Grano hired freelance developers to boost digital transformation

Grano gives us a benchmark example on how to successfully transform a product-based business into a client-centric service. The multi-sector company that used to be associated with print products, light signs, and exhibition stands, is now known as an all-inclusive marketing and communications agent. Grano has trusted in both in-house employees and freelance consultants when building smart digital solutions to support the transformation.

“As soon as we at Grano accepted the inevitable benefits of digitalisation in 2016, automation has been leading our technological transformation journey”, explains Jesse Kelomäki, Product Owner at Grano. Not only has automation allowed Grano to run its business more effectively but also put a heavier focus on customers. The company can now provide faster service to its clients and minimise mistakes throughout the production process.

Take for example business cards. A regular business card order used to need input from approximately fifteen Grano employees in different phases of production. Today, a similar order requires only one employee to check the quality of finalised products prior to packing. Simultaneously, the ordering process itself has been made remarkably easier and more personalised for the clients.

Senior developers at your fingertips

As the smart and sophisticated automation systems tell, Grano has been successful in hiring highly skilled software professionals to support the company throughout the technical transformation. However, finding experienced developers has not always been the easiest task for the company. “Grano has maybe not always been the first company software developers think of when looking for a new job, few people even know that we develop our own software”, says Kelomäki.

Thus, Grano has been very happy with the service of Thriv where experienced senior-level freelance developers have been brought to the company’s fingertips. “We at Grano wanted to find the best freelance experts that could be integrated into our existing team and that could provide us value in the long run”, tells Kelomäki and continues, “The two freelance developers we hired through Thriv, Juhani Kumara and Mattia Denti, have now been working for Grano for over 1,5 years.”

Fair treatment for freelance developers

Both freelance developers found through Thriv were effortlessly integrated into the development team of Grano. The company had already previously worked with freelancers and knew how to get the most out of them. As Kelomäki states: “We always treat our in-house employees and freelancers the same way, everybody is seen as a valuable member of the team.”

The fair treatment at Grano has clearly been appreciated by the freelance developers who have done their very best. “Juhani and Mattia have been extremely proactive: they have brought many great ideas of improvement to the table and shared their opinions openly. Also, I have been happy to see how they both have genuinely enjoyed working for Grano”, explains Kelomäki.

Personality matters

To ensure that freelance developers become a great match with the existing in-house team, Kelomäki shares one valuable piece of advice: “It is very important to not only look at the CV of the talent but also think about the personality. We could have hired any freelance developer with expertise in Angular, JavaScript and the AWS environment. However, by also considering the different personalities of our freelance developer candidates, we were able to find two perfect matches to our team.”

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Grano in a nutshell

Grano is a Finnish multi-sector company that specialises in content services. With Grano, customers can easily perform content projects from start to finish as the company offers a variety of services from creative design to production and to material management. Grano has traditionally been widely known as a print media producer, but during recent years the company has increasingly been shifting its focus to digital marketing solutions. Through a holistic transformation toward a more digitised future, Grano has succeeded to maintain its market leader position in the Finnish graphic industry and stay ahead of the curve.

Linnea Erkamo - Head of Marketing

Linnea Erkamo

Head of Marketing