"It gave me the opportunity
to expand my network"

It gave me the opportunity to expand my network"

After working for Quant China for five and a half years, Niklas Saari was appointed Site Manager for three sites in southern Finland.
Having had the chance to work in different positions in different countries, Niklas describes Quant as a great place to be if you want to develop as a maintenance professional.
– Working abroad gave me the opportunity expand my professional network, and it has given me friends for life.

Niklas Saari started working for ABB Full Service, as Quant was previously known as, already in 2008 while studying to become an electrical engineer. After four years and working in different positions, he decided to pursue other career opportunities. But only two years later, Niklas got an offer which made him return.
– It was a former colleague of mine who asked if I was interested to work at Quant China. My wife and I was then expecting our first child, and we thought that it was a good opportunity to move abroad while she was on maternity leave.

It was in December 2014 that Niklas and his family moved from Finland to China, where Niklas had been appointed as Reliability Manager at the Rizhao site. The initial plan was to stay for two years, but the time abroad was extended. After living in Rizhao for three and a half years, the family moved to Beihai, where Niklas continued his Quant career as a Maintenance Manager.

Strong safety culture
He describes working in China as a good learning opportunity and highlights the safety culture as one of the most positive experiences.
– There was a strong safety culture in Quant China, with a very systematic approach to safety. We barely had any incidents, even though the organizations were very large, with a lot of employees and subcontractors involved in the daily work.
– Also, the work ethic in China is very high. People have a strong motivation and willingness to work, which is something I have taken with me when moving back to Finland.

The cultural differences between Finland and China were big, and there was a language barrier since Niklas does not speak Chinese and many of his colleagues did not speak English. Even so, Niklas says that it did not take very long before he got used to working in a different country.
– One thing I learned is that people are ultimately very similar. We all have more or less the same needs and value similar things. Even though the cultural difference can be big, the basic principles for people are the same.

The years abroad has also given him a deeper knowledge within several different areas, such as automation, pneumatics and hydraulics. Partly due to the requirements by his position, but also since himself Niklas took initiatives to learn.
– To be able to drive continuous improvements in reliability and productivity, you must be able to see and understand the bigger picture. On both sites in China, the production record was broken year after year, which proves that the work we were doing together with the customers was successful.

“It gave me the opportunity to expand my network”
Niklas worked at two different sites in China during his five and a half years abroad. When moving back to Finland, he was appointed Site Manager for three sites in southern Finland. The diversity is one of the things he likes best about his job.
– I get to meet a lot of people, both employees and customers. As a Site Manager, I have also got a bigger responsibility and insight into the financial side of the business, which is different compared to when I was working as a Maintenance Manager, he says.
– Another difference compared to when I was working in China is that the organization is much smaller here, meaning that I get a better insight into all the on-going projects, which is interesting.
He describes Quant as a great place to be if you want to develop as a maintenance professional. Having the opportunity to work in different positions in different countries has given him valuable experience and knowledge, and a chance to connect with a lot of people.
– Working abroad gave me the opportunity expand my professional network, and it has given me friends for life.