Birgitta Helminen has worked for Kesko for 40 years

Birgitta Helminen, Team Leader at K-talouspalvelukeskus, has worked for Kesko from the age of 16, when she started as an errand girl in Tampere on 20 August 1974.

Birgitta Helminen moved on to work for the mail centre, where her duties also included mailing advertising material and order books to retailers. “We also made time cards for all staff.”

Her next job was in the punching centre, where retailers’ orders, for example, were input. After that, Birgitta’s job has always had something to do with invoicing.

“Back then, the preliminary processing of invoices included my important duty of underlining the amount, the number and the date of the invoice with a red pencil to make it easier for the invoice clerk to read the invoice. Times have truly changed quite a lot,” she says with a laugh.

Electronic invoicing changed the work

The greatest change in Birgitta’s work took place when electronic invoicing was adopted. The launch of the SAP system in 2004 meant a complete change in the whole thinking process.

”My work has, to a great extent, taught me my skills and competence. Me and my colleagues have been learning things together and our IT Management has contributed to our work by creating systems and providing guidance. The SAP project was implemented by giving induction to some employees, who then shared what they had learned with others.

“I’m grateful to the K-Group for providing me with an opportunity to move on from one job to another and learn more at work. I have had so many interesting duties throughout my career.”

Birgitta now works as a team leader and a supervisor for a team of 15.

“The secret behind my long career is the fact that I’ve always enjoyed coming to work. My duties have changed at regular intervals, which has kept me alert and interested. It’s a pleasure to work with nice and competent colleagues.

Ask and challenge

Birgitta encourages young Kesko employees in the early stages of career to take in all information available at the induction and also bravely challenge things.

“It helps you to thoroughly understand your work and develop your competencies. I believe that in the future it will be increasingly important to grasp the big picture in your work. Young people bring fresh winds and new ideas, which we all can benefit from.

Life must not, however, be all work. When younger, Birgitta Helminen spent her leisure hours with volleyball and in various domestic chores.

“I played volleyball actively until the age of 35 and I’m still a passionate spectator. I also like domestic chores very much and there is always a lot to do in a one-family house. I’m a granny to two little girls and we spend time together and do some baking, for instance. I also take time to outdoor exercise, travel and theatre.

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