top of page
Search
  • tuomasasunmaa

From Corporate Challenges to Cost Optimization: A Journey to Business Success in Poland

Updated: Apr 12

Henri Fagerstrom works with companies to increase their profitability and cash flow by optimizing costs. As a partner in Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), Henri has access to a global network of experts and resources to help clients in setting up, leaning and moving processes across Europe. The savings obtained are the result of his in-depth knowledge of the sector, professional negotiations with suppliers, and qualitative assessment of performance.


Read more about Henri Fagerstrom's story in Poland and discover practical advice for growing in the Polish market in the interview conducted by Tuomas Asunmaa, CEO of Spondeo.



Source: ERA Group

You lived in Poland for nine years before starting your own business in the ERA network, how did you end up there?


Before joining ERA, I worked in the IT industry, leading regional and global teams on designing and re-engineering the finance processes and systems. However, my true passion has always been process and cost optimization – from strategy to execution. Unfortunately, in a corporate environment, there were always more pressing priorities than continuous improvement work. While working on the third global transformation and restructuring program, I started to explore alternatives to the 9 to 5 work. I always wanted to set up my own consulting practice where I could fully dedicate my time to process optimization. I tumbled into ERA and noticed that their operating model was strongly aligned with my values of transparency, efficiency, and results orientation.


What is your typical case in Poland?


My typical client is an international corporation running a manufacturing site in Poland for 5+ years. Once the company has established its operations and operates independently, we step in and support the management by optimizing their spend and leaning their processes to facilitate their growth.


What do you usually find when you start crunching the numbers?


There are no typical findings. Each project starts with a detailed analysis of the client’s spend and it always surprises me how much we can learn about the company and its operations just by looking at the spending. The experts can even quantify the company’s CO2 emissions just from invoices. What makes our work so interesting is that you never know what solution you will need to fix the issues identified from the numbers. Although the companies already know their costs, by grouping and categorizing we can bring a new point of view to the data. The alternative view starts to bring ideas about how to optimize the cost

.

Can you name a few projects that you are most proud of?


Certainly. We have just completed a cost optimization program that resulted in PLN 4M in annual cost savings for my client. The project was challenging but also very rewarding. My biggest achievement on a single project was savings of PLN 2M (43%). I believe we will be able to outperform this result within ERA Poland still this year. On average, the savings on my projects exceed 15%. I am particularly proud of projects related to decarbonization, which are great not only from the financial standpoint but also environmentally.


Where are your clients from?


My client base is truly global, but I am happy to share that Finnish companies have been the top 36% of the total clients in Poland since 2021, followed by Polish and American companies.


What advice would you give to Finns running a factory in Poland?


Whether you have just established your factory or you have already been operating in Poland for years, the truth is that you will need help to manage the operations. Do not hesitate to ask for external support. Poland is a big market where you can find the right solutions to meet your needs, you just need to know where to look – and that’s where my clients turn to ERA for help.


Why does Poland continue to attract production investments?


Its geographical location makes Poland an ideal place to establish a manufacturing site. Germany, with 83M consumers, is just around the corner and, combined with Poland’s population of 38M, that gives direct access to 120M consumers (27% of the EU population). Based on my experience, the Polish workforce is well educated, multilingual (nearly all millennials speak English) and hard-working. There are also attractive government initiatives supporting the manufacturing sector. I believe Poland is a very attractive market, in particular for Finns because of the core values shared by both nations – humbleness, strong work ethic, and diligence.


As someone who has been working in Poland for over a decade, I'm here to help others navigate this dynamic business landscape. Poland is a land of opportunity, and if you're considering making your mark here, don't hesitate to reach out – I'm just a message away.


Our decision to rebrand from Expense Reduction Analysts to ERA Group makes sense. The new name aligns with our vision of enabling business leaders to achieve transformative change through cost optimization and beyond. You can expect the same level of expertise and personalized service that you have come to associate with us. For a short while, you may notice us operating under both brand names as we work to complete our transition throughout the year. 


Contact info:

Henri Fagerstrom

+48 782 309 089 



 

If you'd like to stay up to date with Polish-Finnish business news, subscribe to monthly newsletter by Spondeo!

Comments


bottom of page