Hanna Ahopelto Co-operation for innovation: A descriptive foresight

Hanna Ahopelto Co-operation for innovation: A descriptive foresight
Hanna Ahopelto
Co-operation for innovation: A descriptive foresight
study for a regional industry cluster in the Järviseutu
area
Järvi-Pohjanmaan Yrityspalvelu Oy
Thesis
Spring 2016
Seinäjoki Business School
International Business Management
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SEINÄJOKI UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES
Thesis Abstract
Faculty: School of Business and Culture
Degree programme: Master of Business Administration, International Business
Management
Specialisation: International Business Management
Author: Hanna Ahopelto
Title of thesis: Co-operation for innovation: A descriptive foresight study for a
regional industry cluster in the Järviseutu area
Supervisor: Kirsti Sorama
Year: 2016
Pages: 70
Number of appendices: 1
The thesis represents a foresight process which recognizes future change drivers
influencing businesses and future customer behavior in certain industries during
the next ten years. These change drivers motivate actors to consolidate their
business networks in order to maintain their competitive advantage. As a
theoretical background, the study uses the combination of the Cluster Foresight
Model (2012), introduced by Sorama, based on the use of cluster-specific foresight
information for recognizing future knowledge needs, and the Continuous Strategy
Process (2015), also represented by Sorama, which visualizes the opportunities of
use of foresight information in the strategic work of businesses and organizations.
The present study applies the aforementioned models for recognizing future
customer needs and joint business opportunities for an industrial cluster.
The study was executed using a qualitative approach. The subject of the study
was a regional cluster of manufacturing industries in the construction sector,
chosen based on the preferences of the commissioner of the study. The Cluster
Foresight Model was used in the recognition of future change drivers and their
implications, and the methods used were desk study and semi-structured theme
interviews. The selected change drivers were automation and robotics, service
economy, cyber safety, sharing economy, emphasis on well-being, shift in power
relations, circular economy, and the decrease of natural resources. The
recommendations made through the implications were the importance of renewing
the regional image by public and private service offerings and enhancing the
resource efficiency of businesses through cooperative networks for maintaining
their competitive advantage. As opportunities for joint business activities, the study
suggests the creation of (joint) service offerings, joint marketing and demand
creation, foresight knowledge-oriented R&D, flexible production, and the formation
of a resource ecosystem.
Keywords: foresight, future, change drivers, cluster, housing, customer,
digitalization, values, ecology
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SEINÄJOEN AMMATTIKORKEAKOULU
Opinnäytetyön tiivistelmä
Koulutusyksikkö: Liiketalous ja kulttuuri
Koulutusohjelma: International Business Management
Suuntautumisvaihtoehto: International Business Management
Tekijä: Hanna Ahopelto
Työn nimi: Co-operation for innovation: A descriptive foresight study for a regional
industry cluster in the Järviseutu area
Ohjaaja: Kirsti Sorama
Vuosi: 2016
Sivumäärä: 70
Liitteiden lukumäärä: 1
Tämä opinnäytetyö kuvaa ennakointiprosessin, jossa tunnistettiin ne
tulevaisuuden
muutosajurit,
jotka
vaikuttavat
tiettyjen
teollisuusalojen
liiketoimintaan ja asiakaskäyttäytymiseen kymmenen vuoden aikajänteellä, ja
joiden vaikutuksesta toimijoiden on syytä tiivistää yhteistyöverkostojaan
kilpailukykynsä säilyttämiseksi. Tutkimuksen teoreettisena viitekehyksenä
käytetään Soraman kehittämää klusteriennakointimallia (2012), joka alun perin
pohjautuu
klusterikohtaisen
ennakointitiedon
käyttöön
tulevaisuuden
oppimistarpeiden tunnistamiseksi, sekä Soraman kuvausta jatkuvasta
strategiaprosessista
(2015),
joka
visualisoi
ennakointitiedon
hyödyntämismahdollisuudet yritysten ja organisaatioiden strategiatyössä. Tässä
opinnäytteessä
malleja
sovelletaan
teollisuusklusterin
tulevaisuuden
asiakastarpeiden tunnistamiseksi sekä yhteisten liiketoimintamahdollisuuksien
löytämiseksi.
Tutkimus toteutettiin kvalitatiivisena tutkimuksena. Työn tilaajan intresseihin
pohjautuen tutkimuksen kohteeksi valikoitui alueellinen rakentamiseen liittyvien
teollisuudenalojen klusteri, ja muutosajureiden sekä niiden vaikutusten
tunnistaminen
toteutettiin
klusteriennakointimallin
mukaisesti
sekä
työpöytätutkimuksen menetetelmin että puolistrukturoitua teemahaastattelua
käyttäen. Muutosajureiksi valittiin automatisaatio ja robotiikka, palvelutalous,
kyberturvallisuus, jakamistalous, hyvinvoinnin korostuminen, valtasuhteiden
siirtyminen, kiertotalous ja vähenevät luonnonvarat. Näiden muutosajureiden
vaikutusten myötä todettiin, että alueen kilpailukyvyn säilyttämiseksi on tärkeää
uudistaa alueen imagoa sekä julkisen että yksityisen palvelutarjonnan kautta ja
parantaa yritysten resurssitehokkuutta yhteistyöverkostojen avulla. Yhteisinä
liiketoimintamahdollisuuksina ehdotettiinkin (yhteisen) palvelutuotteen luomista,
yhteisiä
markkinointiaktiviteetteja
sekä
tarpeenluontia,
ennakointitiedon
hyödyntämistä
tuotekehityksessä,
tuotannon
joustavuutta
sekä
resurssiekosysteemin muodostamista.
Avainsanat: Ennakointi, tulevaisuus, muutosajurit, klusteri, asuminen, asiakas,
digitalisaatio, arvot, ekologisuus
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Thesis Abstract.................................................................................... 2
Opinnäytetyön tiivistelmä ..................................................................... 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS ...................................................................... 4
Tables and figures ............................................................................... 6
1 PREFACE ....................................................................................... 7
1.1 The Research Process ...................................................................................7
1.2 Backround .......................................................................................................8
1.3 Aims of the Study ...........................................................................................9
1.4 Main Questions............................................................................................... 9
1.5 Study Delimitations .......................................................................................10
1.6 Research Methodology ................................................................................10
1.7 Structure of the Thesis .................................................................................10
2 FORESIGHT, THE CLUSTER FORESIGHT MODEL AND THE
CONTINUOUS STRATEGY PROCESS........................................ 12
2.1 Future, Change and Stability .......................................................................12
2.2 Foresight .......................................................................................................12
2.2.1 Foresight Motivation ..........................................................................13
2.2.2 Foresight Methods .............................................................................14
2.3 The Cluster Foresight Model ........................................................................17
2.3.1 Definition and Delimitation of the Cluster ..........................................18
2.3.2 Foresight Information Identification and Utilization ...........................22
2.3.3 Future Change Drivers Recognition and Definition ..........................23
2.3.4 Cluster Future Needs Recognition and Analysis .............................. 24
2.3.5 The Continuous Strategy Process ....................................................25
3 CLUSTER FORESIGHT FOR THE JÄRVISEUTU REGION
INDUSTRY CLUSTER .................................................................. 27
3.1 Definition and Delimitation of the Cluster ....................................................27
3.1.1 The Järviseutu Region .......................................................................27
3.1.2 The Key Industries and the Key Actors.............................................30
3.1.3 The Key Industries Overview ............................................................31
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3.2 Foresight Information Identification and Utilization .....................................33
3.3 Future Change Drivers Recognition and Definition .....................................35
3.3.1 Automation and Robotics ..................................................................39
3.3.2 Service Economy ...............................................................................40
3.3.3 Cyber Safety ......................................................................................41
3.3.4 Sharing Economy...............................................................................41
3.3.5 Emphasis on Well-being ....................................................................42
3.3.6 The Shift in Power Relations ............................................................. 43
3.3.7 Circular Economy...............................................................................44
3.3.8 The Decrease of Natural Resources .................................................44
3.3.9 Key Actor Interviews ..........................................................................45
3.4 The Cluster’s Future Recognition and Analysis ..........................................54
3.4.1 The Futures Wheel and the PESTEL Analysis .................................54
3.4.2 The Opportunities and Threats Analysis ...........................................58
3.4.3 The Future Customer and Housing in 2025......................................59
3.4.4 The Ten-year Future Outlook for the Building Product Industries in
the Area and The Future Change Drivers that Force the Formation of
a Cluster for Innovative Practices Meeting the Future Customer
Demands ............................................................................................60
4 RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................. 62
5 CONCLUSION .............................................................................. 64
BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................ 65
APPENDICES ................................................................................... 71
6
Tables and figures
Figure 1. The Research process. ............................................................................... 8
Figure 2. The relations between megatrends, trends and rising issues (weak
signals). (Hiltunen 2012.) ......................................................................................... 15
Figure 3. The Cluster foresight process according to Sorama (2012.) Edited. ...... 18
Figure 4. The Porter’s ”Diamond”. (Porter 1998.).................................................... 20
Figure 5. Aspects to a cluster examination according to Ala-Kojola. (Sorama
2012.) ........................................................................................................................ 21
Figure 6. The Futures wheel. (Sorama 2012.) ........................................................ 24
Figure 7. The continuous strategy process according to Sorama (2015.
Unpublished). Edited. ............................................................................................... 25
Figure 8. Järviseutu sub-regional unit. (Enterprise Finland.) .................................. 28
Figure 9. The main manufacturing industries and services in the Järviseutu area. 29
Figure 10. The construction cluster and overlapping industrial clusters. ............... 31
Figure 11. The PESTEL analysis. (Vuorinen 2013.) Edited. ................................... 36
Figure 12. The PESTEL analysis of the digitalization. ............................................ 37
Figure 13. The PESTEL analysis of the changes of values. ................................... 38
Figure 14. The PESTEL analysis of the ecology. .................................................... 38
Figure 15. The Futures wheel. (Hiltunen 2012). Edited. ......................................... 55
Figure 16. The Futures wheel – PESTEL mix. ........................................................ 56
Table 1. Fields of operation in industry by turnover EUR 1,000 in South
Ostrobothnia 2013. (Statistics Finland, 2015.) ........................................................ 29
Table 2. The opportunities and threaths analysis. .................................................. 59
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1 PREFACE
The idea of the thesis started with a discussion with Mrs. Kirsti Sorama (Dr. Econ.
Sc. and a Principal lecturer in Seinäjoki Business School) in the spring of 2014.
Sorama had recently published the Cluster Foresight Model tested in various
industries with a practical outcome. The method appeared interesting, and the fact
that the method had not been used in the manufacturing industries in the
Järviseutu area ensured the conduction of the thesis by applying the Cluster
Foresight Model to the region for its benefit. At the time, Järvi-Pohjanmaan
Yrityspalvelu Oy, a local trades division, was implementing an Innovation pilot
project for a search of innovative business opportunities for the companies in the
area. After contacting the Project Manager Maarit Metsälä the thesis started to
seek its form.
1.1
The Research Process
The Research plan got accepted by the thesis supervisor, Mrs. Sorama as well as
the Dean at the end of spring 2014. The following figure (Figure 1.) demonstrates
the research process step by step, in which the left side presents the project
planning and subject exploring as the right side illustrates the proceeding of the
empirical research. The interviews were executed in the fall 2015 and the final
report was handed over in the spring 2016.
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Figure 1. The Research process.
1.2
Backround
Järviseutu sub-regional unit, the cities of Alajärvi, Evijärvi, Lappajärvi, Soini and
Vimpeli in South Ostrobothnia, has a strong geographical locus on building
product industries, such as aluminum and steel, timber and processed wood,
stone, rubber, plastic and decorative products, e.g. carpets. According to Palomäki
(2012, 2-3), increase of the processing degree is important for the development of
the businesses and will be reached by the addition of the innovation and research
and development competence within the companies through innovative cooperation and networks. The study will focus on recognizing the future change
drivers which will affect to the building product customer needs and new business
opportunities and thus enable the growth of the cluster, its actors and the area.
The construction industry is in turbulence since the economic downturn and the
high prices of the raw materials, as well as the business climate in general as a
result of the globalization, the ecological changes and the technological revolution.
9
Industries need to re-evaluate the ways of doing business, the products and the
processes, to satisfy the environmental demands suggested by Palomäki (2012,
4), which are the efficiency of the use of materials and energy in addition to
material recycling and reuse. The region requires the increase of the business
competitiveness which is reachable via cross-industrial co-operation. The thesis
will provide information on future changes in the industries and the customer
demands in order to enable the recognition of new business opportunities meeting
the needs and thus giving a basis for further research and development of cooperation. As said by Palomäki (2012, 2), the companies share the intention and
are committed to welcome new ideas for business development through networks.
The sponsor of the thesis is the local cities’ and business association JärviPohjanmaan Yrityspalvelu Oy, consisting of the Alajärvi, Vimpeli and Soini cities,
22 local companies and a bank. (Järvi-Pohjanmaan Yrityspalvelu Oy, 2014).
1.3
Aims of the Study
The target of the thesis is to produce a descriptive study of a regional cluster for
Järvi-Pohjanmaan Yrityspalvelu Oy, aiming to discover the future change drivers in
customer demands that could be fulfilled by the formation of a cluster and lead to
further research of innovative businesses in construction and the building product
industries and hence increase the competitiveness of the local companies at
issue.
The idea of the thesis is to examine and foresee the future changes in ten years
from the perspective of construction, the building product industries and their
business environment, for the recognition of changes in customer demands which
could create new innovative opportunities and thus be fulfilled by having potential
for further research and development.
1.4
Main Questions
What is the ten-year future outlook for the building product industries in the area?
How are the future customer and housing like in 2025? What is / are the change
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driver(s) that force the formation of a cluster for innovative practices meeting the
future customer demands?
1.5
Study Delimitations
The study focuses on the examination of the future trends and the recognition of
the future customer needs by the perspective of a regional cluster in the Järviseutu
area and by the use of foresight methods, the Cluster Foresight Model (Sorama
2012) and the stages of the Continuous Strategy Process (Sorama 2015). The
study will not suggest product innovations.
1.6
Research Methodology
The research is executed with anticipatory methods, Sorama’s Cluster Foresight
Model (2012), the Continuous Strategy Process representation (2015) and a use
of qualitative research methods including theme interviews and group work. The
Cluster Foresight Model comprises the definition and the delimitation of the
cluster, the identification of the future change drivers in the industries and the
general future view via utilization of the existing information. As the key actors of
the cluster are identified, interviewed and the outcome examined through a focus
group work, the results analyzed using the stages of the Continuous Strategy
Process representation clarify the visions of the cluster’s future with the regional
perspective, enabling further research depending on the results.
1.7
Structure of the Thesis
The thesis is structured from a theoretical framework in Chapter 2, presenting
future and foresight studies and methodology, and the Cluster Foresight Model
(Sorama 2012) including Michael J. Porter’s Five Forces Model (1998), and the
Continuous Strategy Process (Sorama 2015), both used in the execution of the
empirical research part of the study in Chapter 3. The empirical research proceeds
following the Cluster Foresight Model introducing the area, its industries and the
11
cluster, the foresight information and the identified and defined future change
drivers, the interview, the interview analyses and the recognized future for the
cluster. Chapter 4 consists of the recommendations for the cluster based on the
research findings. Chapter 5 draws the conclusions of the research by reflecting
the models’ applicability in the region and the research questions, the process
itself and the study learnings. The theme interview form is represented in the
Appendices part.
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2 FORESIGHT, THE CLUSTER FORESIGHT MODEL AND THE
CONTINUOUS STRATEGY PROCESS
2.1
Future, Change and Stability
Rubin, in Topi Tulevaisuudentutkimuksen oppimateriaali, describes the future to
be a complex mix and a consequence of an extensive variety of occurrences
which we know nothing definite of, excluding the nature laws. It is said to consist of
five components and their interrelations: incidents, trends, emerging phenomena,
future outlooks and action. Mannermaa proposes the future to be seen, not as a
singular “Future”, but as a group of possible futures. (Mannermaa 1999, 17, 19,
Topi Tulevaisuudentutkimuksen oppimateriaali.)
Change is said to be the only thing that is permanent, and yet, stability seems to
be as permanent as change. According to Hiltunen, change takes place since the
atypical behavior of numerous people, and through the technological development
with increasing speed. Basic human needs remain the same, though and maintain
stability. Challenge of the futures research is to recognize the change, evaluate
the speed or the shift of the direction of the change, and to identify the stabilities.
(Hiltunen 2012, 22, 43, 76-77.)
2.2
Foresight
Foresight (a part of futures research) is multi-scientific anticipation of the future,
including, as Heinonen states, the possible, the probable and the desired future
outlooks. Mannermaa clarifies the object of the futures research being “the human
and his systems; technology, economy and society”, in “interactive complex”.
Therefore the anticipation is considered challenging; the high-quality research
requires a massive set of information in both, different time- and different area
dimensions, writes Sorama. (Heinonen 2006, 9, Mannermaa 1999, 23, Sorama
2012, 8.)
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Heinonen & Daldoss separate the concepts of the foresight and the forecast as
follows: seeing an occurrence before it realizes differs it from the forecast, which
draws future conclusions from the present. They suggest the main question of
foresight to be “How to think about the problem?”. Sorama adds the foresight not
to be a prediction of the future since the uncertainty of the upcoming, but being an
anticipation of the future occurrences and phenomena. (Heinonen 2006, 25,
Sorama 2012, 7.)
Hiltunen recognizes three essential tasks of futures thinking to be the foresight, the
innovation and the communication. Whereas foresight guides the observation and
action towards the future changes, innovation urges activity in creating the
desirable future and communication attracts interest, creates new and encourages
interaction. (Hiltunen 2012, 18-19)
2.2.1
Foresight Motivation
The development of the societies can be observed as different cycles or phases. A
systematic futures research enables the identification and the value recognition of
the social and economic impacts of occurrences as well as the chain of events.
Heinonen argues the foresight to give an opportunity to influence the future, which
is seen as the main motivation, as well as a possibility to sketch and attempt to
achieve the desired future. Mannermaa turns the idea to sketching the undesirable
future development as well, to avoid its realization. (Heinonen 2006, 9,
Mannermaa 1999, 20, 23.)
In the context of corporate strategic planning, the decisions traditionally base on
probabilities whereas foresight, in comparison, additionally encourages to
alternative thinking, states Vuorinen. The combination of futures thinking and
understanding the changing operational environment enables the innovativeness
and thus a competitive advantage, Heinonen adds. Based on an EU research in
2002 conducted by Patrick Becker, Hiltunen lists various motives for continuous
corporate
foresight:
long-term
world
and
customer
views,
proactive
innovativeness, surprises elimination, open communication and future changes
14
evaluation for strategy processes. (Heinonen 2006, 26, Hiltunen 2012, 243-244,
Vuorinen 2013, 120.)
2.2.2
Foresight Methods
Foresight research can be executed either with quantitative or qualitative research
methods. With quantitative methods, the required data is more numeric and the
quantities enable the research validity, opposite to qualitative methods that are
used when the simple indicators do not serve the purpose of, e.g. important trends
or development flows, and when the data does not yet exist. (Sorama 2012, 1011) The following paragraphs introduce the foresight methods briefly.
Anticipative mindset. Sorama et al. (2013, 11) define an anticipative mindset to
be, rather than a method, a conscious way to respond to and evaluate changes in
the operational environment and their background influence, and thus able to be
actively improved. It focuses on challenging the routines and encourages
questioning the known as well as bringing up new ideas and behavior.
Operational environment analyses. “Environmental scanning”, or “futures
scanning”, as it is called as well, is a crucial part of a futures research process,
apart from being a method itself. The Finnish National Board of Education defines
environmental
scanning
as
“observation
and
understanding
of
different
phenomena and their changes, from the future consequence perspective of
events, decisions and choices”. The changes in the operational environment are
identified and analyzed via the basic foresight concepts: megatrends, trends, weak
signals, wild cards and their driving forces. For operational environment analyses
Sorama et al. suggest statistics, interviews, magazines, publications and the
Delphi Method, for example, being suitable sources. (The FNBE, 22, Sorama et al.
2013, 11, Topi Tulevaisuustutkimuksen oppimateriaali.)
Hiltunen explains the idea as follows: the broad changes comprised of various
trends are megatrends. Trends, for one, are mixtures of rising phenomena, which
are observed via weak signals. Wild cards, black swans (Taleb) and X-events
(Wilenius & Kurki) share the idea of sudden changes with wide-ranging
15
implications. Stabilities (invariants), however, barely change. (Hiltunen 2012, 76,
157-158, Wilenius & Kurki 2012, 33.) The relations between megatrends, trends
and weak signals are visualized in the following figure by Hiltunen (Figure 2.).
Figure 2. The relations between megatrends, trends and rising issues (weak
signals). (Hiltunen 2012.)
The concept of megatrends was first introduced by the Futurist John Naisbitt in the
1980’s and is presently one of the essential concepts in foresight. A megatrend is
a slowly developing phenomenon representational to present, having a broad
influence on matters for certain time, “seven to ten years or so” (Naisbitt), and is
widely recognizable. Therefore, a megatrend has by historical means an
assumption for customary continuum. An example of a megatrend would be the
climate change. Conversely to a megatrend, the comparable future continuum of a
trend is uncertain. Yet it sets the direction for a possible significant change. In
foresight, one of the basic trend categorizations is STEEP Analysis (or
PESTE/PESTEL), where S = Social, T = Technological, E = Economic, E =
Environmental, P = Political, L = Legal, helping the observation of the changes in
the operational environment. An example of a trend, writes Hiltunen, would be the
rewarded recyclability of consumer goods. (Hiltunen 2012, 78-80, 94-97.
Opetushallitus, 22, Sorama 2012, 100.)
The identification of the rising issues, weak signals, is one of the most
troublesome and hence one of the most powerful parts of the futures research, as
the belief of gaining an edge towards rising events by an early reaction, states
16
Mannermaa. In comparison to trends, weak signals lack history to reflect on.
Sorama adds them to seem faint, surprising and strange, yet having the possibility
to become the “Next Big Thing”. (Mannermaa 1999, 87, Sorama 2012, 12.)
The driving forces, “drivers” describe the beliefs, issues and common suppositions
of the time, and are therefore tightly connected to values, attitudes and
appreciations. They guide decision making at conscious and subconscious levels
without having a clear direction on their own. (Topi Tulevaisuudentutkimuksen
oppimateriaali.)
Delphi method. The Delphi method is one of a few methods particularly
developed for futures research. It is a survey, where the information is gathered
anonymously using a structured or a semi-structured questionnaire. The idea of
the method is to demonstrate an outcome representing the time’s experts’ future
images rather than the actual accuracy of the results
or a statistical
representativeness. (Mannermaa 1999, 146, 148, Sorama et al. 2013, 12.)
Scenarios. Scenarios are visions of alternative futures at the end of logical chains
of events, and are drawn as a result of futures research. The idea, in addition to
the visualization of possible desired, undesired, likely or unlikely outcomes, is to
envision the path between present and the future. (Mannermaa 1999, 57.)
The Future Workshop method and other team work methods. Sorama et al.
describe the Future Workshop method as well as other comparable methods, to
base on gathering key actors of the subject area to structured discussion, for a
composition of an overall picture. Additionally, the workshops enable e.g.
innovation, problem solving and spread of knowledge. (2013, 12.)
Time series and mathematical methods. According to Sorama et al., there are
multiple numeric methods in use offering accurate quantitative data of the history.
However, the qualitative information affecting the possible changes is excluded in
the statistics. With the acknowledgement, they provide usable bases on foresight.
(2013, 12.)
17
2.3
The Cluster Foresight Model
The cluster foresight model is introduced by Sorama in the research for
anticipating the future knowledge needs by cluster foresight. The challenges of the
Finnish competitiveness from the aspect of the work life and the operational
environment, such as globalization, the economic structure changes and ageing,
force the universities and businesses to act together for the identification of the
knowledge and skill needs in the future work life. The model is developed for
continuous use primarily in the universities of applied sciences for anticipating the
future knowledge needs in a specific cluster for the following five to ten years.
(Sorama 2012, 7.)
Sorama (2012, 15) proposes the model of cluster foresight which incorporates four
stages: the definition and delimitation of the cluster, the identification and
utilization of the existing knowledge of the future change drivers, the recognition
and definition of the future and the recognition and analysis of the cluster future
needs. The following figure demonstrates the process (Figure 3.).
18
Figure 3. The Cluster foresight process according to Sorama (2012.) Edited.
2.3.1
Definition and Delimitation of the Cluster
Sorama (2012, 19) presents the cluster definition and delimitation model by Lasse
Ala-Kojola. The term “cluster” was first introduced by Michael E. Porter in 1990
and now has several clarifications throughout the literature. Porter defines a
cluster (2003, 562) being ”a geographically proximate group of interrelated
companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular
field, linked by externalities of various types.” Hence, a cluster is a locus of skills
and knowledge between its actors crossing the traditional lines of industries for
mutual benefit and synergy. Porter adds the “knowledge spillovers” inside the
cluster affecting innovation and heightening performance.
According to Sorama, the cluster structure bases on the approach of the product
value network which consolidates the suppliers and the organizations producing
goods or services to the customer. The aspect culminates in the key product;
19
defining the key products leads to the identification of the main customer
businesses that create the demand conditions for the cluster. Therefore, when
defining a cluster, Sorama recommends of using Porter’s “Diamond” model and
focusing on the product. (2012, 21.)
Porter’s Five Forces. Based on his studies of different nations and their
competitive advantage, Porter presents the noted Five Forces, or the “Diamond”
Model setting the grounds for a cluster examination. The “Diamond” gathers four
elements which individually and in interaction influence a competitive environment
and advantage of a business: factor conditions, demand conditions, related and
supporting industries and firm strategy, structure and rivalry. (Porter 1998, 71.)
The factor conditions are the competition inputs: labor, infrastructure, capital,
arable land and natural resources. The demand conditions compose of the
domestic demand by the abilities of a business to perceive, interpret and react to
the home customer needs. The related and supporting industries’ national
presence and international competitiveness improve the competitive advantage.
The firm strategy, structure and rivalry comprise the formation, organization and
management of a business together with the nature of home market competition.
(Porter 1998, 73-74, 86, 100, 107.)
Porter acknowledges two additional determinants to affect the national competitive
advantage; the chance and the government. Chance events, such as inventions,
world financial state occurrences or wars, may change the competitive positioning
of the business by disruptions. The government’s politics, in addition, affects the
business’s status in the international competition by all four elements via laws and
regulations. The Porter’s Diamond is presented in the following figure (Figure 4.).
(Porter 1998, 124, 126-128.)
20
Figure 4. The Porter’s ”Diamond”. (Porter 1998.)
Cluster delimitation. Sorama states, according to Jacobs & De Man (1996), that
there are six perspectives to define clusters: geographical, horizontal, vertical,
lateral, technological and focal. Ala-Kojola (2009) presents the aspects in the
following figure (Figure 5.).
21
Figure 5. Aspects to a cluster examination according to Ala-Kojola.
(Sorama 2012.)
A geographical cluster is a network of companies that are situated geographically
close to each other and share the information and the work efficiently by
specialization. A horizontal cluster considers the traditional thinking of sectors;
every actor of the value chain, regardless of the field of operation, is a part of an
ensemble serving a certain industry or business, whereas a vertical cluster
combines the parts of the consecutive production process phases to an entity,
aiming to e.g. add value to the customer by refining the raw material. A lateral
cluster shares the resources and the capacity between the branches for gaining
the most economically optimized outcome, and a technological cluster employs
the technology, such as the information technology, between industries. A focal
cluster acts around a specific operator, e.g. a business, a university, a research
center or a family. (Sorama 2012, 20-21.)
The cluster definitions may often be unified, which is somewhat aspired. According
to Ala-Kojola (2009), the delimitation of a cluster, however, bases on a subjective
perception and depends on the objectives to be reached by the delimitation. A
cluster may overlap other clusters (e.g. the construction cluster and the forest
22
cluster) thus creating an exceptionally complex entity, which Sorama suggests to
be examined from the perspectives independently. Hence, the definition and the
delimitation of the cluster are reasonable yet the explicit logic is required. For the
recognition of the key industries and actors, Virtanen and Hernesniemi advice to
take notice of the turnover and volumes between the cluster’s actors in the
delimitation process via input – output analysis, for example. Sorama adds
network charts to be helpful. (Sorama 2012, 20, 22, 92.)
2.3.2
Foresight Information Identification and Utilization
As Sorama suggests, the recognition and the utilization of existing foresight
information sources takes place during the whole foresight process as the
information constantly renews. Additionally, the information gathered in the
beginning usually needs specification. Sorama emphasizes the importance of
scanning the change factors in the operational environment and as a suggestion of
approach the trends, megatrends and weak signals identification is applicable
(2012, 32, 96.).
There are dozens of sources producing foresight information, megatrends and
trends lists. The identification of the essential sources is challenging, yet the
perspective of the cluster, its industries and key actors guides to the desired
direction. For the relevant and satisfactory foresight source material Sorama
recommends exploring diverse, both national and international foresight-oriented
organizations, governmental departments, academies, scholars, c ommunities etc.
also in both, universal and cluster level. Furthermore, the information produced by
different associations, businesses and hubs may indicate weak signals of a sort
and therefore advice in interpreting the information or discovering new
perspectives for the cluster’s future environment. What is there to notice, the focus
of the geographical cluster level information needs to be on the key actors’
customers’ operational environment. (Sorama 2012, 28, 95-96.)
As applicable sources, Sorama lists for example EU Technology Platforms which
connects business and research and publishes accurate strategy- and foresight
information in the most important industries in the EU, The Federation of Finnish
23
Technology Industries, The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and Strategic
Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK). Focusing on five to ten
key information sources is advisable. As the information starts to condense by not
applying anything new, the search for sources is complete. (Sorama 2012, 95-96.)
The observation of the future changes requires not only the recognition of events
and innovations but the understanding the social changes, their causes and
affects as well, states Wilenius & Kurki. However Sitra reminds that the objective
exploration of the social changes is nearly impossible, since the complexity and
the dynamics of the world, and as the phenomena are mixtures of trends and
events. Wilenius & Kurki therefore speak for abandoning the mental limitations of
current ways to produce and consume as well as understanding the full potential
of new technologies. (Sitra 2015, Wilenius & Kurki 2012, 13, 15.)
As the general view of the cluster and the future challenges in its environment
develops via the adopted information, the result is presented to the key actors in a
form of a theme interview for them to evaluate and comment on the future change
drivers in their organizational perspective. The theme interview outcome is
analyzed and the main change forces identified and yet repres ented as the
conversation themes in the next phase, a Focus Group workshop. The group work
takes the discussion to the actual cluster level for the purpose of the cluster future
key change drivers recognition, which sets guidelines for the desired actions for
the cluster and its organizations. (Sorama 2012, 95-96.)
2.3.3
Future Change Drivers Recognition and Definition
The future change drivers are the anticipated phenomena which are identified via
foresight information examination and are expected to have an impact on the
future’s formation. For the creation of an overall image of the cluster’s future
Sorama recommends using applicable sources, such as the key actors of the
cluster. After the identification of 6 - 10 cluster’s key change drivers, the findings
are analyzed separately using e.g. the PESTEL analysis to understand the
impacts of every driver. The ideas are presented to the key actors in the theme
interviews, which set the guidelines for the following Focus Group work. The aim
24
of the team work is to create the future views of the cluster; the mission, the actors
and their roles, as well as to evaluate the cluster’s future needs. The formed views
of the future are both written down and visualized using e.g. the Futures wheel as
a visualization tool presented in the following figure (Figure 6.), where the theme is
positioned at the center, the cluster’s mission to the inner circle, the actors to the
second circle, the roles to the third circle and the future needs evaluation to the
outermost circle. (Sorama 2012, 97, 99 - 100.)
Figure 6. The Futures wheel. (Sorama 2012.)
2.3.4
Cluster Future Needs Recognition and Analysis
Sorama suggests the cluster future needs recognition and analysis to begin with a
discussion of the future views created in the earlier stage of the cluster foresight
process. The future needs are observed intensively, prioritized and categorized
e.g. by answering the following questions:
– What does the particular need denote to the cluster?
– Does it connect with other recognized needs and the ongoing operations
in the cluster?
– Which needs are taken action?
25
– How the needs are fulfilled / should be fulfilled; does it concern
operations, people or something else?
Again, the results are analyzed using for example PESTEL and SWOT
(Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses, mind-mapping or a
futures wheel to build future scenarios for the cluster and its needs, in order to
create a strategy and the implementation plan. (Sorama 2012, 100-101.)
2.3.5
The Continuous Strategy Process
For organizations’ strategic update tool Sorama (2015) represents the continuous
strategy process, which links the future change drivers defined in the cluster
foresight process to the actual strategy process. The continuous strategy process
is introduced roughly in the following figure (Figure 7.) and in the following
paragraph.
Figure 7. The continuous strategy process according to Sorama (2015.
Unpublished). Edited.
As the cluster foresight model is designed primarily for educational development
purposes, the continuous strategy process representation clarifies the foresight
model’s usability in any organization in order to recognize additional business
26
possibilities through the future customer and future demand identification. Thus,
Sorama (2015, Metsälä 2014, 22) suggests the phase of the future change drivers
identification and utilization to conduct to strategy options planning from three
horizons: the business today, additions or substitutes for the business today and
options for the business in the future. Each of the horizons is examined in the time
range depending on the industry and the change velocity of the business
environment. In addition to PESTEL and SWOT analyses the model offers VRIO
(Valuable, Rare, Imitability and Organization, for the recognition of the physical,
economic, organizational and human resources adding competitive advantage)
and TOWS (advanced SWOT for strategic planning) matrixes introduced by
Vuorinen (2013, 90, 150-153) as useful tools for following the path to the strategy
options planning. The final phases of the model are the definition of the innovation
strategy, business and business functions strategy and the strategic goals of each
as well as the implementation plan for the first horizon. The outcome of the
process is the aim of the business, answering the questions “What do we want to
be?” and “Where are we going?” through the perspectives of the perceived world
view and the success factors of the business in the perceived world. The aim
guides the operations through the identification of the strategic goals, the goalreaching measurement and the executed projects.
27
3 CLUSTER FORESIGHT FOR THE JÄRVISEUTU REGION
INDUSTRY CLUSTER
3.1
Definition and Delimitation of the Cluster
The definition and the delimitation of the cluster were somewhat simple through
the co-operation with the local development organization Järvi-Pohjanmaan
Yrityspalvelu Oy JPYP, which set the regional interest guidelines in its operational
area, the cities of Alajärvi, Soini and Vimpeli. However, from the national
perspective, the region is recognized as the sub-regional unit Järviseutu
additionally including the cities of Evijärvi and Lappajärvi, which facilitates the
information relevance and was therefore chosen for the observation in the
research. Consequently, the cluster examination of the research concerned the
area as a regional cluster. The nature of the industries in the region set the focus
on the building product industry from its different sections. The key actors were
selected by the recognition of the key product, by the suggestion of the ELY centre
and the advice of JPYP’s and the South Ostrobothnia Regional University experts.
The following paragraphs introduce the region and its main industries and key
actors, the building product industries and construction in general, their present
states and future outlooks both nationally and internationally.
3.1.1
The Järviseutu Region
Järviseutu is located in the lakes area, East side of the South Ostrobothnia region
in western Finland and comprises the cities of Alajärvi, Evijärvi, Lappajärvi, Soini
and Vimpeli, having total of 21 572 inhabitants, according to Statistics Finland
(2015.). Figure 8. shows Järviseutu on the map.
28
Figure 8. Järviseutu sub-regional unit. (Enterprise Finland.)
South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the
Environment ELY reports Järviseutu area having 2113 businesses employing
4662 people (year 2012). The main industries are upgraded aluminum production,
steel and building component industries, log house and timber industries as well
as extractive industries, such as fur production. Thus, the companies compose a
strong local building product network and overlap other clusters, such as the forest
and the chemistry cluster. Aisapari ry recognizes the strengths and the strategic
focuses of the area lying in housing, metal industry, bio-energy, tourism and
experience industry. (Aisapari ry 2009, 11-13, ELY centre 2014.)
Table 1 by Statistics Finland (2015) illustrates the main industries in South
Ostrobothnia in the year 2013 by turnover, presenting the relations between the
building product industries similar to Järviseutu region, where the metal product
industry being the largest, the machinery product industry being second, the wood
and wood product industry being third, the rubber and plastic industry being fourth
and the textiles industry being fifth. The main industries’ relations to services in the
area are shown in Figure 9.
29
Table 1. Fields of operation in industry by turnover EUR 1,000 in South
Ostrobothnia 2013. (Statistics Finland, 2015.)
Figure 9. The main manufacturing industries and services in the Järviseutu area.
The main actors in the industries, listed by the ELY centre (2014), are Finnlamelli
Oy (log houses), Keitele Timber Oy (sawmill) and Ruukki Construction Oy (steel).
Other remarkable innovative and / or export-stressed SME’s are e.g. Mäkelä Alu
30
Oy (aluminum profiles), Tikli Group Oy (spirit levels and aluminium products),
Saltex Group Oy (indoor and outdoor carpets and surfaces), Artopine Ltd
(windows and doors) and Oy Kohiwood Ltd (wood components). However, the
business stock of the area comprises mainly of small and medium-sized subcontracting companies for the main industries.
The Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia sees the megatrends of globalization,
the global distribution of work, digitalization, the changes of population, ecological
issues
and the consumer-oriented production as
being crucial for the
competitiveness of the area. South Ostrobothnia ELY centre states to be confident
in the development of the log house and sawmill industries in the Järviseutu region
through Finnlamelli’s growth and the recent opening of the Keitele Timber sawmill
in Alajärvi, inspite of the closure of the Honkarakenne log mill. However, the
unfavorable age structure and the negative migration threat the future regional
development. Siltanen adds the challenges in South Ostrobothnia being the lack of
an academic university, slight research activities and a low level of education.
Nonetheless, the challenges have been recognized and actively developed. (ELY
centre 2014, The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia 2014, Siltanen 2010, 21.) The
opening of a cross- laminated timber (CLT) house element factory in Alajärvi in
2016 will rejuvenate the house building business and the employment in the area.
3.1.2
The Key Industries and the Key Actors
The key industries are different building product industries and their subcontracting businesses. The gathered information and the recommendations of the
local experts assisted on the recognition of the key actors and the selection of the
interviewees. The key actors are mainly export-stressed and cover different
building product industries in the region: log houses and CLT elements and
components, aluminum and steel products, molded plastic and carpets and
outdoor surfaces. Most of the actors have their own products as well as
subcontracting practices; therefore the customers are mainly businesses in
Finland and Scandinavia, Baltics, Russia, Europe, North Africa and East Asia.
31
3.1.3
The Key Industries Overview
Construction. The construction cluster comprises the wood products, the metal
structures and the carpentry industries, represents Siltanen, and plays a major role
in the forest cluster. The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries CFCI
clarifies the sector to include also infrastructure, HPAC and surface businesses.
Thus, the construction industries overlap other networks and clusters, suc h as
metal, energy and chemistry. (CFCI 2015, Siltanen 2010, 23.) The study does not
focus on the construction industry itself but is observed since the tight relation to
the key industries. Figure 10. illustrates the construction cluster’s relations to other
industrial clusters.
Figure 10. The construction cluster and overlapping industrial clusters.
The construction industry has plunged for several years and has very modest
expectations for the near future both in Finland and globally, informs The
Confederation of Finnish Industries EK. However, The CFCI reports the
urbanization in Finland having started and accelerating which challenges the
housing production and the infrastructure since the supply being presently
32
inadequate. Additionally, the increase of the immigration raises the pressures for
urban housing. IHS forecasts the spending in construction in total to focus mainly
on developing regions as the Asia-Pacific area, Middle East and Africa, Eastern
Europe and South America until 2027, as Asia-Pacific will account for half of the
world’s residential building spending as well as the major growth expectations for
spending in non-residential building led by China and India. (CFCI 2015, EK
2015b, 2, IHS 2013, 7-9.)
Steel and aluminum industries. The steel industry has been in low in profitability
since the downturn in 2008. Yet, the confidence in the future is there; while the
new technologies are emerging, the dependency to steel is present, and thus will
not be threatened in the near future but enabling the new technologies arise,
states Birat. The main challenges regarding the industry are sustainability and
ecological issues. Yet, the urbanization is anticipated to continue acceleration,
which sets enormous possibilities for steel. As a steel producer, Europe is the
second largest in the world as the first being China and as a consumer, the
European Union region is the largest although Asia being shortly passing. (Birat
2015, 2, 6-7.)
Woodworking. The woodworking industry consists
of
sawmilling,
wood
construction products and furniture and plays the most significant part of the
forest-based industries at the European level, informs the European Forest-based
Sector Technology Platform FTP. Presently, Sjolie et al. state the forest industry
being challenged by the attitudes towards the ecology and the varying material
prices of the production. Furthermore, the FTP recognizes the future challenges of
ecology, changing customer demands and the complex technologies affecting the
sector. Simultaneously, it trusts in the possibility of the sector being the key
enabler for overcoming the issues in question by the natural and renewal
character of the raw material accompanied by sustainable production solutions.
Sjolie et al. add the interest in bio-based materials and energy creating
opportunities for the full exploitation of the material. As a result of the study
performed in Norway in 2013, the confidence in sawn wood and bio-energy
demand and sawmill productivity growths along with international trade growth
until the year 2020 is present. (FTP 2013, 3-5, Sjolie et al. 2015, 148, 152.)
33
Plastics. North & Halden list the benefits of the plastics; its energy- and costeffective manufacture and bio-compatibility creates continual opportunities for the
usage of the material. The concerns over plastics are the petroleum usage as a
raw material and the massive quantities of disposable material causing pollution.
Again, the separation of various plastics for dispose is challenging. They press for
considering the plastic life-cycle in the production. (2013.)
The Finnish Plastic Industries Federation FPIF reports the industry having suffered
from the fluctuating prices of plastic and raw materials such as petroleum. In the
path towards a sustainable future the industry is considered not only to maintain its
existence but enable energy efficiency and environmental-friendly goals through
the unique characteristics of the material.
3.2
Foresight Information Identification and Utilization
The foresight process started in the spring 2014 by the foresight information
exploration and source identification using Sorama’s recommendations; the
internet, publications, newspapers, journals etc. from national and international
foresight-oriented actors. During the foresight information study the search started
to result in confirmative perceptions of the future and therefore the megatrends
were recognized.
The study is based on The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s trend list for years
2014-2015, consisting of 13 issues it considers as megatrends. The trend list
distils the foresight information found in the other sources as well.
Sitra (2015) states that
1. “inter-dependency is increasing,
2. power relationships are shifting,
3. job stability is disappearing,
4. Europe´s structures are crumbling,
5. technology is being integrated into everyday life,
6. skills are challenging information,
7. human lifespans are increasing,
34
8. communities are empowered,
9. the roles of cities are growing,
10. inequity is growing,
11. well-being is becoming more important,
12. the effects of climate change is broadening, and
13. ecological footprints are outgrowing our “shoes”.”
The scarcity of natural resources is already realized. Wilenius & Kurki state the
efficient use of resources to be the key component of competitiveness as the raw
material and prices maintain high, the competition hardens and the environmental
awareness increases. Therefore, the bio-, nano- and environmental technologies
as well as healthcare are rising via digitalization and automation. Innovativeness
plays a lead role in sustaining the global competition, adds the European
Commission. Innovations in processes, products, workforce organization, life-cycle
management and the adaption of new technologies regenerate and restructure the
industry. (European Commission 2009, 4, Wilenius & Kurki 2012, 9, 56.)
Häkämies in EK (2015a) recognizes the digitalization and the circular economy as
main megatrends and possibilities for growth in Europe, while Store adds the bio-,
Arctic- and sharing economies as well as technology to the megatrends list. Along
with others, the European Construction Technology Platform ECTP recognizes the
future megatrends to be the demographic growth, the climate change and
sustainability, where the construction industry is challenged, yet having the
possibilities to develop and succeed by focusing on the human needs and values.
The ECTP accredits the construction industry being the key sector in realizing the
perceptions of the quality of life and sustainable societies. (ECTP, 2015, EK,
2015a, 3, 22-24.)
In the future, the key construction product will not only be the product of ‘a house’
or ‘an apartment’ as it is known today, but a service with a full entity of integrated
smart systems. The European Commission identifies the need for intelligent
houses as the consumers’ increasing appreciation for the quality of life, security
and the climatic change. As answers to the challenges of urbanization, ecology
and rising quality expectations the Commission promotes e.g. the mass production
of building components with inbuilt technology, the “open building manufacturing”
35
which takes the production from the building site indoors with an emphasis on the
architecture and the use of innovative and eco-friendly techniques and materials
such as stone drilling and textiles. Kotilainen & Hedman emphasize the
perspective to sustainable residential construction being not only in ecology but
the comprehensive human well-being as well. (European Commission 2009, 5, 10,
12, 14, 17, Kotilainen & Hedman 2015, 14.)
3.3
Future Change Drivers Recognition and Definition
The megatrends chosen for a closer examination in the study were digitalization,
changes of values and ecology since their indisputable affect on the future
customer needs. By the finish of the study Sitra announced its trends list for 2016
emphasizing the fast development of technology, world inter-relations and the
global sustainability crisis (2016) convincing the issues chosen for discussion in
the study being essential in the future’s examination.
Digitalization has changed the communication by enabling the compatibility of
different media contents and the power shifts, in a sense of content creation and
audience reach, from large media organizations to individuals, states Wilenius &
Kurki (2012, 50.). Thus, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy (MEE)
(2013, 9), adds the crucial source of growth being the ability to utilize the
possibilities of the information and communications technology.
The concept “values” for an individual is described by Rubin in Topi
Tulevaisuudentutkimuksen oppimateriaali as symbols which guide the behavior,
choices and assessments in e.g. decision making and other action in various
circumstances, in addition to being fundamentally impacted by the human’s needs.
In social context, the values are for unifying the society and attempting to eliminate
disruptions towards the system. Valuing the individual quality of life changes the
business environment via the changes of demand.
As far as ecology is concerned, the European Commission points out the massive
amount of energy used by European buildings in addition to the industry’s use of
natural resources and generation of waste. The development of technology and
36
the pressure of low energy consumption in construction and housing forces, as
well as enables the search of novel approaches to construction engineering and
implementation in terms of future living. Therefore, in addition to the development
of low energy processes, the ECTP calls for the importance of researching
innovative materials as well in creating sustainability by their energy performance
and durability. (ECTP 2015, European Commission 2009, 4.)
The future change drivers were conducted from the examination of the mentioned
megatrends via PESTEL analyses (Figures 12-14). Vuorinen (2013, 222)
visualizes the key issues to concern and to have implications for an organization in
the figure of the PESTEL analysis (Figure 11).
Figure 11. The PESTEL analysis. (Vuorinen 2013.) Edited.
From the political viewpoint, Vuorinen suggests considering issues such as the
governmental status, the supporting policies of the state, taxation, conflicts and
wars and the power relations of the parties. As it comes to economics,
considerable matters are economic situations, Gross National Product trends,
industry trends, interest rates, loan offerings, inflation, unemployment, wealth and
investments. The recognition of the social implications requires thinking of the
37
demographics, income distribution, lifestyle changes, attitudes to work and leisure
time, consuming behavior, level of education, migration and ethnic issues. The
technological implications clarify by considering research and development,
societal supporting activities, the level of technological development, the findings
of the competitive industries and patents. Environmental issues to take into
account are protection of the nature, energy consumption, waste management,
CO²-emissions, green value impacts, eco-catastrophes, recycling and emissions
trading. Legal matters that may implicate are the competition legislation, the labor
legislation, health and safety, product safety, licenses and immaterial rights and
international alignments.
Figure 12. The PESTEL analysis of the digitalization.
38
Figure 13. The PESTEL analysis of the changes of values.
Figure 14. The PESTEL analysis of the ecology.
39
Via PESTELs, the change drivers were recognized as automation and robotics,
service economy, cyber safety, emphasis on well-being, sharing economy, the
shift in power relations, circular economy and the decrease of the natural
resources. Each theme was brought to discussion in the key actor interviews and
is introduced briefly in following.
3.3.1
Automation and Robotics
Automation and robotics have already assisted and replaced manual work in
manufacturing since their cost effective and low error marginal advantages. The
idea of the “Internet of Things”, where devices discuss and share data without
human involvement, has been acknowledged since the end of the twentieth
century. Daecher & Galizia (Deloitte 2015) update the term for “Ambient
computing”, which is yet developing and waiting for its full exploitation. Paajanen &
Vainionkulma-Immonen in MEE (2015) name production processes and logistics
as an example to apply digitalization. What is more, they list new processes the
digitalization will enable: new business and working opportunities and models, new
larger user groups, new value chains and ecosystems, faster information flow and
real-time economy. As a following phase, they describe the platform economy,
which Collins & Sisk in Deloitte see spreading and platforms being applicable to
products and services in various ways. In fact, they state applications to realize the
internet of things and to move the businesses to the next level by the possibility of
becoming products or services themselves. They recognize the common
problematic in discussions about IT investments and their expected return,
however, seeming often invisible and undervalued. (Deloitte 2015, 23-24, 35, MEE
2015, 113-115.)
The internet of things and platforms are entering the building products and
creating housing services as well. As an example of intelligent housing, Kotilainen
& Hedman mention structure integrated systems with mobile control over domestic
appliances and devices, and Daecher & Galizia in Deloitte describe a “conscious
home” to offer safety, comfort and savings of energy. The customer and consumer
needs drive the product / service design, as Scheibenrief et al. in Gartner remind.
40
They emphasize the customer engagement at all levels, from innovation
processes to market delivery innovations, for the addition of value and
competitiveness, particularly in consumer-driven manufacturing. Consequently,
with the added services, products become more complex. (Deloitte 2015, 39,
Gartner 2015, Kotilainen & Hedman 2015, 46.)
3.3.2
Service Economy
Service is widely recognized as the key element of future business, by itself or
integrated with traditional goods, since the customers’ desire for easiness and
carefree living. The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA describes the
modern economy to base on the service needs and digitalization as well as the
determination of consumption to goods production and technologies usage.
Already, the industrial production is not solely to be relied on since the competitive
advantage rises from the whole value chain and its other parts, says Vapaavuori
from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy MEE (2014), adding the
demand to multiform as well as the limit between industrial and service production
to become more and more unclear. In MEE (2015) Vapaavuori as well as
Paajanen & Vainionkulma-Immonen see the growth possibilities via the platform
economy and emphasize the service-dominant logic over the traditional industrial
goods-dominant logic. The service-dominant logic is explained by Vargo and
Lusch as following:
“-- a mindset for a unified understanding of the purpose and nature of
organizations, markets and society. The foundational proposition of
S-D logic is that organizations, markets, and society are
fundamentally concerned with exchange of service—the applications
of competences (knowledge and skills) for the benefit of a party. That
is, service is exchanged for service; all firms are service firms; all
markets are centered on the exchange of service, and all economies
and societies are service based. Consequently, marketing thought
and practice should be grounded in service logic, principles and
theories.”
(ETLA 2015, MEE 2014, 5, MEE 2015, 7, 112, sdlogic.net.)
41
3.3.3
Cyber Safety
The collection of customer behavior, product usage etc. information, “Big Data”,
brings up the ethical question of surveillance with a concern over privacy and
personal safety. Cyber security activities and data privacy regulations guide the
exploitation of big data, but the virtual data is constantly under a threat of attacks.
Furthermore, the privacy management is yet a rather new skill for maturing
generations to adopt. Thus, cyber safety in business may seem foreign and
undervalued issue which importance grows as the overall business functions
increasingly address towards the developing technology. Daecher & Galizia worry
over the vulnerability of unsecured data, stating that the connected devices are
often physically accessible. In addition, the lack of human control over device-todevice data may have undesired implications; passing the decision-making control
to machinery enables them to harm the business. Kark & Vanderslice stress the
importance of proactive cyber security involvement throughout the operations and
project life cycles especially in actions that concern organizational growth and
performance, focusing on the likely threats instead of the barely imagined ones.
They remind the continuous management of cyber safety as a part of the risk
management to actually add value to the business. (Deloitte 2015, 15, 44.)
3.3.4
Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is an economic model that bases on the ideology of shared
production, use and consumption in order to restrain excessive consumption. Not
only products are shared, but knowledge, time, money and other resources are
being exchanged and accessible. The technological progress has forwarded the
sharing principals via novel networking possibilities, in addition to changing values
that promote usage over ownership and saving both money and the environment.
To succeed, such communal activity requires shared values and trust. As a
consequence, the sharing economy has already engendered new businesses and
the growth of funding options. (Jakamistalous.fi.) PricewaterhouseCoopers
describes the sharing economy model to consist of four elements: digital platforms
that enable the real-time supply and demand, transactions for access over owning,
42
consumer collaboration and branded experiences for engaging emotions. In their
opinion, the mature industries need to carefully assess the sharing economy
implications for the business. To profit, PwC recommends activities such as the
recognition of the customers’ values, reassessing the business model and the
resources, embracing change, offering sustainable quality and the reputation
management. (PwC 2015, 15, 20, 22, 24, 28.)
3.3.5
Emphasis on Well-being
According to Kotilainen & Hedman, one of the major future societal changes is the
individual’s freedom of choice which leads, amongst other, to the diversity of
housing. As a result, the acceleration of the urbanization has already changed the
housing needs from family homes to smaller apartments especially in urban areas.
On the contrary, the housing costs may drive individuals for communal options.
The ageing population with the ability and willingness to reach for the maximum
quality of living create the demand for customized and upgraded goods and
services, including residences. The wider understanding of the relations between
health and the built surroundings as well as the progress of advanced solutions for
domestic health care offer enormous potential for the development of the
residential building. However, the inequality rises as the differences in individual
income deepens making the social exclusion and experiences of loneliness more
severe. The Finnish Government agrees on the growth of wage disparity,
presenting Heikkilä to stress on the disappearance of the middle class. As a
consequence, the economic growth decelerates and heads towards crises. (The
Finnish Government 2012, 21, 35, 88, Kotilainen & Hedman 2015, 42, 44-46.)
One of the major trends to consuming is experiences. Already in last century Pine
& Gilmore (1998) introduced the concept of “experience economy” they saw
emerging as customers seemed to desire experiences. They stress the value of
experience in every business activity from the manufacture of commodities to the
offer of services extended to the point where the customer is willing to pay for the
access to the experience and thus for the initial goods / services. The shift towards
the experience economy has been noticed and taken action already in several
43
business fields and it has additionally created totally new businesses. However the
concept’s application to the industrial environment is yet to be assimilated and
implemented.
3.3.6
The Shift in Power Relations
The shift in power relations is happening at levels such as individual – group –
institutional power, cities – non-urban areas, regional – state politics and
developing – advanced economies. The development and influence of urban
areas steadily grow and the European Commission sees it having bidirectional
effects; the cities are economic centers and nests of innovation and creativity,
solving
yet
simultaneously causing
social,
economic
and
environmental
challenges. The Forum for the Future states the trust in institutions to diminish
however, due the public financial decisions and the promotion of peer-to-peer
(between individuals) trading activities as well. Likewise, the Finnish Government
worries over citizens’ trust in economic institutions. Referring to a study performed
by Kahma and Takala in 2012, it presents the trust in others being low amongst
those with lower education, correlating to trust in institutions. Heikkilä points out
the increase of conflicts and catastrophes to continue. (European Commission
2016, The Finnish Government 2012, 12, 74, 90-91, Forum for the Future 2013, 8,
14.)
The global economic power shift is expected to realize, raising developing
countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) to the economic lead,
informs Forum for the Future. The emerging markets are anticipated to be taking
over the major share of economic activities for 2025, basing on resource markets
since the industrialization and the need of grain. Conversely, the Finnish
Government sees the problematic of economic development in non-democratic
country such as China, in addition to the elite interests of Russia, hence regarding
conservatively towards the expectations to their economic lead. It admits the
change happening though in the economic statuses of the superpowers. (The
Finnish Government 2012, 37, 39, 67, Forum for the Future 2013, 7, 12.)
44
3.3.7
Circular Economy
The circular economy is described by the Ministry of Environment as the total use
of resources through the whole product life cycle. The aim is to eliminate waste
and the use of non-reusable materials by pre-designing the raw materials’ path to
the afterlife of the product. In addition to waste prevention, the target is on energy
production, re-use or recycling, underlines the Federation of Finnish Technology
Industries. To realize, the companies need operative networks. The European
Commission is currently forwarding circular economy in the EU through four
perspectives: supporting better product design, creating incentives and promoting
improved production process and innovative industrial processes, to meet the
waste management targets set for 2030. (FFTI 2013, 2, 13, European Commission
2015, 1, European Commission 2016, Ministry of Environment 2016.)
3.3.8
The Decrease of Natural Resources
A known fact is that the Earth cannot withstand current consumption and
exploitation of its nature. According to the Federation of Finnish Technology
Industries FFTI the water and energy shortage realize raising material costs
causing the escalation in searching for novel manufacturing techniques and
services. The Finnish Government adds oil demand in the near future to stay
superior to supply and presents Haukkala worrying over the political implications of
competition for the environmental resources in the means of the dominance of
state-owned and global companies care for nature. The FFTI states design to
delineate 70 – 80 % of the product’s environmental impacts during its life cycle,
proposing efficiency in the use of materials as a nature, climate and costs saving
practice. (FFTI 2013, 7, 10, 24, The Finnish Government 2012, 60, 84.)
For diminishing manufacturing’s negative environmental effects in the United
States, conservation banking, or “ecosystem service markets” as BenDor, Guo &
Yates present it, was launched in the late 1980’s as a “no net-loss” program to
protect wetlands and streams. The idea was to offer credit for manufacturers who
take harmful actions towards wetlands and streams, to compensate the harm in
protecting similar environment elsewhere. Kniivilä, Kosenius & Horne present
45
additionally approaches to environmental compensation holding a conservative
position on success in mentioned practices in Finland and in EU area. The FFTI,
however, believes in the market orientation and incentives instead of authorial
regulations as a change driving force. (BenDor, Guo & Yates 2014, 496-497, FFTI
2013, 13, 21, Kniivilä, Kosenius & Horne 2014, 4-6.)
3.3.9
Key Actor Interviews
The target of the key actor interviews was to gain organizational evaluation and
perspectives to the described future themes. The actors chosen for the interviews
were mainly export-stressed and cover different building product industries in the
region: log houses, CLT elements and components, aluminum and steel products,
molded plastic and carpets and outdoor surfaces. Furthermore, a future-oriented
start-up company of CLT house element manufacture as well as a local hardware
store were chosen to add perspective. The key actors were contacted in weeks 45
to 47 in 2015, and seven of the nine actors chosen were willing to participate in the
research, leaving out the carpeting / outdoor surface industry. The actual
interviews took place in weeks 46 to 49 in the participants’ organizations and were
conducted as individual interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire
(Appendix 2.). The interviewees were the executive personnel of the following
organizations: Finnlamelli Oy, Oy Kohiwood Ltd, Ruukki Construction Oy, Mäkelä
Alu Oy, Plastec Finland Oy, CLT Finland Oy and Rautia Alajärvi.
At the beginning, the interviewees were asked to give the basic information of the
organization, its products and services as well as its sub-contractors and
customers for understanding the organization’s business and relations. Next, the
interviewees visualized the development of their industry in the becoming 10 to 15
years both from national and global perspectives. The future of the industries’
national development was seen as
– stable, but slightly positive since the recovery expectations of the Finnish
market as well as the rise of the industrial investments
– successful since the ecologic awareness is re-shaping the governmental
guidelines on construction
46
– secure since the unyielding status of the construction industry
– challenging, the competitiveness and good products enable growth, and
– negative since the local nearly unsubstantial public and private
investments and construction conditions as well as the effects of the
demographic changes.
The global development of the industries was foreseen as
– having tremendous potential especially in Eastern Europe, Baltics and in
Scandinavia, but an extreme competition as well. The export enables
growth
– expecting, in the means of the cancellation of the economic sanctions of
Russia
–
going forward since the cost-efficiency and the experience economy
– opening new markets for bulk products, and
– successful since the ecologic awareness.
The first introduced megatrend was digitalization, and the themes brought to
discussion were automation and robotics, the service economy and cyber safety.
The opinions and issues of automation and robotics including the internet of
things, the platform economy and intelligent housing were following:
– robotics is already replacing routines and work that requires lifting and is
yet to increase in every phase of the product life cycle, in the bulk
production and in the extractive industries, as long as the cost-efficiency
stays at the competitive level
– the production systems are required to register data to fulfill the quality
certificates and standardization needs
–
the requirements of the knowledge increases
– the effective exploitation of the automation is necessary
– work safety increases by monitoring
– the “Internet of Things” will realize more rapidly than the intelligence in
housing
47
– production control, monitoring and product life cycle control systems will
develop
– platforms are used in production and energy control, sales and customer
contacts
– platforms have enormous potential, for example decreasing human role in
work
– solar energy control and exploitation develops, affects every housing
product and the pricing will become reasonable
– the intelligence will become a crucial part of the product / service /
customers’ product
– the technical building engineering, the maintenance of the product and
usage monitoring increase causing price rationalizing
– new products, services and businesses emerge and thus develop the
intelligence in housing
– effectiveness in energy and resources, registration, measurement,
adjustment and control increase in housing
– the customer respond to technical building engineering solutions is
positive yet the technologies need to develop by becoming user-friendly
instead of basing on engineer logics
– enabling systems in the product is necessary
– intelligence affects the whole value chain.
The discussion about the service economy including the themes of technologic /
service innovations and the customer as a designer brought up following topics:
– The customers are more willing to use services, however, not necessarily
willing to pay for locality or quality
– Services are the key of the business; customers change and the
production needs to adapt in customer-oriented means
– Service offering possible through digitalization / mobilization and
operational networks
– Production is a necessity alongside to the service offering
48
– Law enforcements on housing product maintenance would add the local
service demand
– The competition of the sales closure hardens since the customers are
more price conscious than brand loyal
– Companies need to invest in turning service into a product and product
launching
– Product / service innovations throughout the product and the product life
cycle
– Web and mobile sales in B-2-B activities
– The constant update of customer segments
– The customer need recognition and involvement needs to appear in the
earliest stage possible (design) by discussing the essential issues with
the key persons
– The concrete exploitation of the customer data; foresight, data analysis
and customer insight from the end customer utilization in the product /
production / service design
– Foresight in technical data, e.g. fire / energy regulation changes from the
constructor enables focusing and gaining cost-effectiveness which
advances marketing and sales
– Crowdsourcing in product development.
The thoughts of the digital safety theme, including cyber safety, control and ethics,
are represented in following:
– The concept of “safety” is defined by the safety experience of the end
user
– By the perspective of safety the digitalization is mainly seen as a risk in
order to abuse, such as plagiarism, customer data and product detail
usage. However, the enormous amount of the data complicates the
effective exploitation for abusing purposes
– The control of the product usage should take place in order to clarify the
responsibilities of the manufacturer in case of misusage as well as to
define the actual emissions concerning e.g. energy consumption
49
– The ideal usage of the product, e.g. temperature / energy consumption
should be compensated via real estate taxation easements or premium
discounts
– The responsible actor of the control; the manufacturer or an authority
– Ethical issues will exist, the detailed contracts of data collection and
usage are the key; the customer’s approval for control eliminates the risk.
The second megatrend discussed concerned the consumers’ changing values
including the themes of sharing economy, emphasis on well-being and the shift of
power relations. The sharing economy topic was conducted by the viewpoints of
ownership vs. usage, ecological consuming and changes in funding. The following
issues emerged in conversations:
– The ownership will not be a desired value
– The financial industry will advantage
– A possibility for business as the financial risk of the customer decreases,
and as the usage preference causes detailed resource optimization
– Will direct the production via the reduced size of a house / apartment
– Will reduce the overall market size
– Small neighborhood construction with shared real estate maintenance
services etc. increase, but is relatively expensive
– The ecological consuming forwards the product development and the
research of new ecological materials to substitute non-environmental
matters
– The recognition of the positive CO2 effects of wood increases the material
usage
– The opportunity lies in the assistance of customer’s funding both in B-2-B
and B-2-C sales.
The discussion about the emphasis on well-being consisting of the topics
“experience economy”, “new generations of consumers” and “the growth of
inequality” engendered following viewpoints:
– Easiness in living and in using services, e.g. the web stores vs. physical
shops, the paid services of leisure, mobility
50
– Bases on the end-user data collection
– Valuing the money itself decreases, as well as the physical environment
through the global data transfer
– Values will change in fast phases
– Temporary work becomes desired over permanent positions
– Safety guides the decisions; however the perception of “safe” may
change
– Opportunities in personal safety equipment
– Experiences, perceptions are the basis of the product / service, marketing
and sales and needs to fulfill the customer expectations
– Travelling becomes easier and as an experience will challenge owning
– The next consumer generations are both an opportunity and a threat for
construction since the leisure home construction decreases; however, the
total cost of a house rises
– The rise of the wealth and the willingness on spending money
– The ability to make the ecological decision through the wealth may
forward the establishment of nature value banks
– The B-2-B customer demand changes via the end-users’ value change
– Purchase decision criteria change, segmentation guides the production
– The product’s ability change along with the changing needs
– Dwelling for elderly with well-being services, home care funds should be
raised to grow the business
– The inequality growth is constant and smooth.
The next topic for discussion was the shift in power relations related to following
subjects: urbanization and the availability of personnel, regional vs. national
politics, developing countries and conflicts. They brought up matters such as
– The need for correction to the current monopolistic status of concrete in
the new regional building in order to timber’s access to the markets
– Strong belief in the non-urban living and remigration exists
– The non-urban industries’ power to change the direction of migration
– The urbanization does not affect on solid client base especially in Finland
51
– The products must change when the housing changes; the emphasis on
the recognition of whether or not to react
– The construction will center around smaller geographical areas and to
apartment construction
– Improving the local competitive advantage needs emphases on regional
marketing, maintaining the level of local services and rationalizing the
land use for the benefit of both businesses and residents
– Urbanization challenges the recruitment of a knowledge-based work force
and it may affect the future position of the production
– The competitive advantage of the employer will suffer from the higher
personnel costs caused by urbanization added to the high costs of the
logistics in the non-urban area
– The industrial locus of the area needs to be seen as a regional asset and
the service offerings to employees adjust accordingly
– The remote work utilization
– The regional politics will override the national politics and the need exists,
rises from the initiation of the non-urban regions since the high diversity of
geographical regions
– The regional politics will not gain status that will remarkably affect the
highly conservative construction industry nor the global companies in it
– The growth of the developing economies create possibilities as the middle
class gains wealth and as the perceived level of wealth originates from
the certain level of consumption thus changing the economic emphasis
– The growing markets are in Eastern Europe, Africa and in South America
but they will not gain economical dominance, and the protectionism
decelerates growth
– The new markets are not yet familiar or politically stable and the
competition increases correspondingly to growth
– The developing countries create transient market distortion by lower costs
but as the rapid development stagnates the prices heighten, import
becomes more profitable and the markets settle
– The developed countries will decline
– The unsteady situation in Russia will settle
52
– Conflicts decelerate growth, however the latter effects are positive since
the post-war growth
– The international relations improve due the joined battle over terrorism
– The mass movement of people brings opportunities
– The concern over ecological disasters, energy production and fresh water
shall be considered, and
– The anticipated changes in the economy earn less respect than the
organizational discretion.
The final concerned megatrend was ecology which was examined through the
subjects of circular economy and the decrease of natural resources. The circular
economy discussion included the maintenance, the prevention of waste, value
recreation and the product life cycle themes and resulted in following mentions:
–
Ecology gives competitive advantage
– A massive effort has and will be put into ecology in forms of material
recycling, emissions reduction, energy consumption and waste
management
– Considering the energy efficiency in residential construction the costs of
component and energy production and logistics need to be included
– The construction costs would be reduced via the optimization of the end
consumption; the isolation requirements are often over scaled
– The increase of wood usage in construction may occur bringing
opportunities for competing materials as well
– The production of plastic is both cost-efficient and eco-friendly
– The circular economy to realize requires focus on the logistics; in
transport, in production and in stocks
– Maintenance actualizes via digitalization
– The value recreation materializes in wood products as the material is both
durable and ecological, the demolition is painless and as the innovations
regarding chemical pulp brings opportunities
– The customer data gives signals to the product re-value development
– Possibilities to value recreation via networks, and
– The durability of steel.
53
The conversation on the decrease of natural resources and the nature value banks
disclosed following opinions:
– Wood as a construction material will be used and the strength lies in its
renewability, positive effects on climate and availability, causing an
increase on the constructional usage in addition to the composite raw
material usage
– The Nordic forest industry’s sustainability gives secure, and the material
exploitation is rational
– The effects of wind and hydroelectric power production are unknown
– The nature value banks are considered positive since the search for
advanced materials and probable due the Finnish governmental
alignments
– The realization will affect on the steel industry through the mineral, chalk,
concrete and bauxite quarrying and hence on wood usage
– The burning of wood may be prohibited
– The actual advantage of nature value banking may not exceed the
causing costs to a single actor
– The equality in the banking practices in the global scale is nearly
unobtainable and may lead to the production transfer to low regulation
countries, and
– The incorrect use of the product transcends the negative effects of the
production.
At the end of the discussion, the interviewees were asked to name themes that
already affect or will affect their business and / or industry significantly in the
future, especially if not brought up by the interviewer. The emphasis was on
– authoritative regulations
– customer data / customer insight exploitation
– the creation of desire
– the effects of international conflicts when entering new markets
– digitalization and the changes of value
– ecology and energy regulations
– the conservativeness of the industry, and
54
– the local demand and the regional decision-making including lot policies
and landscaping.
The interviewees were inquired for the willingness to participate in the Focus
Group work and offered date suggestions for the becoming weeks. Although the
reception was positive at the time, the enrolment was unsubstantial. Thus, the
Focus Group did not realize.
3.4
The Cluster’s Future Recognition and Analysis
The interviews were analyzed using the Futures wheel, the PESTEL analysis and
the Opportunities and threats analysis for the recognition of the cluster’s future.
3.4.1
The Futures Wheel and the PESTEL Analysis
The continuous strategy process representation recommends using the PESTEL
analysis for the classification of the future change drivers’ impacts. First, the study
in hand used the Futures wheel introduced by Hiltunen (2012, 212-213) for the
recognition of the two level impacts of the change drivers. Hiltunen’s Futures
wheel is presented in the following figure (Figure 15).
55
Figure 15. The Futures wheel. (Hiltunen 2012). Edited.
As mentioned, the study in hand used a combination of both, the futures wheel
and the PESTEL matrix mix as the visualization tool for the recognition of the first
and the second level effects represented in the following figure (Figure 16). In the
figure, the centered triangle demonstrates the future change drivers and the inner
circle illustrates the implications discussed of the change drivers analyzed via
PESTEL. The second level effects are put into the outer circle again in a PESTEL
form. The key implications to the cluster, conducted from the second level effects,
are listed below the figure.
56
Figure 16. The Futures wheel – PESTEL mix.
Political implications
– The governmental key projects set the focus on economic growth
– The counter-terrorism activities draw super powers closer.
Economic implications
– Conflict areas suffer from growth deceleration, yet have a need for rapid
infrastructure and housing production
– The growth of developing countries create new markets
– Digitalization, ecology and changing values create new industries
– The rise of regional politics and regional level of education affect on
regional competitive advantage, causing regional inequity
– Environmental regulations, emissions trading, labor policies and regional
competitive advantage affect on production location
– Preference for usage over owning causes reduction on the whole market
size and growth of financing industry.
57
Social implications
– The increase of foreign employees affects the organizational culture &
language
– The level of education in the area does not meet the requirements of the
future work life and it causes competition over skilled knowledge workers
– Money and owning lose their significance as a value and experience of
welfare separates from consuming causing changes in consuming
behavior
– Desire for easiness accelerates services demand
– Decreasing physical interaction in business causes trust issues.
Technological implications
– Customer data collection increases and is not completely leveraged by
the businesses in the cluster
– Technologies enhancing health, well-being and safety reach the customer
– Rapid reaction to market changes ensures competitive advantage
– Business-to-business activities become more and more mobile / virtual.
Environmental implications
– Energy and waste management causes changes in energy regulations
– The energy regulations apply to the end-user’s responsibilities for the
correct product use, setting the focus of the energy consumption on the
whole product life cycle and adding control over product usage
– Protection of natural resources causes restrictions over usage, such as
mining and felling restrictions
– Appreciation of authentic causes a search for purity.
Legal implications
– Political turns cause changes in importing / exporting regulations and free
trade agreements
– Social politics affect on working hours and payments
– Data usage regulations affect on the customer data collection and
leverage as well as the control over consumer behavior
58
– Trade and data usage regulations as well as social politics raise ethical
questions.
3.4.2
The Opportunities and Threats Analysis
The opportunities and threats analysis is a part of SWOT analysis, focusing on the
issues in the business environment. (Vuorinen 2013, 88.) The issues are
examined and presented in the following table (Table 2). The results of the
analysis are opened up by applicable parts in the following paragraphs and in the
Recommendations chapter (Chapter 4).
Opportunities
-
Wood usage and bio-economics
Threats
-
growth
-
-
The governmental support via the
Growth
of
the
developing
countries adds competition
-
Reduction of the whole market
key projects
size via preference for usage
An access to the post-conflict
over owning
reconstruction
-
The level of education
-
Value adding production
-
Restrictions
-
Resource usage enhancement
-
New markets from developing
-
-
actors
A regional competitive advantage
Promoting health, well-being and
safety in the product
-
The image of Finnish quality and
technology knowledge
-
Nature value banks / emissions
Entering in new markets and
by the rise of regional politics
-
-
trade
networks
Creating services around the
product
natural
resources usage
countries
industries via digitalization and
on
-
implications
for
Industry’s conservatism.
single
59
-
Mobile / virtual B-2-B
-
Customer data leverage
-
Enhancing the reaction speed to
match the changes in the
customer demands.
Table 2. The opportunities and threaths analysis.
3.4.3
The Future Customer and Housing in 2025
Based on the foresight study the future customer and housing will polarize further
depending on the societies’ progress and wealth. As technology continues to
integrate deeper in every function of living and as the values guide the customer
behavior by the ability to choose, the solutions with quality and conducive to
ecology and health lead both human and technological service supply as well as
the customer decision making from smaller purchases to greater accessions.
Sustainable consuming thus increases causing reduction to the number of product
sales. The wood usage growth in construction and energy production starts to
raise a question of wood felling restrictions in the means of preventing an overuse
of the particular natural resource, leading to a constant new materials search. The
development applies throughout the Western countries.
The known “Finnish dream” of a single-family house, garden and privacy remains,
but the demand for easy and care-free living adds the services spending to the
former product spending. The net floor area reduces since the demographic and
living expenses change and as the low-income population suffers severely having
limited options for housing requirements. In addition, the popularity of communal
housing increases as a consequence of the appreciation of ecology, will for
independency, search for security and increased expenses, making ownership
status become less meaningful and thereby giving birth to various novel owning,
financial and exchange practices. The innovators create novel housing options to
meet sustainable and individualistic requirements.
60
The urbanization adds the constructional focus to cities and their surroundings, but
the rise of the regional politics enables meaningful living outside cities as well,
mostly by the assistance of technological service solutions in business, working
life and public services. The multicultural population adds challenges to the work
life in the means of interaction and organizational cultures, yet it answers partly to
the need for work force. Hence, the “Finnish” values transform decreasing the
appreciation of domestic products as such. Nonetheless, the quality, health and
ecology of the Finnish products and production carry in the global competition.
Globally, the size of households decreases as well, by the urbanization and the
rising level of education. Since the growth of wealth adds consumption through the
experience of well-being, the developing countries’ markets temporarily grow. At
first, the housing quality, inbuilt technology and services do not play a major role in
customer demand, but the increase of wealth, the adaption rate of the novel
technologies and care for the environment add housing requirements in the
developing countries.
3.4.4
The Ten-year Future Outlook for the Building Product Industries in
the Area and The Future Change Drivers that Force the Formation of a
Cluster for Innovative Practices Meeting the Future Customer
Demands
The region will suffer from the demographic changes that reflect especially to the
small and medium sized industrial companies which are the foundation of the
business environment in the Järviseutu area. The environmental regulations,
emissions trading, labor policies, the recruitment of competent work force and
regional competitive advantage will impact on profitability and eventually on the
existence of the businesses and their production location. The megatrends of
digitalization, ecology and changing values in the forms of advanced daily life
robotics and service platforms, environmentally aware consumption and the
appreciation of health and safety create new requirements for businesses, in
addition to new industries to compete with. Therefore the companies need to
actively seek multi-range co-operation for gaining an access to novel opportunities
61
to add in the business for survival. As the business-to-business activities become
more mobile and virtual, the decreasing physical interaction in business causes
trust issues.
The supportive actions of the government in the form of regulations will further
enhance the wood and bio-based materials and energy usage. Public construction
thus adds the wood and wood product usage domestically. As the European Union
shares the aspect, the wood construction will grow progressively in Europe and in
aware countries, yet the construction in general is low. The focus will be on the
public construction, small residential construction and renovation work and on the
creation of dense, compact and affordable housing, as the demand for singlefamily housing diminishes heading to the lowest levels in history. The ecological
materials will challenge steel, but in ten years time steel maintains its powerful
status in urban construction. What is there to notice, it is not impossible to mining
or wood burn to be restricted in the next ten years slowly changing the statuses
again. As for the energy regulations, the concern over energy consumption will
grow, and with the assistance of the developing technology the control over
product’s appropriate usage attracts attention, finally causing the spread of the
energy consumption burden to the product whole life-cycle including the end-user.
Anyhow, the customer data collection and utilization increases by the slow ethical
acceptance of the personal control shift to the authorities. The foresight-oriented
data exploitation by rapid reaction to market changes thus enables the competitive
advantage.
New construction markets rise from the Middle East and developing countries in
Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. The economic sanctions cancellation
towards Russia turns the Russian market to growth again, unless another enter
into a conflict. The conflict sensitive areas require a cautious approach. They
suffer from growth deceleration, but have a need for rapid infrastructure and
housing production. However, the political turns, as well as eco-catastrophes
change the markets, practices and importing and / or exporting regulations rapidly.
62
4 RECOMMENDATIONS
In the light of the study findings, the matter to pinpoint is the insurance of the
Järviseutu regional competitiveness in the global operation field. The competitive
status is gained through a regional image renewal through the public and private
service supply and the corporate resource efficiency through networks including
the following activities:
1. Service offering, productization, branding and launching.
-
Creation of a joined (service-) / (technology-) product to add on the
housing product(s) by the exploitation of the different service
providers in the area, e.g. mobile business-2-business solutions,
virtual home experience or real-time home construction / element
production surveillance, maintenance contract housing or financing
offerings.
2. Joint marketing and the creation of demand.
-
Customer data collection and crowdsourcing, constant foresightoriented trend analyses and data exploitation in research &
development, marketing and production. Promotions of the product
quality, ecology and health / well-being.
3. R & D activities and production flexibility.
-
Early stage trend observation turned into rapid product and service
offerings .
-
The value addition of the recycled product.
4. Resource ecosystem.
-
The full exploitation of the material and immaterial resources of the
region, including knowledge sharing and shared work force through
the innovative ways of work.
What is remarkable is the existence of the networks in the area as well as the will
for co-operation. However, the conversation needs to be steered even further to
the joint activities of digital service offerings alongside with the product and the
share of knowledge. Additionally, the higher level education in the area needs to
correlate accurately and flexibly with the exigencies of the businesses even in the
63
minor scale to assist in meeting the mutual benefit. The open mindset and
foresight-oriented observation over multisectoral competencies must be intense
and constant in the search and execution of synergies.
For further action, the study recommends a closer look for the cluster’s strengths
and
weaknesses
from
the
perspective
of
the
mentioned
co-operation
opportunities, by following the Continuous strategy process introduced in Chapter
2.3.5. The starting phase of research would be the VRIO matrix analysis for the
identification of the resources that create competitive advantage, followed by the
TOWS matrix and three horizons strategies, on the path to the recognition of the
worthwhile and precise actions for the cluster’s development.
64
5 CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the Cluster Foresight Model combined with the stages of the
Continuous Strategy Process offered a practical tool finding the answers to the
main questions of the study and thus reaching the research goal. The model is
applicable in any business as a basis to a strategy work and should be in constant
use. As a development tool it offers information on matters relevant to further
investigation in the whole operational environment of the industry or the cluster.
Better yet, if the becoming changes in the cluster are related in industries that do
not obviously correlate with the studied cluster. Since the industrial nature of the
Järviseutu region, it did not realize in the study in hand.
Studying and applying the Cluster Foresight Model to the actual business
environment was challenging, yet extremely interesting. Personally, the challenges
related to the feel of limited familiarity with the business life in the region, causing
massive uncertainty at times. For the relevance of the study it would have been
important to get interviews from all the companies chosen, as well as succeed in
uniting the interviewees in the Focus Group for more accurate future image
formation. However, the strength of the external observation was that it enabled
the unlimited and objective exploration of the businesses and their future
opportunities. Studying the entire cluster instead of a single industry gave more
comprehensive perspective to the business environment.
As it comes to the
foresight process, the challenge was to recognize the reliable information sources
amongst all the future predictions available. In addition, the foresight information
did not significantly differ right from the start, despite the source. Thus, the vision
of the main trends to observe clarified rapidly. The endeavor to catch the rising
trends behind the obvious was problematic.
The study learned a foresight-oriented mindset that was not familiar before for the
student. Again, it raised enthusiasm for trend observation and further learning of
future customer behavior and customer data analysis to own competence to utilize
in personal future work life. The commissioner of the study was very pleased for
the research findings and the results were taken into action immediately.
Therefore the study was granted by its usefulness in the regional business life.
65
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71
APPENDICES
1(2)
APPENDIX 1. Theme Interview Questionnaire
TEEMAHAASTATTELU
Teemahaastattelun tavoite: Haastatellaan
avaintoimijoita tulevaisuuden muutosvoimista.
1.12.2015
alueellisen
1(2)
rakentamiseen
liittyvän
klusterin
Haastattelut: vuonna 2015 viikoilla 46-49, 8 avaintoimijaa, puolistrukturoitu teemahaastattelu
Haastattelun eteneminen
- kesto 1 tunti
- avaintoimijan omassa organisaatiossa
- kysytään lupa äänittämiseen
Haastattelun sisältö:
- Kerrotaan lyhyesti projektista ja sen tavoitteista. Pyydetään vastaajaa miettimään asioita
sekä oman organisaation ja sen arvoketjun että asiakkaan ja loppukäyttäjän kannalta.
- Kirjataan kohdeorganisaatio, haastateltavan nimi ja asema sekä avainpalvelut.
Organisaatio:
Vastaaja:
Asema:
Sijainti:
Avaintuotteet / -palvelut:
Organisaation kumppanit:
o Toimittajat ja asiakkaat?
-
Toimialan kehitys 10-15v. aikajaksolla
o kotimaassa
o globaalisti
Pyydetään haastateltavaa kertomaan mielipiteensä seuraavista megatrendeistä johdetuista
teemoista.
Teemat ja ajurit:
Digitalisaatio
Automatisaatio ja robotiikka
- esineiden internet
- internet-alustat laitteiston pohjana
- älykäs asuminen
Palvelutalous
- Teknologiset ja palveluinnovaatiot
o asiakas palvelun / tuotteen muotoilijana
Turvallisuus
- Kyberturvallisuus
2(2)
-
Yksityisyys vs. kontrolli
-
Eettiset kysymykset
1.12.2015
2(2)
Arvomaailman muutokset
Jakamistalous
- Käyttö vs. omistus
- Ympäristöä säästävät kulutustottumukset
o vaihdanta, lainaaminen, vuokraus, myös aineettomat hyödykkeet
- Uudenlaiset rahoitusratkaisut
Hyvinvoinnin korostuminen
- Kokemuskeskeisyys
- Uudenlaiset kuluttajien sukupolvet
Valtasuhteiden siirtyminen
- Kaupungit
o työvoiman saatavuus, työttömyyden vaihtelut
o alueellisuus, paikallinen päätäntävalta
- Kehittyvät maat
- Maiden ja eri ryhmittymien väliset konfliktit, massaliikehdintä
Ekologisuus
Kiertotalous
- Huolto, uudelleenkäyttö, uudelleenvalmistus arvo säilyttämällä
o jätteen synnyn ehkäisy
o arvonluonti lisäpalveluilla ja älykkyydellä
o tuotteen koko elinkaari
Vähenevät luonnonvarat
- Luontoarvopankit
Pyydetään haastateltavaa kertomaan mikäli mieleen nousee muita jo olemassa olevia tai
tulevia yrityksen toimintaan / toimialaan vaikuttavia tekijöitä joita ei ole mainittu.
Kerrotaan Focus Groupeista ja pyydetään vastaajaa osallistumaan johonkin seuraavista
tilaisuuksista: 8.12., 11.12., tai 15.12. klo 13-15.
Yhteystiedot: Hanna Ahopelto
hanna.ahopelto@seamk.fi
045-8565805
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