AI to improve the cus­tomer experience and improve internal efficiency

In the world of technology, 2023 will probably be remembered as the year when a breakthrough of generative AI solutions based on large language models (OpenAI’s ChatGPT being the most well-known) took place. The new AI solutions were quickly released for nearly open use of private individuals and businesses. They specialise in creating new content such as text, images or sound, based on given input or conditions. On top of all this, the new language models also seem to have mastered the intricacies of the Finnish language with its case endings and other peculiarities.

At Hansel, we have been using various AI solutions quite boldly for several years now, especially for analytics purposes. We now wanted to make these new features available to all our employees, while ensuring that business secrets and confidential information are protected. We are therefore rapidly developing Hansel’s internal best practices for using the new AI solutions to encourage the use of the new features but also to provide guidance on the safe use of generative AI solutions.

Development projects aim for a better service experience

In addition to general AI assistants, we set out to identify spearhead projects to target the potential of generative AI at specific problem areas of our business. Among these targeted solutions, the procurement development unit launched the first pilot projects on the analysis of invitation to tender documents and the processing of participation requests in dynamic purchasing systems. We also built an AI assistant based on the Julkisten hankintojen käsikirja (Public Procurement Handbook) published by the Ministry of Finance, to which you can pose questions about the content of the handbook.

“In addition to general AI assistants, we set out to identify spearhead projects.”

We should turn our gaze from the breakthrough year for generative AI to 2024 when the new capabilities should really deliver on their promise of improving operational efficiency and the customer experience. In addition to the above applications, we are launching other projects such as one for a targeted AI assistant to improve our customer service. Here, we expect AI to provide a significant productivity boost to our existing customer service, becoming our “best friend”.

It is also worth keeping in mind that the boundaries between AI and “traditional” digitisation are already becoming blurred. In 2023, we continued to invest in the digitisation of our services and operations, the utilisation of interfaces and the automation of processes. In and the Competition Assistants found there, we have paid particular attention to the service experience, and we are making more effective use internally of interfaces in the automated monitoring of our contractual suppliers’ financial data, for example. Hilma ( implemented a massive eForms reform, which revolutionised how procurement notices originating from the European Commission were processed and included the development of interfaces for the automatic verification of tenderers’ official information (Compliance Reports).*

*Yes, an AI assistant was also used as an aid when writing this text.


Renewing the HR system

Hansel’s close collaboration with Azets Insight continued in 2023, as Hansel decided to exercise the options for a HR system and payroll accounting that were included in the tender for a financial system package in 2022. The project started in the spring of 2023 and was completed in early November. The short implementation time was made possible by the fact that the previously used Mepco was retained as the backend system. It was still a demanding project because we decided to increase automation and build new integrations.

The project started in earnest after the summer holiday season, when we actively considered process improvements and engaged in dialogue with various parties. The digital team worked hard on the integrations, and the HR team was responsible for other practical work in collaboration with Azets. Suspense was high when the first salary payments were made using the “new pipeline” in November. As a precaution, the payment date was brought forward by a day, but everything went well in the end.

We will still do some further development work after the deployment, as we want to realise some of the reforms in stages. We will also be able to obtain the first HR reports from the new system when calculating the traditional HR statistics for the financial statements.


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