Increase innovation by leveraging your eco-system

     

Coor Service Management created the market broadest portfolio with innovative products for Facility Management by leveraging eco-systems!

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How did Coor start and execute such a strategy? Coor utilized their deep knowledge about customer needs and built innovation together with eco system partners. The eco-system made it possible to develop a broad service portfolio. Smart and integrated services are created by combining knowledge from several companies and complex development is efficiently done together.

Innovation and Eco-system

Innovation end developments of new products are challenging and costly. Then adding integration across networks and vendor products, and the complexity increases even more.

After working with these type challenges for many years, I see the Coor innovation strategy, as an excellent and inspiring example of a hands-on and working approach for innovation and product development. It can be used in many situations and industries.  Fredrik Sandqvist, leading the Coor Innovation Program, presented this strategy at the Tolpagorni Product Leadership Day. Watch a video from the conference

 Coor Service Management is the Nordic leader in Facility Management with well-known customers, and with specialist skills in strategic areas such as: workplace-, property- and strategic advisory services.

Facility Management is developing fast in many areas. Customers are constantly looking for new ways to be more cost efficient and environment friendly, and to satisfy new demands from employees and customers.

Coor's challenge is that the customer demands are spread across industries, and that flexibility and cost are key factors for success. These challenges were the input to a strategic Business Development project.

One of Coor's key assets is the extensive knowledge about different customer needs. By prioritizing the needs and creating an innovation funnel, Cocoor.pngor found several key customer needs, where there were no satisfactory solutions on the market. As cost and speed are key factors, it was decided to utilize Coor's customer knowledge and to engage with other companies to develop new solutions.

In order to establish strategic partnership, Coor analyzed their assets and values. When this was done, Coor decided what assets to keep and protect as strategic, and what assets that could be the basis for creating win-win situations with partners.

Based on my experience from working with innovation and product development for many years, this is a very tough and key part of the strategy. It involves many areas such as: IPR, trade secrets, trademarks, company positioning etc. The strategic decision needs solid support from management, and to be incorporated into the company strategy. The benefits and values with this approach and eco-system strategy are many, as proven by Coor for several years now.

Read also: Helpful tools for defining the product strategy

With the strategy outlined and supported by management, Coor started to build the eco-system and to find partners for the prioritized innovation ideas.  You find the launched innovations under the name Smart Solutions. 

The innovation and eco-system work now plays an important role in the strategic Business Development at Coor. Innovation is a continuous process with constant work on new ideas, partnerships, product development and launches of new solutions.

Before engaging in strategic partnership...

Important takeaways from this innovation and eco-system development: Companies have key knowledge customer needs that are not yet addressed and which is hard or impossible to act on alone.

A partner or eco-system could be the solution. Before engaging in strategic partnership, it is advised to first settle what assets and values to protect.

Coor is a large organization, but the principle for innovation, development and partnerships, is the same on all sizes of companies and across industries.

I asked Fredrik Sandqvist to share their key challenges and learnings from this journey. And these are his top six ones:

  1. Be clear on what you want to achieve
  2. Build your ecosystem based on a common vision
  3. Bring your unique value to the table
  4. Protect and share your knowledge
  5. Take incremental steps to reach your target
  6. Make sure to create win-win situations

Create executable innovation strategies?

Being a high tech enterprise, staying ahead of competition in terms of utilizing the latest relevant technology is key. Finding the technical edge that differentiates your product from competition and the path to master it, is an essential task for both R&D and Product Management. If you are interested in working further with technology discovery and innovation Stanford Research Institute (SRI) , Bergenstråhle & Partners and Tolpagorni have initiated a cooperation  to make executable innovation strategies.  If you are interested in knowing more about this cooperation, please send an email to kristin.svensson@tolpagorni.com  

What new solutions and business opportunities  do you see as possible in your company and industry? Could partnerships and eco-system support you in realizing these opportunities?  Please share your thoughts on this in the comment field below. 

About The Author

Lennart has extensive experience in product management and strategy development within IT and Telecommunication. Knowledgeable of translating business needs into technical solutions and thereby support within business and solution development.