R&D Process Development: From Manufacture to Design – Plastex

 

About

Design can shape Plastex's R&D processes as well as guide their portfolio management. Through analysis of existing processes and external benchmarks, we developed a new process map for them. We created a manual with supporting documentation to assist with implementation and other considerations. 

Client

 

Plastix is Finland’s oldest plastics consumer goods manufacturer founded in 1936. They are based in Lohja, Finland. Their products are sold in Finland and selected international markets. Their product categories include kitchen, garden, berry picking, winter, boating, automotive, and industry products.

Challenge

Plastex hadn’t documented its R&D processes and it recognized that this was a critical need in order to kick-start its new product development goals.  We identified and developed a framework to prioritize their activities and supplement their long-term visions. 

Initial Brief

The client began by suggesting that we were to develop an R&D platform that primarily relied on taking crowdsourced ideas for the basis of an open innovation process. 

Process

After an initial discovery phase enabled by joint workshops, background research, and our own analysis, we were able to redesign and come to a joint conclusion on a new, refined brief. Upon coming back from a trip to Shanghai, our group as a whole was able to discuss more openly about the clients’ needs and gain perspective on communication. When we started discussing the concrete deliverables to be presented, we were able to utilize everyone’s strengths and create a clear understanding of what we could offer the client. Finally, when presenting our work to the client with prototypes and mock-ups, the client was quite proud of what we had done.

Methods

Workshops: We created a workshop to better understand Plastex's target market and what their ideal customer would look like. 
R&D Process creation: Using prior learnings and detailed interviews with the client, we were able to build a process that best reflected their needs and identified areas of investment.

Field trip

We traveled to Shanghai to benchmark other brands and visit the Design Shanghai exhibition. We spoke with a number of Nordic brands exhibiting there as well as a local design vendor Wowdsgn, that specialized in carrying Finnish and Danish brands.

Outcome

We presented a financial model, a series of scoring models and checklists for R&D processes, a manual to guide their R&D processes and a number of general suggestions regarding their brand. Throughout the process, we realized that the deliverable was highly dependent on the client having a series of resources and other steps in place. We were able to limit our scope to critical activities and also communicate with the client what we needed to move forward together.

Team – Bombastic Plastic

  • Krista Kärki
    BA Visual Communication / IDBM ARTS
  • Jesse Laivo
    BA Product Design / IDBM ARTS
  • Maria Jose Mera Collantes
    BSc Electronics and Communications Engineering / IDBM SCI
  • Eric Wong
    BSc Economics-Mathematics / MSc Economics & IDBM BIZ