In the below interview, Helena Stolpe, VP Delivery at Pagero, tells us more about how Pagero’s delivery organisation works, how her role has changed as the company has grown, and why her organisation is an integral part of what Pagero offers its customers.

The four elements of the delivery organisation

“Pagero’s delivery organisation consists of four different departments: our Customer Integration team takes care of our integrations. The team also conducts analyses and takes care of some parts of our production, and is governed by our SLA. The team works together closely with the Project Managers who are responsible for large activation projects and offer assistance at the presale stage. Our Project Co-ordinators assist in larger projects and co-ordinate smaller projects. They also take care of customer onboarding and training. Last but not least, our Support team takes care of production, certain implementations, and more complex setups. Their work is also governed by our SLA and they work hard to live up to our SLA promises to our customers.”

One common goal: High quality solutions for our customers

“A couple of years ago, we took the decision to amalgamate the four teams into a single organisation. The reason for this was that we wanted to have one common goal: to deliver high quality projects and solutions in a customer-focused, efficient, and professional way so as to give our clients implementation and service that is sustainable over time. This is the common goal of all the departments within the delivery organisation.”

“Although an advanced, bespoke solution may sound great to start with, if it cannot be maintained and doesn’t work in production, the customer will be unhappy and is more likely to go elsewhere. So I think it’s crucial to bear this in mind from the outset. Thanks to the organisation we now have, each team knows how their job will affect the other teams and, ultimately, our customers.”

“Our goal is to deliver high quality projects and solutions in a customer-focused, efficient, and professional way.”

The best support wins

“The support team is crucial in this. It is with them that the customer will be in most contact during their business relationship with Pagero. So it’s essential that we offer great support, and give that little bit extra. The support we give should of course be professional and knowledgeable, but if you give that little bit extra, that’s what the customer remembers and is what is spread through word-of-mouth. You expect the service to work, because you are paying for it. I think it’s support that builds confidence, builds our brand, and enables us to sell more of our services.”

“So I would say that investing in our support team is the best thing we can do. We say that the one who has the best support wins and I think that’s a good fit with how we work. And I’m convinced that we have the best support.”

Feedback is important

“We often get feedback from our customers saying that they’re really happy with our support. I think this is great because if a customer takes the time to send an email after they’ve received the help they were asking for, just to tell us how amazing our support is, then I think we must have done something right.”

“Of course we want to hear negative feedback as well. This helps us improve, because we’re not perfect. We want to know about the negative things so we can find the reason for them and, if needed, change our processes and procedures to avoid the same thing happening again.”

“We say that the one who has the best support wins and I think that’s a good fit with how we work.”

Procedures and sharing knowledge are important in a changing environment

“The company as a whole has changed a lot over the last few years. We’ve expanded our range of services, our platform has become more complex, we’re operating in more countries, and we have teams in different parts of the world. The core delivery organisation is still located at our head office in Gothenburg, Sweden, but we now have two local support teams – one in Finland for the Finnish and Polish market, and our global support team in Madrid that we opened earlier this year.”

“All this has a huge impact on the delivery organisation. Firstly, procedures and processes become much more important, especially for the teams governed by our SLA. Everybody must follow the same procedures so that one team can take over when the other finishes their shift. We also need procedures to ensure everyone keeps up to date, and to ensure that everyone knows what they should. When there were fewer of us, everyone was able to know everything. This is no longer possible. Everybody should have the same basic knowledge, but we need to have teams or groups within teams that have different areas of expertise.”

The need for specialist expertise creates new departments

“The company growth has created the need for whole new departments. The Customer Integration team, for example, was created to meet customer requests. Our customers wanted access to specialist expertise to be able to get detailed answers to their questions. As we venture into more and more markets, there is a growing need for analyses and pre-studies regarding formats and compliance, for instance.”

“The Customer Integration team can assess whether a certain format that a customer wants to send is suitable for the purpose, or whether any information is missing that is mandatory in one or more of the countries concerned. We also assess whether the desired format is one that the customer can grow with. The initial scope of a project may just cover Sweden, but the plan with Pagero is to expand globally. We then recommend not using a Swedish format but a broader one. In addition to geographical aspects, we look at the industry the customer is in, any forthcoming legal requirements for e-orders or e-invoices and so forth. There are many things to take into consideration depending on the scope of the project.”

“The company growth has created the need for whole new departments. The Customer Integration team, for example, was created to meet customer requests.”

Daily maintenance of the format library

“Format is another buzzword of our business. We currently handle more than 350 formats and the number is constantly growing. We have a number of core formats where our responsibility is to follow pre-defined rules for updates and new versions. If we change something there, this will have an impact on the majority of our customers. In addition we have a large number of bespoke formats that can be changed every other day at the customer’s request.”

International large-scale projects

“The work of our Project Managers has definitely been affected by the company’s growth. They now not only manage e-invoice projects, but projects involving all sorts of document types – as long as we can handle the document type in our platform, they can project manage it. Our Project Managers are also managing increasing numbers of international projects, and projects that involve many countries at once. These can also be part of large-scale customer projects. Some years ago, the e-invoice project was usually an isolated project. Today, the projects we manage tend to be part of a much larger project in the customer’s organisation that involves many different flows and systems that need to be integrated with each other.”

“In the future, I want us to streamline our work so that we can deliver services to a larger customer base even more efficiently than today.”

Onboarding and managed service

“Our Project Co-ordinators are quite a new team that has been set up to take care of the needs of the growing organisation and customer base. They handle smaller projects or assist the Project Managers in larger projects, as well as take care of customer onboarding. Together with our new customers they go through Pagero Online to show them how our services work, help them to get up and running, and make sure that the transaction flow works as it should before they transfer the customer’s administration to the support team.”

“They also handle certain SPOC support cases for those customers who have bought this service. They’re intended to complement our support team as a managed service with a small team that certain customers can contact with whatever questions they have about our service. They might want help connecting a new customer or supplier, and this is where we can step in and assist. It’s a service that is much appreciated by those customers who are using it, and they almost feel like our team becomes a part of their own organisation.”

Future vision

“In the future, I want us to streamline our work so that we can deliver services to a larger customer base even more efficiently than today. I want us to develop our platform so that it becomes more and more intuitive with more self-service functionality. That way, we can have automatic onboarding which will be a tremendous help for our and our customers’ networking. In addition it will make it possible for the delivery organisation to focus more on analyses and project management in order to help our customers reach their goals.”

“I want our international support team in Madrid to recruit more people. I think that it’s vital to have support teams that are integrated and not islands. In our expanding ecosystem with customers all over the world, it becomes increasingly important to interact with different countries and to be familiar with local laws and requirements. If you have the requisite knowledge, you have what it takes to be able to offer the best support in the world.”