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Working systematically with design pays off on the bottom line, shows new design study.

DI Business News

Design pays off on the bottom line

75% of companies that employ design systematically find that design has a positive impact on their bottom line, shows the Design Delivers survey conducted by the Confederation of Danish Industry and the Danish Design Centre.

45% of Danish companies do not work systematically with design.

That is 5 percentage points more than in 2016, when the Design Delivers survey was first conducted. Meanwhile, the number of companies for whom design is central for business has increased slightly (15%, eds.), shows the Design Delivers survey, which has now been conducted by the Danish Design Centre and the Confederation of Danish Industry for the second time. 

“Good design is good business. This goes for the more established companies such as Danfoss and LEGO and for small start-ups. The fact that half of companies still do not work systematically with design shows that there are still barriers we need to tackle,” says Mette Fjord Sørensen, Director of Research and Higher Education at the Confederation of Danish Industry.

Below, you can read about how three very different companies have worked with design, or you can come along to the conference “Design Delivers 2018” on 5 November at Industriens Hus. Attendance is free. 

Ulla Riber, Group Vice President at ISS is the head of ISS Corporate Garage, which works together with colleagues from the global ISS to generate innovation.

Ulla Riber, Group Vice President at ISS is the head of ISS Corporate Garage, which works together with colleagues from the global ISS to generate innovation.

Image:ISS

ISS: Small investment – global market

In 2017 services company ISS launched its own innovation unit: the ISS Corporate Garage, which consists of a small core team of employees. The team works with colleagues from the global ISS to generate ideas, validate markets and commercialise and scale new innovative solutions. Among other things, the Garage has developed a new service concept – from idea to solution, which has today been sold to several global clients and is offered as a service. The process is characterised by a fast pace and small investments before there are positive test results to build upon.

“We crowdsource from our innovations community at ISS: What are the most important challenges we can attempt to find innovative solutions for? We don’t care about titles – what we’re looking for is ‘popcorn brains’. These are the good colleagues who always ask questions. They dare to venture down new roads, and they aren’t afraid of challenging the status quo. That’s what we want,” says Ulla Riber, Group Vice President, Head of Corporate Garage - Global Solutions, ISS.

For SKOV A/S, the partnership with design and innovation agency Attention has led to conversations about the company’s fundamental values.

Image:SKOV A/S

SKOV A/S: Design process led to aftershocks all the way up to global owner

Product development has always been a top priority at SKOV, which has developed and manufactured ventilation systems for poultry and pig farms since the 1960s. A collaboration with design and innovation agency Attention, among others, revealed that SKOV’s biggest challenge was the risk of disruption. This led to a new organisational setup and discussions about the company’s fundamental values. The process led to aftershocks all the way up to SKOV’s owner, the German group Big Dutchman (BD). In the future, SKOV and BD will be working together far more closely and strategically.

 “It was the good questions raised during the design process that laid bare certain issues which run much deeper than simply technology. It’s about our business and clients. Our work with value proposition and user journeys has resulted in a far more strategic collaboration with our owner, Big Dutchman, in terms of the future of the company,” says Niels Riis, Product Manager, SKOV A/S.

CEO Niels Fibæk-Jensen, Matter, was surprised by how much people do to lead sustainable everyday lives.

Image:Matter (previously Penstable)

Matter: User tests were surprising

Through in-depth interviews, short conversations and user tests, fintech company Matter (previously Penstable) has identified a number of basic design principles for how to make pension more engaging and relevant.

“Our design process has given us a better understanding of our clients and guided the development of our new visual identity and digital platform. We’ve been surprised by how much people do to lead sustainable everyday lives,” says Niels Fibæk-Jensen, CEO, Matter.

Anders Michael Tetens Hoff

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