Shopping Centre Case Study

Citycon Finland used to do auditing and incident reporting on pen and paper and further report the findings via excel sheets and emails. After introducing everything turned out to be more efficient which later resulted in additionally adopting

This case study showcases the challenges Citycon was facing at their Finnish shopping centres before introducing the two auditing and inspection applications. Furthermore, the gained benefits are distinctly presented.

Quality Audits

Before using the app Citycon was mostly working in an old-fashioned way in terms of auditing processes. They did a monthly quality audit with the cleaning, property maintenance, outdoor maintenance, and security partners in all the shopping centres. The partners wrote down different findings on their checklist and then inserted them into an Excel sheet. After that, they added the excel sheet into a digital folder manager by the Senior Property Manager Esa Sihvonen where it served as the report for that specific shopping center.

Senior Property Manager Sihvonen would then look through all the reports from every centre, open the separate excel sheets and add the information into his own worksheet that he kept updating monthly to monitor the quality.

The 20 shopping centres owned by Citycon Finland are audited once a month for cleaning, property maintenance, outdoor maintenance and security quality, adding up to 960 audits each year. This adds up to a significant number of Excel sheet updates annually. The process was okay, but it was a lot of work. Mostly it was heavy and time consuming.


Prior to using, the retail space handover process was conducted with a Word document that was filled in and printed out. There were no photos of the space. After such a handover contract, these documents were filed away and it was hard to find them later when needed. Also, it was really hard to spot trends in faults, and this was hardly ever done manually.

The solution with

“Now we use in two different ways. The first one is quality auditing - we measure the quality of different service providers. We take the tour together with the providers and collect the positive and negative observations”, shopping centre manager Salla Suonperä explains. “The service provider is responsible for generating the report. They are the actual users of the interface and they fill in the information. But we get to see the reports and analytics.”

Citycon has specific quality levels described in every agreement with every service provider. If the service should go below the agreed level, there’s now transparent information to back it up and the situation can be compensated. The dashboard view allows Citycon managers to see each service provider separately or compare them simultaneously. “It’s easy to spot a section that isn’t performing quite as well as the others”, Manager Suonperä says, “and it facilitates finding the reasons behind specific problems in each category”.

Salla Suonperä's Top 3 favourites In

- Quality monitoring is much easier
- Specific problems are found and tackled faster
- The dashboard simultaneously showcases every locality

First and foremost, the app saves time. As the Citycon senior property manager Esa Sihvonen puts it: “It all works with just a few clicks. Time savings is notable.” Citycon can keep all the statistics and reports, which facilitates comparisons if the organization chooses to collaborate with new service providers.

Also, all the retail space documents are now orderly and easily found and a digital signature is being used. Before there were problems taking photos and attaching them into Word document reports. But now the photo feature of is easy to use and greatly facilitates quality verification at every location. Every single deviation is photographed with a mobile phone or a tablet and the picture is placed in the right category to provide visual information and answer questions.

Challenges before the app

With great results with, Citycon decided to also introduce

Prior to using the app Citycon conducted their inspections by taking walking tours of the property. The purpose was to make sure everything was fine with cleanliness, maintenance and security. The same tour was completed several times a month with notes and photos taken.

After the tour the supervising person sat down at their office desk and attached the photos into an email; one email per service provider and then bullet points and the photos about the deviations that should be fixed.

Overall the process included several steps and was pretty heavy. The information was saved in the emailprogram and was only available there. Sometimes some smaller deviations were left to be, since the process of reporting them was too burdensome.

The solution with

Now the manager level and the security personnel are using the app to report deviations that have to do with cleanliness, property maintenance and security. “All of these functions create the base for our shopping centre business so the app is used daily” manager Suonperä describes. “As well as with the app, the purpose is to ensure that we’re reaching the agreed quality level while collaborating with different service providers and that they also get information on the matter. The app has also facilitated giving feedback.”

Salla Suonperä's Top 3 qualities In

- Easy to use
- Low threshold for reporting deviations
- Easier management of deviations afterwards

“Instead of booking a specific time slot for the inspection tour, the observations can be added alongside with other work tasks. And interestingly, the number of spontaneous observations has also increased” Suonperä says. “Time-savings and the easiness to use the app really surprised us positively.” Also, Esa Sihvonen admits that “the app is really fast to use and you can really do everything on the spot”.

The Results

Adopting and apps has notably increased time-savings, facilitated communication among different stakeholders and improved the quality of observations at every Citycon shopping centre in Finland. All the data is now clearly arranged and easy to access.

Shopping Centres Owned
170 million
Visitors Annually
Occupancy Rate
4 years
In Cooperation with Plan Brothers

“Collaborating with Plan Brothers is really easy and the same goes for their products. The system and interface are easy to use and don’t require extra training. It’s only a handful of service providers that act so efficiently, continuously develop their own products and deliver possible changes.”

Salla Suonperä, Shopping Centre Manager

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