In Finland, Unifaun started up two years ago. The company is pleased to be in Finland as it was a logical step to expand here.Unifaun, founded in Sweden in 2001, provides standardized, user-friendly ICT solutions for logistics companies involved in handling letters, parcels and other packaged goods.
For example, Unifaun Online is the complete, future-safe Internet-based system that processes all the company’s carriers in one and the same system. When using Unifaun Online, all the documentation associated with forwarding, such as bills of lading, need not be printed out as all the necessary data can be sent to the carriers by using automatic EDI transfer.
"We are transport administration (TA) providers and work as a bridge between dispatchers and carriers trying to make communication easy between the two," explains Kim Friman, Country Manager, Unifaun Oy.
There are all together 26 employees in the company of which two are in Finland when Unifaun founded its Finnish subsidiary in 2009. Kim Friman is the person who first suggested that Unifaun should come to Finland. Before this, he had worked nine years for Posten Norden including a one-year stint in Sweden. “Obviously the owners of Unifaun had a plan for Finland, but when I made the proposal one could say the timing was just right,” Friman states.
"While working in Sweden, I realized how common it was to use standardized communication systems, i.e. TA-systems between the carriers and their customers. This had resulted in a situation where Sweden already had a 95 percent EDI-coverage compared to Finland where only 40 per cent of all shipping administration is performed electronically.”
“The situation is unsatisfactory to all parties because when 60 percent of the volume is paperwork it is expensive, inefficient and can lead to a lot of costly errors," Mr. Friman says.
Today more than 50,000 companies use Unifaun´s TA-systems. Every day over 200,000 shipments are booked through Unifaun from more than 70 different kind of ERP-systems. Most of the clients are in Sweden but there are also customers in the other Nordic countries as well as in Europe. In Finland, Unifaun Oy has around two hundred customers at the moment and the amount is continuously growing.
Happy to be in Finland
“We are pleased to be in Finland. It is a logical step to be here, because the major carriers offer their solutions nowadays on a Nordic level. I believe the Finnish market will quickly develop to the same level as the other Nordic countries already have, even though the speed until now has been somewhat slower than we expected.”
“In Finland the main focus is to market our services to the carriers and ERP-providers who then can promote our solutions to the final user, i.e. the customer. This obviously takes time, but we are very pleased with how many Finnish ERP-providers already have integrated our TA-system with their business system, and not to forget how many different carriers and services we support on the market," Mr. Friman says.
"However, as from 2012 the major Finnish carriers will start demanding electrical data transfer as well as unique number ranges from their customers. This will help customers in gaining transparency to their supply chain while the carriers’ processes will become leaner. Hopefully it will open up wider demand for TA-providers in Finland. Until then we will continue serving the marketplace as a kind of ‘TA-pioneer’,” Friman concludes.