Hartwall’s future radar identifies and helps fill organisational gaps before they emerge


Today’s fast-paced business environment demands a proactive business strategy that anticipates and quickly responds to future changes. In order to futureproof their business, Hartwall used the VTT FutureRadar tool to identify emerging organisational gaps and the technology to fill them.

Key facts

Increased proactivity

Improved preparedness for future needs and changes

Concrete roadmap for next steps

Hartwall is one of the leading beverage companies in Finland. With a history dating back to the 1830s, a turnover of 350 million euros and approximately 700 employees, Hartwall is a household name in Finland.  

The company produces some of the most popular alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments in the country and exports them around the world through its parent company, Royal Unibrew.

To expedite the shift from a reactive to a more proactive business strategy, Hartwall teamed up with VTT in early 2019.

A deeper understanding creates proactivity

In a world where whole industries are subject to transform significantly in months rather than years, a business that merely reacts to the latest technological or consumer behaviour trends is always too late.

Hartwall had a solid understanding of the state of the beverage industry. However, they were lacking visibility into how emerging technologies might affect the field, how the technologies could be harnessed or how prepared Hartwall was for changes in general.

Hartwall wanted to identify and dig deep into the possible gaps of tomorrow. The goal was to map the future technologies that can be turned into concrete use cases and plan for their potential implementation.

Identifying emerging technologies and organisational gaps requires systematic and extensive research – not just workshops. It soon became clear that their in-house teams didn’t have the time or resources for the task.

VTT understood our business needs from the start.
Elisa Tiilimäki, Insight Specialist, Hartwall

A tailor-made roadmap for the future

To identify gaps and to find effective solutions for filling them, Hartwall turned to VTT FutureRadar.

In VTT FutureRadar, a tailored team of VTT experts builds growth scenarios and visions supported by roadmaps for their implementation. The approach is multidisciplinary and specified individually for each industry and case.

Hartwall asked VTT to present an ambitious vision of the future, not just quick fixes.

The process had four phases:

  1. VTT conducted a comprehensive mapping of Hartwall’s organisation and the business areas vulnerable to upcoming changes.
  2. VTT independently researched potential technologies and solutions using the know-how of VTT’s subject matter specialists, data mining, machine-learning and expert interviews.
  3. The identified technologies and solutions were analysed in workshops with Hartwall. The goal was to analyse the business impact of each technology and solution.
  4. The results of the workshops were refined into a concrete roadmap for future development.

The outcome is a technology radar that showcases 60 technologies relevant to Hartwall and examples of their implementation.

The radar also opens future scenarios where the business impact of technologies and their applications is shown in various contexts.

The approach of the VTT expert team wasn’t too technical. They could turn intricate concepts into tangible tools everyone could understand.
Elisa Tiilimäki

Making the right moves at the right time

The VTT FutureRadar project has enabled Hartwall to move towards a proactive business strategy.

The company now has a roadmap and concrete strategic tools and processes to tackle complex changes before they occur.

The scenarios presented in the radar provide information about future needs. Hartwall can now prioritise its operations in accordance with changes in the market.

The project has also increased Hartwall’s own capabilities to shape the future.

Embracing the culture of experimentation encourages the development of new innovations and enables an agile approach to change. Predicting the business environment and analysing emerging technologies are now integral parts of Hartwall’s operation.

Room for specialisation

The VTT FutureRadar project is now shifting from the future scenario stage to a more functional level.

The goal is to support Hartwall in successfully implementing the new technologies to various business areas. The implementation can vary significantly from one department to the next.

Elisa Tiilimäki says: “We headed straight for concrete scenarios that could be realised. Good communication and VTT’s brilliant ability to make complex scenarios and technologies understandable resulted in a successful and productive project that still continues.”

Antti Kojola
Antti Kojola
Solution Sales Lead, Foresight and Data Economy
Pauli Komonen
Pauli Komonen
Our vision beyond 2030

Digitalisation brings about new potential and innovations for societies and businesses.