Systematic work leads to new work paths – Case: Auraprint21.12.2022
Auraprint discovered half a dozen new opportunities to support its growth strategy through a systematic search for solutions.
Some companies use all possible means to achieve growth. To each their own, but Auraprint chose the efficient way and partnered with Verona Consulting, whose consultants have versatile tools for building a growth strategy.
Based in Turku, Finland, Auraprint is a printing shop specialised in labelling solutions. Auraprint’s main products are various stickers and labels. The company is the Finnish leader in a field that is growing gradually. Auraprint wanted to approach the labelling market from a new perspective, especially because the global pandemic has transformed the structures of many an industry.
There was also a demand for a fresh angle due to the fact that the company had been appointed a new managing director in February. Managing Director Jussi Oksanen had prior knowledge of the field of labelling thanks to his experience in UPM Raflatac’s specialty labelling unit.
“We wanted an external consultant to give an airing to our views. If left to our own devices, we would have continued to turn over the same options again and again. We needed someone to unlock our potential”says Oksanen
Three-step search for solutions
Verona Consulting’s consultants use three methods to discover new growth paths:
The first step was to go over international market reports to get a good picture of the development of the packaging industry.
Next, the consultants interviewed Auraprint’s customers to understand their current and future needs and to survey their views on the development of the industry. The goal was to find, for example, new packaging solutions for existing products or potential new product segments that may require innovative labelling solutions. This step was crucial because everyday communication with customers tends to be mainly operational.
The third step was to assess the global innovation field and cash flows of venture capitalists. The objective was to identify the trends of packaging technology and potential areas that could offer new opportunities to the printing shop.
First changes to be implemented in early 2023
The three-step research produced about ten new ideas for growth, which were evaluated by Auraprint’s key personnel and Verona consultants. Some ideas were rejected because they did not fit the operations of Auraprint despite their interesting potential.
”We discovered six ideas worth developing, which we have already worked on further. The first changes will become visible to our customers in the first quarter of 2023”,says Oksanen.
The pace is fast, considering that the research process began in August. The ideas for development were selected in November. Oksanen emphasises that the company would not have accomplished as much this fast alone.
”The consultants have the time and the tools to focus on this type of work. Had we worked on our own, the market would have already changed too much by the time we finished the project.”
Some of the new growth paths concern products or services, some company practices.
”During the project, areas for development were also identified in our own operations. This is not really a matter of product development, but conditions enabling growth.”
Although the company is eager to reform itself, there are limits to change. ”Auraprint has been an independent family business for 136 years. We are proud of our independence and plan to hold on to it in the future.”
Three points on growth strategy
- Execution is everything. It is important to establish the right level of ambition and set achievable goals. It is better to do one thing well than leave ten things undone.
- Outside help brings a new perspective. A business looking for new paths and developing its operations should consider utilising an external facilitator who will bring new ideas and perspectives to the table.
- Manageable development process. If the development process is too demanding, the company will suffocate. It is the duty of the external consultant to understand the needs and goals of the client and find the right approach.
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Executive Consultant, member of management team