April 15, 2020

Aiming for the top with concept development competence


How do you become the best in the world in a particular area? Adven’s vision for the future is to be the best in the world in providing sustainable energy as a service with superior customer experience for industries and real estate. At the core of this goal are three strategic capabilities that Adven strongly focusses on developing. One of these capabilities is concept development, which involves finding the energy and water solutions that best serve the customer’s needs.

In addition to concept development, Adven’s two other strategic capabilities are the successful integration of elements of the Energy as a Service model and the operation of customer-critical processes. These capabilities are interlinked, and it all starts with concept development: striving to optimally understand the customer’s processes, find operational bottlenecks, identify the best technology for each case and create an overall concept that serves the customer’s needs.

“The customer usually has an energy- or water-related need – for instance, they want to save energy or switch from fossil-based fuels to biofuels, or they have a need for wastewater treatment. Together with the customer, we deepen our understanding of the best way to create business benefits for the customer by integrating various areas,” explains Elina Isokangas, a member of Adven’s concept development team.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Our customer agreements extend for as long as 15 years, so it’s important – both for the customer and for us – that the solution works seamlessly for a long time. Concept development and finding a right solution are essentially behind everything we do,” says Isokangas.

Technological independence allows freedom in concept development

“We examine things in a new way and thereby bring added value to the customer: for example, as part of the designed concept, we can implement a much more efficient MVR evaporation plant to replace a traditional serial evaporation plant,” explains Isokangas.

After identifying the potential areas in the customer’s processes where changes or new solutions can be applied, the concept development team will then also seek the best possible technologies for implementing them. Since Adven is not bound to a particular technology, it gives the team a free hand to consider the best possible option for each specific case.

Read also: Concept development of circular economy solutions: how does the process go?

“The plan and the concept can be refined as the process advances. We may, for instance, carry out more precise measurements and scientific research on the details of the concept. The insights of the project managers and operation and maintenance organisation are also very important,” stresses Isokangas.

Growth is encouraged in the concept development team

Adven’s concept development team members work in all of the countries where Adven operates, but they form a tight-knit team. For instance, a developer based in a neighboring country may work on a project that is being implemented in another country. The person with the best competence is always sought for each project and, in more challenging projects, several team members will be involved. The team also continuously interacts with the sales team and constantly develops its competence.

“The team works really well together. No one is ever left to figure things out on their own – they can draw on the competence of the other team members if they need to,” says Isokangas.

The team openly shares information, both in their day-to-day work and in expert trainings. A training programme in which everyone can further develop their own competencies is in the pipeline.

“We offer our employees a lot of training, and the desire to develop is strong. That is something we encourage, and help and support are always available. Each person’s strengths are identified: in my case, for example, thanks to my university teaching background, I also develop training courses,” says Isokangas.

The need for various concepts is identified at the customer interface, and specialists are recruited based on the new need that has been identified.

“Recruitment is always needs-based: for instance, if we are working on several biogas projects simultaneously and we need additional expertise in that area, we will find just the right expert. We always seek the best talents for our team,” says Isokangas with a smile.

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Adven is the leading provider of energy and water services across the Nordic and Baltic countries.