FORMER COMPANIES AND CHALLENGES

Luhta Sportswear Company

Challenge: We are looking for concept ideas for our Torstai brand’s new men’s sportswear collection that is built on ethical arguments. The distribution of the collection will mainly be through digital channels.

Torstai is the world’s first sports brand to have a Fair Trade collection. Now Torstai wants to create a men’s sportswear collection (clothing, footwear, accessories) that is built on ethical arguments and complements the existing women’s collection. The distribution of the men’s collection should mainly be through digital channels (Luhta’s own webstore/customers’ webstores and platforms) with a creative and interesting communications emphasis on the ethical arguments.

The students’ task is to create a concept collection (moodboard, technical flats, material and colour suggestions) to be used as the design basis for the actual collection, as well as a suggestion for a supporting marketing and sales concept.

LähiTapiola Vellamo

Challenge: LähiTapiola is introducing a new virtual service to Prisma hypermarkets that allows the customer to take care of their insurance affairs while going to the shops. We are looking for concrete suggestions on how to get customers to use the service.

LähiTapiola is introducing a completely new virtual service with the aim of giving the customer virtual access to services even when sitting on the sofa at home. The goal is to develop a personal service completely compatible with face-to-face service, but taking place via tablet.

There are still a lot of customers who are wary of using online services via computer or mobile devices. However, almost all our customers frequent the Prisma hypermarkets of our strategic partner S Group and welcome the opportunity to take care of their other affairs as well while in a Prisma. For this reason, there have been LähiTapiola service points at Prismas for providing service in acute issues and for pre-arranged appointments. The difficulty in this, however, is the cost of providing the service with a service advisor available during Prisma opening hours. For this LähiTapiola is introducing a new solution: we will bring to the Holma Prisma in Lahti a cube with built-in technology for the customer to contact our service advisor via video connection. This way we can continue to guarantee customers the opportunity to take care of their insurance affairs personally while doing their shopping.

The challenge for the students is how to get the customers to venture into the cube and press the button. During the pilot, we have noticed that when the customer receives guidance on how to use the new technology, there may be initial nervousness, but as soon as the service advisor appears on the screen, the customer relaxes and is very happy with the service afterwards. The students’ task is to design an easily approachable and exciting user experience and customer interface: how to attract and direct customers into the cube, how to market it and how to introduce LähiTapiola services to the customer inside the cube. The suggestion may include a design for the visual appearance and functions of the cube. The students will have the opportunity to interview customers and test their solutions during the project.

Wipak Oy

Challenge: We are looking for new solutions, technologies and ideas for recycling plastics. The ideas can be related to enhancing the collection of plastics or to new ways of utilizing the collected plastics.

Plastic as a material still suffers from the image of being unecological. From Wipak’s perspective, this has an effect on our image as an employer and on the attractiveness of the industry. However, the fact is that the packaging industry using plastics is constantly developing and searching for new, more environmentally friendly solutions for using and recycling plastics.

The separate collection of plastics in Finland started in 2016. Nevertheless, most of packaging continues to end up in landfills or energy production. The students’ task is to come up with new, innovative solutions for a more effective collection of plastic packaging and for new, higher added value products made of recycled plastics. Possible directions for development include new communications and marketing concepts, technological solutions and uses for plastics. Products made of recycled plastics may be developed for Wipak’s use, which would require observing the high hygiene standards of the industry. The students are also free to develop new products for other uses.

Oilon Oy

Challenge: We are looking for new channels and business models for the consumer sales of ground source heat products of tomorrow. What will be the sales strategy for HPAC products in the 2020s?

At the moment, Oilon serves consumers mainly through retailers (plumbing stores and ground source heat retailers). Oilon receives requests for quotes directly and quotes are given through the plumbing stores as a turnkey solution including the well and the installation. Plumbing stores also get inquiries about ground source heat products and they offer consumers one-stop solutions with a content similar to Oilon’s. Ours is a very traditional business and retailer relationships are typically long and based on mutual trust. New products are often introduced through a single retailer. The challenge in this for Oilon is that a valuable value-adding factor is relinquished to someone outside the company, leaving Oilon without a direct channel to the customers.

Oilon’s goal is to broaden and diversify its range of sales channels, with the help of digital channels, for example. At the same time, there remains the need to hold on to the company’s present, more traditional retailers, who are still of irreplaceable value in the business. Oilon cannot simply bypass the existing channels in selling its products and installation services. The challenge for students is to find a way for getting these many different sales channels and service models to work together. Are there, for example, new digital solutions available for this? The students’ task is to come up with new business models, service concepts and solutions for the sales of ground source heat products and installation services, while observing the prerequisites described above.