Lindström

Strategy that customers value

Lindström, a leading European textile service company, wanted its new strategy to meet the future needs of its customers as thoroughly as possible. To ensure this, the company decided to involve its customers in creating future scenarios.

Results:

  • Specified mission and a new vision for 2025
  • Four strategic goals
  • Four must-wins
  • Six customer segments focusing on service development

When Lindström Group launched its new round of strategy development, there was a desire to bring both customers and employees on board. An important aim for the development work was to be so transparent that the eventual unveiling of the new strategy would not bring any surprises for employees.

Participation is quite a challenge for a company operating in 24 countries, with over 4,000 employees and customers from almost all sectors.

“A collaborative strategy development process is a great opportunity to strengthen skills and strategic thinking in the organization, and to unite our employees around the world”, says Lindström president and CEO Juha Laurio.

A deep dive into the customer’s world

Participation was facilitated by digital tools, which were used in the strategy work for a wide variety of needs.

In the first phase, Lindström explored future scenarios together with its customers using a solution provided by Talent Vectia’s partner, Futures Platform. The visualization of future scenarios gave important insight into the impact of various trends on customers’ operations.

Customers looked for the most important trends in their own operations, and created alternative scenarios based on them. Development trends were largely major trends such as digitalization and climate change. Customers’ estimates of how trends might affect their own operations were important for Lindström.

That is how we advanced a couple of steps deeper into our customers’ industries, making our new strategy more customer-oriented." — Juha Laurio, CEO, Lindström

Customers’ scenarios were also the starting point in the second phase of the strategy work, where Lindström’s own teams analyzed the development of a total of 19 customer segments. At that point, normal teamwork programmes enabled international teamwork to get to the heart of future trends.

In turn, Talent Vectia’s LOGE digital platform functioned as a discussion tool when views were sought from a broad range of employees.

“LOGE worked surprisingly well in an environment where participants are located in many countries, covering several linguistic regions. It was not long before the groups began coming up with good insights into the topics”, says Ismo Nastamo, director of strategy at Lindström.

More important than the tools, however, was the precision of the long and extensive process. “The consultants kept closely to the agreed process and communicated well so that our employees understood what we were doing at all times. They also played an important role in articulating the strategy”, Nastamo adds.

Building ecosystems

In Lindström’s strategic process, a vision for 2025 was developed for the 170-year-old company, along with an update of the company’s mission. In addition, the company defined four strategic goals (must-wins) and the conditions for achieving them. The work also involved identifying sectors that are particularly the focus of product and service development.

Although the company’s foundations will remain unchanged, its strategic aims will be modified in some respects. For example, the company will develop new partnerships more vigorously than in the past.

“We need to be able to provide customers with more extensive service packages. But rather than developing everything for ourselves, we need to create new types of ecosystems”, says Laurio.

The importance of partners is increasing for various reasons, most of all due to the rapid pace of digitalization. For example, the workwear supplied by Lindström to its customers makes use of smart technology that allows the customer to track the quantity of workwear and deliveries.

With the strategy completed, Lindström set about designing concrete programmes for the measures to be taken. These measures will make textile maintenance easier than before.