The word that comes to mind to describe the work of Paulina Lindholm, operational head of Steveco’s logistics unit, is versatile, as she leads her unit to ever smoother and more streamlined operations.
Pauliina Lindholm (45), originally from the town of Hamina in southeastern Finland, has worked at Steveco nearly her entire professional life. She joined the company at the tender age of 21 via Steveco’s in-house forwarding apprenticeship programme in the autumn of 1996. Since then, she has held various positions in forwarding departments, as well as office jobs, including sales.
In 2012, Lindholm moved into a managerial post, and in 2016 she was named operational head of the logistics unit.
“We have around forty people in this group. I’m responsible for the operation and development of the unit,” Lindholm says.
Lindholm’s responsibilities include export shipping, import forwarding, transport services and warehousing services outside of terminals.
Lindholm’s first location was at Steveco’s office in Hamina.
“I have nothing but warm memories from those days,” she says with a chuckle.
Since 2004, she has been stationed in Kotka after moving from forwarding into sales, mainly working with transit traffic to Russia.
Lindholm says that ending up at Steveco was the sum of serendipitous coincidences. She was interested in becoming a teacher and wanted to go to university to study education and psychology, but sadly, she was not accepted.
She was accepted for Steveco’s apprenticeship programme, and her career was off and running -- and she hasn’t looked back since. In those days, traffic to Russia was increasing fast, and no other training for forwarding jobs existed other than the company’s in-house training programme. She has taken advantage of and enjoyed in-house education throughout her career, especially when taking on a new position.
“My present tasks have so much variety that I’m in no hurry to move anywhere. The best thing with this employer is that I have had the opportunity to do many different things. It keeps your mind fresh.”
Variety and scope
An integral part of her interesting job is the challenges it presents. Lindholm describes the unit she leads as “having a wide scope”.
“You need to keep up to speed in many areas. When something unexpected happens, like this coronavirus pandemic, it puts quite a lot of pressure on your creativity,” she says.
When the coronavirus restrictions began to affect all levels of society, it meant long, hard days for Lindholm as she reorganised her business unit.
“Logistics always includes moving parts, and you must be able to react fast. Of course, it is a challenge, but at the same time, it is the heart of the job.”
Lindholm says that the versatility of tasks and keeping tabs on all aspects of a wide scope of operations are some of the best aspects of her job, but the absolute top is the “outstandingly wonderful work community”.
Streamlined and smoother operations
One of the things that really motivates Lindholm is development work. These days, operational development in logistics often involves digitalisation. Lindholm was recently involved in the development of a successful IT project for export terminal guidelines together with Steveco’s IT department.
“I sure don’t want credit for that. Our IT department does magnificent work, and all development is collaboration.”
Lindholm is particularly interested in how work can be done more easily and smoothly by changing work procedures - doing things differently.
“It no longer makes sense, for example, to use people as typists. The goal is that once information is first entered into the system, it is automatically dispersed throughout the operational chain. Reducing manual work also reduces errors,” she notes.
Lindholm says that Steveco has a positive attitude to development. New ideas are easy to promote.
“Of course, if there are lots of ideas, you can’t implement them all. You need to prioritise.”
Enjoying leisure time in nature
Pauliina Lindholm still lives in Hamina where she shares a home with her husband and two school-aged children.
She likes to spend her free time in the forest, on the sea and at her island summer cottage. Lindholm is a peony aficionado, with many varieties filling her garden with color and fragrance.
“You can find about 70 different varieties in the garden. Unless, of course, when a winter like the one we’ve just had is not favourable for peonies. This winter has wreaked havoc with the peony blooms.”
Text: Eija Anttila
Photo: Johanne Wiehn
Peonies: Pauliina Lindholm (Jan van Leuwe pictured above)