The purpose of the Service Centres is to offer a range of high-quality services conveniently and cost-effectively in one place. The first Service Centre, the one in the Iso Omena shopping centre, was opened in August 2016. It immediately became clear that bringing ten public services units under one roof was a good idea.

The Service Centres are built on a new operational culture that focuses on the mutual customer. The personnel see the customer in a more holistic way than they do in traditional public services. They know what other services are available and can refer the customer to preventive support.

The Service Centres are an ideal location for developing municipal services in cooperation between public administration, companies and local residents. An ethnographic study identified three vital prerequisites for co-creation that the Service Centre:

  1. Environment and facilities: The large public space is open both spatially and from the viewpoint of its operating culture. Temporary, mobile pop-up facilities are best suited for co-creation.
  2. Atmosphere and operational culture: The staff of the Iso Omena Service Centre are highly motivated and have a positive attitude towards experiments. The staff from ten different units have adopted a new operational culture where their mutual customer is at the centre of the services. Each customer is viewed as a whole person, not just as a customer of one unit, and is readily directed to various other services. Companies also appreciate the Iso Omena Service Centre staff’s views of what kind of services are needed. 
  3. Unique flow of customers: The Iso Omena Service Centre has brought public services to where the people are. This has lowered people’s threshold for seeking services and has engaged young people and other customer groups that are traditionally difficult to reach. The customers of the Iso Omena Service Centre also seem to be more active in participating than people on average.

The study shows that the most important prerequisite of co-creation is a shared goal. This goal has to be defined based on the needs identified either by customers or by staff.

From companies and other partners, co-creation requires independent initiative and an active touch, for example in terms of communication. The main purpose of a Service Centre is to enable co-creation.