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With empathy to excellence

Pekka Videnoja reveals how Beamex Calibration Solutions Group is redefining calibration through customer understanding.

It’s our job to make sure what we deliver matches the customer’s needs perfectly and helps them achieve their business goals.

Pekka Videnoja, Director of the Beamex Calibration Solutions Group, began his career journey learning by doing on the family farm and has been hungry for knowledge ever since.

Fast forward to the present and it’s plain for all to see that this keen appetite for learning has served him well. He heads a team of 18 elite advisors tasked with smoothing the way for new customers adopting Beamex calibration solutions.

If any idiom perfectly describes Pekka’s approach to his work, it’s this one: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. “To do what we do, and to do it well, you need empathy. It’s the most powerful asset in our armory, far more important than any technology,” he says. “Understanding is everything – understanding the customer’s business and processes, their problems, their pain points, what makes them and their operation tick, essentially. When we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, it gives us a whole new level of understanding about how to best support them with specifying, adopting, and getting the best from their Beamex calibration solution.”

Driven by a passion for learning by doing

Growing up on the family farm, Pekka couldn’t avoid getting his hands dirty, literally, and doing so allowed him to indulge his passion for learning by doing. These agricultural beginnings sowed the seeds for a career in engineering – a discipline that was calling to him from a very early age. Beginning his career as a test engineer before moving onto more project-management oriented roles, Pekka knew that he wanted to be on the front line interacting with customers rather than permanently stuck in the lab or at a computer. “Self-development is a big driver for me, and human interaction plays a huge role in helping me be a better person tomorrow than I have been today.”

After hearing about Beamex from an ex-colleague, before long he found himself in an interview for a project manager position. The rest, as they say, is history.

Giving Beamex the edge in a crowded market

Pekka now heads up the Beamex Calibration Solutions Group (CSG), which provides both helpdesk-type support and expert consulting services covering the concepting, design, specification, and implementation of full-chain calibration solutions comprising hardware and software. “In a nutshell, it’s our job to make sure what we deliver matches the customer’s needs perfectly and helps them achieve their business goals,” Pekka explains.

These holistic project-type capabilities are what set Beamex apart in a crowded marketplace where there are thousands of companies offering calibration hardware and related products. Under Pekka’s direction, CSG is in the process of building regional teams covering Europe and the Americas. Currently there are CSG advisors in Finland, the UK, Germany, France, and the USA.

While the CSG team boasts a wealth of technical experience and rich problem-solving skills, Pekka looks beyond those when seeking new hires or supporting existing team members to develop. “You can teach people new skills, but you can’t change their personality. We are problem-solvers first and foremost, so technical skills are vital, but we look beyond those. We want curious people who will dive deep to understand the customer and who really understand what customer service means. You need to have a deep level of empathy and be able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. For me, empathy is far more powerful than any technical knowledge in what we do.”

“The same old way to calibrate” is not a winning slogan!

Beamex’s brand promise is to be the partner for calibration excellence, providing customers with a better way to calibrate. These are words that Pekka keeps at the forefront of everything CSG does. “Slogans are just words; I want us to put these words into practice every time we plan, specify, or deliver a calibration solution, as well as when we provide ongoing support. Being ‘better’ means doing something differently, and it means the customer needs and wants to change how they are executing and managing their calibration processes. Change is never easy because people are always more comfortable with the ‘known hell’ of their present calibration solution than the ‘unknown heaven’ that we’re offering. ‘The same way to calibrate’ isn’t a great slogan though!”

The three areas of CSG’s services

1. Expert services focus on understanding the customer’s problem and advising them on the best way to overcome their current challenges. The next step is working with the customer to define what their new calibration solution will look like and how to map their processes to the Beamex solution before delivering it. Delivery includes introducing the solution and performing instrument data migration. This step can be provided as a service, or the customer can perform it by themselves. A full-scale solution with integration, validation, and SOP creation services is typically required by larger customers.

2. Training services are available to train the customer’s technicians and engineers on how to use their tailored Beamex calibration solution and how to get the best from it throughout its lifetime. These can be delivered both remotely and on site, and are always tailored according to the solution in question.

3. Support services are there to make sure the customer is never on their own, with a Beamex advisor always on the end of the phone or available via email to provide helpdesk-type support. When a customer first starts using their Beamex solution, they have the extra peace of mind provided by a ‘hypercare’ period. This elevated level of support is crucial to help them get comfortable with the new solution.

“For customers the helpdesk experience is usually a negative one because they’re reaching out when they have a problem,” Pekka highlights. “In CSG we want to turn this on its head and make sure our customers want to contact us as they know they’ll have a positive experience. We want them to share their valuable feedback, because that kind of information is gold dust for us. It’s the fuel that fires our curious minds and the best building material for continuous improvement.”

Pekka is also keen to emphasize his preferred word for the people who are part of CSG. “I like the term advisor more than expert. An expert is a reactive role, someone who knows the answer when you ask them a question; an advisor is proactive and empathetic, listening to the customer, understanding their challenges, and guiding them in the right direction.

“Here’s your solution – goodbye!” – that’s not the Beamex way

The biggest benefit of working with CSG is that it doesn’t require Beamex customers to build their own knowledge base in order to get started with their new calibration solution. Through CSG, Beamex provides a tailored safety net that customers can rely on for the long term. “We don’t simply give them a link to download their new software and instructions for their new hardware and say ‘goodbye, and good luck’,” laughs Pekka. “At the beginning our focus is firmly on easy onboarding to make sure the customer really starts using and benefitting from what they are paying for.”

Circling back to his concept of a known heaven versus an unknown hell, Pekka concludes by explaining how having a partner on your side who lives and breathes calibration is a big advantage when it comes to streamlining your calibration processes. “A better way to calibrate means getting away from pen and paper; it means stripping away the inefficiencies and errors that plague the known hell of manual calibration execution and management to create an unknown heaven in the form of a streamlined, automated calibration solution.”

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