New counselling tool will help production SMVs.

The task of the project was to develop a tool to help small and medium sized (from five to 50 employees) owner managed production companies to create growth by taking advantage of their potential in non-technological innovation.

On Thursday November 12, the transnational project SNOwMan was concluded with a big online conference. The purpose of the project has been to develop a tool targeted counselling of owner-managed production SMVs in the participating countries.

The SNOwMan project started in October 2017 and has collaboration between SMVs, higher education institutions and intermediaries in Denmark, Poland, Finland, Germany and Lithuania. The Interreg Baltic Sea Region finances the project.

The task of the project was to develop a tool to help small and medium sized (from five to 50 employees) owner managed production companies to create growth by taking advantage of their potential in non-technological innovation. This specific type of companies has some particular challenges, which the project has worked to overcome.

The companies must take advantage of their potential

The tool developed by the project is based on the notion that smaller companies that are owned and managed by the same person have some special circumstances to work from – among other things the consideration of the family and the capital base.

Because of this, the companies often have difficulties exploiting their potential for non-technological innovation. This could be developing the level of competencies of the company, establishing a board or changing focus in the marketing of the company’s products. Therefore, the tool is developed to be very flexible in order to consider the individual company’s particular circumstances.

6 steps for innovation

The tool consists of a six step development process which is completed in cooperation between the owner manager and a business consultant. After an introduction, the company’s primary challenges are identified, followed by the development of a strategy and action plan, all with basis in the vision of the company. Afterwards, the operationalization of the strategy and action plan is carried out and completed with measuring and evaluating the outputs.

Project manager Susan Hedelin Dalum explains:
“6 steps for innovation is targeted counselling of smaller owner managed companies. It is very consciously established as a digital platform so business consultants in all participating countries can use the tool”, says project manager Susan Hedelin Dalum and continues:

“We have, in the development of the 6 steps for innovation, used the special circumstances for smaller owner managed companies as a starting point because they are barriers for the growth of the companies. The tool is developed based on the knowledge and experiences from both Poland, Finland, Germany, Lithuania and Denmark.”

Business consultants are well prepared

In the work with developing the 6 steps for innovation tool, the entire process has been tested by education institutions, business consultants and not least owner managers in all the target countries.The tool has been very positively received by both companies and the promotion of trade system. They see a big potential in having a tool to strengthen the counselling of smaller owner managed companies.

To spread the word about the possibilities with 6 steps for innovation and to prepare the business consultants in the best possible way, the project has developed a Train-the-Trainer course.The purpose of the Train-the-Trainer course is to implement the 6 steps for innovation tool and to prepare the business consultants to counsel the owner managers and support them in the process of realizing their innovation potential.

For more information

Susan Hedelin Dalum
Project manager SNOwMan
M: +45 87 55 40 27
E: suhd@via.dk

You can read more about SNOwMan here

You can read more about 6 steps for innovation here

Facts

  • SNOwMan started in 2017 and concludes in December 2020.
  • Four higher education institutions and seven business intermediaries from four different countries participated in the project.
  • Furthermore, Hanse-Parlament from Germany participated (Hanse-Parlament was founded in 1994 to strengthen smaller companies in the Baltic Sea Region and to strengthen the competitiveness of the area).
  • The total project budget for SNOwMan is 2,085,850 euro. Of this, approximately 1.63 million euro are from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region and the Regional Development Fund.