Association of Finnish Technical Traders

A new take on the operating environment

When the Association of Finnish Technical Traders wanted a new strategy, Talent Vectia and Futures Platform helped it fine-tune its visions and turn them into a strategy.

Business impact:

  • Results of the analysis were turned into a concrete strategy
  • Many executives from the member companies also wanted the operating environment analysis for their own company’s use
  • A unique chance for executives to discuss the future with colleagues

At the beginning of this year, the Association of Finnish Technical Traders (TKL), which represents over 350 technical traders, carried out an extensive strategy process, which is something it does every four years. The aim was to gain a comprehensive overview of the driving forces in the environment, of how the environment is changing because of them, and how they affect the member companies and their customers, and to use it as the basis of the strategy work.

The association chose Talent Vectia to support it in the process, and Futures Platform, whose facilitators and foresight programme help to make predictions about the future, was brought along due to Talent Vectia’s recommendation. ‘The key objective was to include the member companies as extensively as possible in the process of considering the driving forces’, says Markku Uitto, Managing Director at the Association of Finnish Technical Traders.

The inclusion was indeed successful, as approximately 60 executives, i.e., every sixth member company, took part in the process. At the first stage of the process, the participants identified the changes in the operating environment. They utilized Futures Platform’s strategic foresight tool, for which essential change phenomena, such as artificial intelligence, the sharing economy, and global warming, had been preselected. The company’s future team has written descriptions for over 300 phenomena in total, in addition to which background material has been provided for the phenomena.

The new strategy emphasizes foresight

For the members of an association like TKL, the foresight tool provided an opportunity to analyze the environment with their colleagues in a way that is not possible in the course of normal everyday operations.

“The discussions were exceptionally productive and captivating. At the same time, they continuously encouraged the participants to think about the strategy of their own company”, says the Group CEO of Oy Otto Brandt Ab, Markku Hämäläinen, who also sits on the board of TKL.

At the second stage of the process, a strategy was constructed for the association. The second stage was somewhat more challenging, since it required creating a vision of what the challenges and opportunities, which emerged during the first stage,  would mean for the strategy.

The project also left a good impression in the sense that with the support of Talent Vectia, we were almost certainly able to get much further than we would have working only with the association and the member companies’, says Hämäläinen.

Foresight also became a key theme in the association’s new strategy. The new goal is to make the association ‘the most valued networking partner and vision provider in technical trading’.

“Companies may feel, for instance, that they lack some competence that is required in the new world. In that case, the association can suggest networks via which it would be possible to acquire such competence”, says Uitto.