Tom Karppinen, the man who chooses only the best for VEO

At the beginning of 2000, Tom Karppinen worked in Project Purchasing at Wärtsilä and was responsible for the company’s business relations with VEO. Now he is VEO’s Director of Strategic Sourcing and Project Purchasing. This is a job that he is more than well suited for, with his broad range of language skills and vast international experience from Wärtsilä. Karppinen has worked over 20 years in direct and indirect purchasing, category management, project purchasing as well as in quality assurance and Services Contract Management.

Strategic Sourcing itself is nothing new to VEO, but with increasing production volumes, more projects with site work and subsidiaries in three countries, strategic thinking must be taken to all levels in the company. Tom is thrilled to help with that. Since March, when he started at VEO, Tom has analysed data and introduced the concept of category management for purchasing. In this way, VEO can soon start consolidating its purchasing volumes, choose the best-suited suppliers when it comes to quality, price, size and conditions and update its contracts with suppliers.
“I have identified a number of sub-categories, and in the autumn we will draw up sub-category strategies. It is important that everybody in the company participates in the strategy work. It is also important that we all have clear roles, trust in each another, and good collaboration between different units.”

After a long history of customer cooperation with VEO, Tom now gets to see the company from the inside. So far, VEO has matched up to his expectations.
“It’s true that we really listen to our customers and work hard for their success. Since I’m a person with a high sense of justice, I think that we at VEO must together make sure that the subcontractors we have will act the same towards us.”

During the past months at VEO, Tom has worked long hours to have a good view of the “As-Is situation” when it comes to purchasing. Even more importantly, Tom will soon have a good concept of the “To-Be situation” as a result of the sub-category strategies created.
“I’m thorough, sometimes stubborn and a very action-oriented person who wants to see results. But it is equally important that people enjoy their work. Both old acquaintances and new colleagues at VEO have made me welcome, and some have tried to talk me into joining VEO’s ice hockey team.”
Tom has not given in yet, but persuasion will certainly continue. In his spare time, Tom plays bandy on ice and floorball.