Workshop on Business Model Innovation for Process Industry SMEs

Several of the Process SME partners as well as companies (such as BnearIT, Electrotech, MBV systems, Optimation, Alent Dynamic and others) have been participating in a workshop series concerning Business Model Innovation for Selling Advanced Services in Process Industry SMEs organized by Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and IUC Norrbotten. This workshop is the fourth installation in a series of workshops organized by the Swedish project actors on this topic and had participants from Northern Finland and Norway.

The workshop reported results from prior research work at LTU lead by Professor Vinit Parida and Assistant Professor David Rönnberg Sjödin about designing and implementing new service-based business models along with information about the Process SME project activities for supporting SMEs in business model development and internationalization.

Stefan Nordmark (Electrotech) (left), Mats Hellis (BnearIT) and Niclas Tidstrom (IUC Norrbotten) participated in the workshop with ProcessSME researchers.

Traditional manufacturing in changes

Traditional product manufacturing SMEs in the region are increasingly becoming exposed to tough competition and reduced profitability. In contrast, recent industrial development indicates possibilities for new business models and growth potential for SMEs by combining product components with service components to offer high-value adding advanced services. For example, the pay-per-service-unit model includes taking full responsibility for all life cycle services, but the customer pays based on extent of use. Another example can be offering functional results represents offering where SMEs retain full ownership and guarantee a certain outcome to the customer, for example production volumes. In contrast, to simple add-on services, which have been around for long time, these services provide possibility for higher profit margins, stable income over years, and product differentiation. However, this transition requires new capabilities, risk management approaches and business models.

Micro-entrepeneurship research manager Matti Muhos from University of Oulu presented insights from studies of international micro-enterprises and their growth strategies related to innovation and business models.

 Development of business models

The next phase of the workshop focused on discussion about how SMEs can develop and successfully change their business model for selling advanced services. Each company presented ideas for advanced services for which new business models were discussed in smaller groups.

Professor Vinit Parida and Assistant Professor David Rönnberg Sjödin (in picture) presented designing and implementing new service-based business models

According to Project Manager from BnearIT: "This is a great learning experience and very interesting to test your own knowledge with business development in this format. I am looking forward to continuing working with the LTU and project network actors."

The workshop concluded with a discussion of overall learning from the two cases and next steps in ensuring the business model innovation for the companies.

For more information, on similar events take contact with following people:

Entrepreneurship and Innovation- LTU

Professor Vinit Parida,

Assistant Professor David Rönnberg Sjödin,

Process IT Innovations- LTU

Associate Professor/CEO John Lindström,

Project Manager Petter Kyösti,

IUC Norrbotten

Senior Business Development Manager Anders Högström,

Business Development Manager Niclas Tidström,


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