Career story: “What motivates me most in my work is Planmeca’s mission: better care through innovation”
To celebrate Planmeca’s 50th anniversary, we are releasing a series of career stories from our incredible employees. These stories introduce some of the experts behind our pioneering dental innovations and show a glimpse behind the scenes at Planmeca headquarters in Helsinki. In this article, Test Development Manager Lauri Anttila describes how his aspiration for a meaningful job led him to study medical imaging and to work in test development at Planmeca.
Lauri Anttila, MHSc, Medical Technology
Test Development Manager, X-ray division
Lauri Anttila came to Planmeca for a summer job and now works as a Test Development Manager in the X-ray division. Lauri’s enthusiasm for Lean thinking has resulted in reforms in Planmeca’s test development processes. This has led to changes in both working methods and ways of thinking.
How did you end up working at Planmeca?
“I studied medical imaging at the University of Oulu. I chose the programme because I wanted a job that has purpose and that allows me to have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing. When I was close to finishing my bachelor's degree, I started looking for summer jobs in the field. I’d heard a lot of good things about Planmeca, for example, from a fellow student who worked here. It strengthened my feeling that this would be a nice place to work for me, too.
Originally, I applied to do my bachelor’s thesis at Planmeca, but instead I was offered a summer job in X-ray production test development in 2015. I was responsible for developing a test system. In the autumn, I continued my work in test development as a Project Engineer and later as a Development Engineer. I completed my studies alongside my work, and since August 2018 I’ve worked as a Test Development Manager and team lead in the X-ray division’s R&D.”
What does your work involve?
“In my team, we usually start the day off with a morning meeting where we go through how the previous day’s tasks have gone, check if there’s something that requires our immediate attention, and agree on what we do next. I’m still quite involved in the operational side of things, which means that I do some practical test development work myself.
I try to lead my team according to the principles of Lean, which includes a lot of daily management. We have introduced new project management tools, such as a Kanban board, where all our tasks and phases are visualised with coloured sticky notes. The board allows everyone to see our progress in the project and what the next steps are going to be.
Meetings are a big part of my work, as test development is actually a big integration team where we collaborate closely with production, purchasing, and product development. The test development team determines the framework for how our products are designed to make the testing and quality assurance processes as seamless as possible. Communication between the different departments is extremely important. In the future, I’ll probably be focusing more on coordinating test development at the company level and developing new practices.”
What is the best part of your job?
What motivates me most in my work is Planmeca’s mission: developing innovative healthcare technology solutions that improve people’s quality of life. It’s great to be part of the work and be able to create value to our customers through my work.
Planmeca also offers me a lot of opportunities for career development. I've been able to influence my own work as well as my team’s working methods and practices. I have a very motivated team where everyone is committed to achieving our common goals.
I also appreciate Planmeca’s relatively flat company structure. The managers are always happy to listen to our ideas and sometimes they can lead to concrete changes or new products. I feel like I’m running a Lean start-up inside the company. With active participation I get to influence the development and mission of the whole company.”
What would you say to someone thinking about applying for a job at Planmeca?
“If you're interested in healthcare technology and want a job where you can influence people’s health and wellbeing, Planmeca is a great place to be. As a family company, Planmeca has sound values and a productive working environment.
Enthusiastic and active employees are given plenty of responsibility and a chance to participate in developing the business. My own interest in programming and electrical engineering definitely helped me in getting that first summer job. It has also helped me along in my current work.”
Text: Hanna Lipiäinen
Image: Dino Azinur
Planmeca Oy and Planmeca Group
Planmeca Oy is one of the world's leading dental equipment manufacturers with a product range covering digital dental units, CAD/CAM solutions, world-class 2D and 3D imaging devices and comprehensive software solutions. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Planmeca’s products are distributed in over 120 countries worldwide. With a strong commitment to pioneering innovations and design, it is among the largest privately held companies in the dental field. Planmeca Oy is part of the Finnish Planmeca Group, which operates in healthcare technology. The Group achieved a revenue of MEUR 744 in 2020 and employs over 2,900 people worldwide.