies

“Initially, the customer might explain how the problem concerns a specific, narrow area. As experts, however, our job is to think outside the box: when we look at the process as a whole, we often find previously unidentified synergies. A new solution that results from this approach could enhance the process exponentially compared to the original idea,” says Kontturi.

To take an example, in the early stages of the discussion, the customer may express a need for a new energy production plant to meet the growing need for energy. Further scrutiny may reveal, however, that the process’s energy efficiency may be significantly improved, for example, by recovering heat from warm wastewater, in which case, a new energy production plant is not needed.

Adven has already implemented projects for its customers whereby bringing evaporation technology up to date has led to a decreased need for steam. In each case, when looking at the whole, the process was made considerably more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Insights and surpassing expectations bring the greatest sense of achievement

According to Kontturi, the clearest sense of achievement when serving in the role of expert comes from helping the customer, and the greatest sense of success comes from finding a solution that exceeds the customer’s expectations.

“Producing various commodities and processing waste are not usually at the core of customers’ special expertise. This gives us the opportunity to find novel solutions to benefit the process as a whole. Those kinds of wins are always major successes,” stresses Kontturi.

The experts in Adven’s concept team work very closely with the customer and the customer’s technical experts.

“The customer is always a hard-core expert in its own processes. Finding the best overall solution often calls for a combination of both Adven’s and the customer’s technical expertise,” says Kontturi.