Today, many companies in the forest products industry are facing major challenges that may require radical actions and changes in the way they operate. Some of the most predominant challenges are due to environmental reasons, technological progress, structural changes somewhere along the value chain, new demands from end-users, etc. These radical changes – or sometimes even paradigm shifts – often mean that companies have to enter into unknown terrain, both from a technical and a market-related point of view. Breaking new grounds requires having reliable information and new networking possibilities from many different stakeholders throughout all levels of the value chain.
To meet this need Opticom has developed a unique concept where different stakeholders meet and discuss today’s challenges and future opportunities in round table discussions and through in-depth interviews. Following more than a year of developing the concept and adapting it to the challenges of the forest products industry, Opticom is happy to now go live with the first Future Lab in the forest products industry on behalf of Södra Cell.
The Future Lab is a platform that combines market research with professional networking with key stakeholders, aiming at enhancing the knowledge about trends in an area, as well as to envision the key stakeholders’ demands and needs concerning the development of the area. By building a network and involving its members in round-table discussions on relevant topics, clients will both gather critical information as well as gain trust among the targeted participants. By building such a network of ambassadors, clients will have unique opportunities to continuously test concepts or hypotheses or to just ask a quick question to the network.
For the members, the network will not just give them an opportunity to obtain vital first-hand information on development and plans, but also to be part of relevant and adequate discussions in a network with other key stakeholders throughout the value chain. The Future Lab concept is a platform which can be used for any product, end-use segment or on a corporate level in the organisation. The overall aim is to build long-term relationships by showing commitment and therefore gaining trust and interest among the participants. A key in this is to initiate discussions that actually are interesting for the participants.
The Future Lab concept will help you get answers to the following questions:
1. What does the value chain for new products/applications/solutions look like?
2. Who are potential clients and business partners?
3. What commercial potential do these products offer?
Future Lab will enable clients to:
> Form a strong and long-lasting network with important stakeholders throughout the entire value chain
> Increase strategic communication with key stakeholders and gain knowledge about their expectations and requirements
> Create an open innovation atmosphere focusing on future trends and opportunities that leads to enhanced knowledge about the future
> Create a speedy access to actors of the value chain for testing of new products, services, distribution concepts, design ideas etc
> Get excellent marketing & PR: Future Lab will help raise awareness about the client and shows the market that the company is a front runner in the industry. The Future Lab network will contribute with word-of-mouth.
The Future Lab method is a propriety-owned concept by Opticom which has been developed since 2003. Since the first Future Lab, conducted with Assa Abloy, it has been very successfully conducted with a large number of clients within the Medical & Healthcare sector. For more information about our Future Labs in the forest products industry, please contact Mikael Selling, Corporate Advisor & Partner at Opticom.