Think manufacturing — and odds are workplace collaboration isn't the first topic that springs to mind.

But Jarl Matti Anttila and Anssi Uitto, co-founders of Jakamo, want to change that.

Based in Seinäjoki, Finland, Jakamo provides an online collaboration platform that promises to help manufacturing companies improve their supply chain productivity. By connecting customers and suppliers in manufacturing industries, it creates a digital channel for interaction that Anttila described as a secure way that's faster and easier than email.

Anttila and Uitto are CMO and CEO, respectively.

Founded in 2012, Jakamo reports its customer base has doubled to 1,300 this year in 40 countries. The company just released a new feature called Teams that allows users to establish cross-company teams with internal and external users. 

Anttila, the company's chief marketing officer, called Teams a "vital functionality in a highly networked manufacturing ecosystem."

“Today," he added, "value is created in business relationships. Manufacturing workers have different expectations of interaction, information sharing and decision-making than 20 years ago. Therefore, transparent and effective information sharing across company borders is crucial especially for the manufacturing companies."

2016 Milestones for Jakamo

Jakamo representatives introduced Teams at the Slush 2016 Conference in Helsinki, where they won an investment competition over nine other companies from a Nordic-China startup accelerator. 

The program is organized by Beijing-based COMB+ and Helsinki-based Pivot5 and featured pitches from 10 pre-selected companies.

In May, Jakamo secured a US patent for its intelligent data processing technology that helps manufacturing companies connect with each other and share information such as orders, ideas, claims and projects. "Nobody before has done this kind of software for relationships," Anttila said.

Networking Through Tool

Jakamo's patented technology helps manufacturing companies to invite partners, customers and all relevant parties into the supply chain manufacturing collaboration platform.

“The grant of a patent in the US in spite of tougher requirements shows that Jakamo is in the forefront of a totally new concept,” Kari Lång, Espatent Ltd’s European Patent Attorney, told a Finnish news site.

Learning Opportunities

Jakamo collaboration

Jakamo users "create relationships like individuals do in Facebook," Anttila said. "But here you don't share cat pictures but orders, claims, engineering changes and so on. And any company in the platform can be searched."

By virtue of the invites from companies already on the Jakamo platform, it's built-in marketing for the collaboration provider. If a company gets an invite, they start with the free version (unlimited users, unlimited time) but can bump to paid models

"This is how we've spread quite rapidly throughout the world in the last two years," Matti Anttila said. "That's a disruptive model for getting companies. We make it easy for them to invite other companies. You could also suggest relationships." 

Orders, Claims Rank High

Among its applications, the most typical use cases are order/order confirmation handling, claim sharing and processing, engineering change request sharing and quote-requests sharing. 

"It's all meant for cross-company collaboration where they hadn't had these kind of places to share before," Anttila said. "Before, they would do it in email or old-fashioned extranets. If you compare us to Slack, you can't do orders or engineering claims with other companies in Slack."

The connection between companies and context-based information sharing apps makes Jakamo unique, its CMO said. Other collaboration platforms does not have those industrial processes. They lack collaboration and the hierarchical logic needed for networked business environments. 

Customers can integrate any ERP system to Jakamo. Extranets and portals are typically fixed to particular ERPs, Matti Anttila said, and suppliers have to visit multiple portals to reach information.

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