Anna Vahokoski began her career at Kiilto's product development laboratory almost immediately after her graduation. Now, five years later, she works as a Business Development Manager and is responsible for the company's B2B kitchen hygiene products, textile cleaning agents and some of their personal hygiene products.
Anna Vahokoski works as a Business Development Manager at Kiilto’s Professional cleanliness and hygiene department. She ended up at Kiilto five years ago through an open application process almost immediately after finishing her degree at a university of applied sciences.
For a couple of years now, Anna Vahokoski has been responsible for Kiilto’s B2B kitchen hygiene products, textile cleaning agents and the Kiilto Dose™ product line. Vahokoski is also the project manager of several product development projects and she also supports sales and works as an expert both home and abroad.
The open work community was easy to get into
When Vahokoski joined the company, she had just graduated and had previously worked, alongside her studies, in a municipal laboratory that employed ten people.
– I was only familiar with Kiilto through the consumer products I’d see at the grocery store, but otherwise I didn’t really know anything about the company.
Her first impression was that Kiilto was a compact, medium-sized company staffed with easily approachable people. Everyone had time to help their co-workers.
The people are near and we all know each other. We are able to talk about important matters openly and problems are easy to solve.
Anna Vahokoski | Business Development Manager | Kiilto
– I still feel the same way about our work community. The people are near and we all know each other. We are able to talk about important matters openly and problems are easy to solve when all your colleagues work in the same office. The colleagues at other offices can be easily contacted via Skype, which has now become a tool as important as email or telephone.
New role brought plenty of new responsibilities
Vahokoski had already ventured into the world of HoReCa in her previous role in Kiilto’s laboratory where she was responsible for the practical product development of kitchen hygiene products together with a Product Development Chemist. When the department needed a new Product Manager, the role was offered to Vahokoski, who by that time had already worked at the lab for some time.
– It was great that organisation recognised my potential for new tasks. Of course, the role also interested me personally and I felt I had the required expertise. The transition was easy as I knew all the people and the practices and it was nice to be given more responsibility.
In the beginning of October 2017 Anna was appointed as Business Development Manager. In addition to the tasks of a Product Manager, her responsibilities now include managing the product portfolio in the KiiltoClean group level and developing service sales in her business area.
– As a Business Development Manager I get to work with other specialists and think about how existing products should be improved. The responsibility in my new role is at a whole different level to my previous role in the laboratory. It’s very motivating and makes my work enjoyable.
Training and learning are a natural part of everyday work
When Vahokoski jumped from her laboratory role to being a Product Manager, the transfer period was full of new things to absorb.
– I learned a lot by doing, but the industry’s journals, research literature and exhibitions also taught me a lot. The support and expertise of the closest colleagues was one of the most important pillars for a beginning Product Manager to lean on. I also constantly receive new information from our partners, such as the contact persons of appliance manufacturers, for example. The appliance and the cleaning agent always go hand in hand, so we work in close co-operation with many manufacturers.
– I have had the chance to exchange ideas with Product Managers from other companies. These encounters always fill me up with new energy that I can apply to my work.
A work community that is pleasant to work in
Vahokoski also considers the atmosphere of the work community and the people she works with to be of crucial importance.
– Kiilto is really nice place to work. The people, the practices and the environment are all in order. The people here approach their work with a great attitude: everyone wants to do their best, and to do more than is expected of them. Everyone pushes on and people want to do what is best for the company. It speaks volumes about how much people enjoy their work here, and being a part of the company.
– We have a close-knit department and we work together a lot even outside of problem situations, usually working on good, productive things. We have colleagues all over Finland and with phones and other long-distance communication we can be in contact throughout the day. And here at the Turku office, the coffee break discussions flow pretty well, too!