Sign In
Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

Nando Malmelin ja Katri Valkokari-3533.jpg

Renewing industrial practices creates a new competitive edge

Text: Leena Koskenlaakso | 6.5.2019

​In an increasingly global and digitalised world, the Finnish manufacturing industry can only improve its competitive edge by questioning its traditional approaches. 

- Every manufacturing company should pause to critically review its traditional approaches, as globalisation and digitalisation are dramatically changing their business environment. At points of transition, what is called for is creative thinking, the ability to develop new ideas, proactiveness, active learning and the skills to solve complex problems, says VTT Professor of Practice Nando Malmelin. 

Malmelin and VTT Research Manager Katri Valkokari encourage industrial companies to renew themselves based on three key principles: 

  • Question traditions, assumptions and established ways of thinking 

Competitiveness is created through intangible assets – ideas and new ways of thinking. This requires unleashing the creativity of the employees. You must have the courage to boldly do things differently than before. 

  • Develop new collaboration platforms and dynamic ecosystems

A new kind of collaboration model must be developed that is based on experimenting and networks comprising different types of players. Experiments always involve the possibility of failure, but even failure contributes to progress.

- A good example of the manufacturing industry's corporate and research ecosystem is the Reboot Finland IoT Factory project, where factories act as innovation platforms for IoT products, says Valkokari. 

  • Renew your strategies, business models and management systems

- Strategic management cannot be one-sided. It must maintain a balance between streamlining current processes and developing new solutions, Malmelin points out.

Many industrial companies that previously focused exclusively on product manufacturing have created new business from services. Renewal requires learning and a shift in thinking, operational plans and management. 

- The popularity of hackathons, living labs, test beds and other experiments shows that companies have already realised the need for change and know how to apply new approaches, remarks Valkokari.

Two paths to business transformation  

According to Valkokari, industrial companies can utilise disruptive business either by offering their customers overall efficiency as a service or by combining data obtained from various sources into solutions and services. 

Overall efficiency can be improved through remote use, monitoring and optimisation, while knowledge-intensive service business can be developed together with a partner network specialised in data integration. 

The challenge in both paths is the ability to question existing truths and achieve sufficient agility. Business transformation also always requires changes in the operating environment and in one's own and customers' thinking. 

Update your strategy on a continual basis

- It's not enough to consider your strategy once a year. It must be reviewed on a continual basis, as the goal is constantly changing, Malmelin emphasises.

Industrial companies can generate growth by entering new sectors and markets and seeking new customers. Continuous renewal can be achieved through design expertise and by giving up old operational models, while profit capabilities and efficiency are improved by renewing production and manufacturing. 

 

 

VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseVTT Impulse
Bioeconomy and circular economyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Bioeconomy-and-circular-economy.aspxBioeconomy and circular economy
Low carbon energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Low-carbon-energy.aspxLow carbon energy
Smart industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Smart-industry.aspxSmart industry
Business developmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-development.aspxBusiness development
Health and wellbeinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-and-wellbeing.aspxHealth and wellbeing
Smart Citieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Smart-Cities.aspxSmart Cities
Maintenance support for astronautshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Maintenance-support-for-astronauts.aspxMaintenance support for astronauts
Converting rags to design clotheshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Converting-rags-to-design-clothes.aspxConverting rags to design clothes
Designers needed in printed technologyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Designers-needed-in-printed-technology.aspxDesigners needed in printed technology
Traceable data will accelerate the circulation of materialshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Traceable-data-will-accelerate-the-circulation-of-materials.aspxTraceable data will accelerate the circulation of materials
Impulse 2/2014https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2014.aspxImpulse 2/2014
A machine is more humanehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-machine-is-more-humane.aspxA machine is more humane
Renewing industrial practices creates a new competitive edgehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Renewing-industrial-practices-creates-a-new-competitive-edge.aspxRenewing industrial practices creates a new competitive edge
Senior Scientist Jukka Hemila, VTT: From technology hype to customer understandinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Senior-Scientist-Jukka-Hemila-VTT-From-technology-hype-to-customer-understanding.aspxSenior Scientist Jukka Hemila, VTT: From technology hype to customer understanding
Sensor of tomorrowhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sensor-of-tomorrow.aspxSensor of tomorrow
Cyber security modelled on the vaccination programmehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cyber-security-modelled-on-the-vaccination-programme.aspxCyber security modelled on the vaccination programme
Cyber security requires more than just technological competenceshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cyber-security-requires-more-than-just-technological-competences.aspxCyber security requires more than just technological competences
Controlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materialshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Controlling-friction-and-greenhouse-emissions-by-digitalising-materials.aspxControlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materials
Towards bioeconomy with the power of woodhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-bioeconomy-with-the-power-of-wood.aspxTowards bioeconomy with the power of wood
The FinnCERES competence centre will take the materials bioeconomy to a new levelhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-FinnCERES-competence-centre-will-take-the-materials-bioeconomy-to-a-new-level.aspxThe FinnCERES competence centre will take the materials bioeconomy to a new level
From a fishing port to a model district for smart energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-a-fishing-port-to-a-model-district-for-smart-energy.aspxFrom a fishing port to a model district for smart energy
Impulse 2/2016https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2016.aspxImpulse 2/2016
Passion spurs researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/passion-spurs-research.aspxPassion spurs research
There is no better innovation model in the worldhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/There-is-no-better-innovation-model-in-the-world.aspxThere is no better innovation model in the world
Matti Apunen: A problem called excellencehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Matti-Apunen-A-problem-called-excellence.aspxMatti Apunen: A problem called excellence
Digital societyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digital-society.aspxDigital society
It will soon be possible to monitor your body’s fluid balance with a perspiration meterhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/It-will-soon-be-possible-to-monitor-your-body’s-fluid-balance-with-a-perspiration-meter.aspxIt will soon be possible to monitor your body’s fluid balance with a perspiration meter
Using nuclear power to mitigate climate changehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-nuclear-power-to-mitigate-climate-change.aspxUsing nuclear power to mitigate climate change
Autonomous systems are proliferating rapidly in industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Autonomous-systems-are-proliferating-rapidly-in-industry.aspxAutonomous systems are proliferating rapidly in industry
Risk management in an increasingly complex worldhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Risk-management-in-an-increasingly-complex-world.aspxRisk management in an increasingly complex world
Minima Processor LTD – World record in energy efficiency accelerates development of IoThttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Minima-Processor-LTD-World-record-in-energy-efficiency-accelerates-development-of-IoT.aspxMinima Processor LTD – World record in energy efficiency accelerates development of IoT
Open-source infrastructure in product development for the electromechanical industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Open-source-infrastructure-in-product-development-for-the-electromechanical-industry.aspxOpen-source infrastructure in product development for the electromechanical industry
Transport gets smarthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Transport-gets-smart.aspxTransport gets smart
Technology enables good urban livinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Technology-enables-good-urban-living.aspxTechnology enables good urban living
New materials developed from plantshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/New-materials-developed-from-plants.aspxNew materials developed from plants
Road safety to a new level using 5Ghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Road-safety-to-a-new-level-using-5G.aspxRoad safety to a new level using 5G
Demand for energy storage is growing rapidlyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Demand-for-energy-storage-is-growing-rapidly.aspxDemand for energy storage is growing rapidly
The future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Ouluhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-future-5G-network-proceeds-to-test-phase-in-Oulu.aspxThe future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Oulu
Posiva is a pioneer in nuclear waste managementhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Posiva-is-a-pioneer-in-nuclear-waste-management.aspxPosiva is a pioneer in nuclear waste management
Digitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digitalisation-of-the-shipping-industry-requires-cutting-edge-research.aspxDigitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge research
Finland provides community housing solutions for Namibiahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-provides-community-housing-solutions-for-Namibia.aspxFinland provides community housing solutions for Namibia
Salofa creates rapid tests for monitoring health and the environmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Salofa-creates-rapid-tests-for-monitoring-health-and-the-environment.aspxSalofa creates rapid tests for monitoring health and the environment
The story of Finlandhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-story-of-Finland.aspxThe story of Finland
We must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/We-must-maintain-Finland-as-an-attractive-target-for-investment.aspxWe must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investment
Impulse 2/2017https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2017.aspxImpulse 2/2017
Intelligence for machineshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligence-for-machines.aspxIntelligence for machines
Finland seeking top spot in application of artificial intelligence (AI)https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-seeking-top-spot-in-application-of-artificial-intelligence-AI.aspxFinland seeking top spot in application of artificial intelligence (AI)
Finnish wheels will keep on turninghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finnish-wheels-will-keep-on-turning.aspxFinnish wheels will keep on turning
Sustainability and acceptability for mining operationshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sustainability-and-acceptability-for-mining-operations.aspxSustainability and acceptability for mining operations