Browsing by Subject "product development"

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  • Niemistö, Johanna; Myllyviita, Tanja; Judl, Jáchym; Holma, Anne; Sironen, Susanna; Mattila, Tuomas; Antikainen, Riina; Leskinen, Pekka (2019)
    International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 26 (7): 625-634
    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a substantial role in the economy and job creation, but they are a remarkable source of environmental impacts. SMEs often lack skills and resources to compile environmental impact assessments; Streamlined Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can provide efficient tools for this. An application of streamlined LCA relying heavily on database data, LCA clinic, was developed and tested on 23 SMEs in Finland. The climate change impacts were mainly caused by the production of raw materials, electricity and heating, whereas packaging and transportation were not influential. A significant amount of emissions were indirect, i.e. caused by production of raw materials. Thus, decreasing emissions from raw material production or selecting raw materials with a smaller environmental load could be a more efficient way to decrease emissions than reducing direct emissions such as those from electricity use. Lack of data in the LCA-databases was considered a challenge. An access to regionally customised datasets is important for the implementation of LCA clinics. Company feedback indicated that LCA clinics were useful in climate-friendly product design and increased environmental awareness, but did not lead to immediate actions to reduce emissions because of inadequate investment capabilities. Company managers had limited possibilities to use the results in marketing as comparative assessments would require a full LCA. Many company managers were willing to pay a fee sufficient to cover the costs of an LCA clinic, but some considered that the costs should be covered by external funding sources.
  • Holmberg, Tommy (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Food consumption is changing, and consumers show increasing interest for how food is being produced and processed. Insights into consumer wants and needs has therefore never been more important for a food company developing a new product. The goal of this thesis is twofold. First, to investigate sensory characteristics in liquid meat stocks and second, to study Finnish consumers’ attitudes towards such stock products. This was achieved by performing a sensory study on three newly developed meat stocks, using a generic descriptive analysis method. A consumer survey was conducted investigating 551 Finnish consumers’ usage frequency and factors influencing purchase intentions of stock products. In SPSS, ANOVA tests were used to identify significant mouthfeel, appearance and flavour differences between five meat stock samples. Socio-demographic differences in user frequency of stock products and other factors influencing purchase intentions were determined using an ordered logit model, in STATA. The results from the sensory study suggest that roasting of meat, bones and vegetables before cooking leads to darker colour and stronger flavours but is not perceived to consistently improve overall pleasantness. Results from the consumer study suggest that stock cubes are the most popular type of stock product purchased. Furthermore, the most important factors when purchasing stock products are flavour, previous experience with the product and convenience. Interest in origin of raw materials, environmental-friendliness and animal welfare was shown to be affected by consumers’ age and area of living (urban/rural). Similarly, differences in gender, age and area of living affect user frequency. To conclude, these results suggest that both extrinsic and intrinsic meat stock attributes are relevant to differentiate liquid stocks from other stock products and provide novel input into future marketing strategies.
  • Alaranta, Joonas; Turunen, Topi (Oxford University Press, 2020)
    Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 33, Issue 1, March 2021, Pages 113–136
    This article discusses the regulation of ‘substances of concern’ in the circular economy (CE) in the European Union (EU). It analyses the tensions and obstacles that the present sectoral separation of waste, product and chemicals legislation sets for the development of the CE. We argue that in a longer term perspective the aim should be to erase the border between waste and chemicals regulation and create a single regime for the regulation of materials and their flow. However, the eventual aim of such non-toxic material circulation can be achieved only via precautious transitional measures that outweigh the costs and benefits of each material flow and set restrictions for the particular substances of concern. Regulatory actions addressing the risks posed by the substances of concern in the waste-based material flows are urgently needed. New measures are necessary to protect human health and the environment and to support the development of the markets for the secondary materials.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    This study explores the role and nature of knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Even though the role of knowledge as a competitive advantage is commonly recognized in the SME sector, almost no attention has been paid to the managing and developing of knowledge in SMEs. This thesis consists of three different sub-studies that were reported in four individual essays. The results of the questionnaire study indicate that nearly all companies that responded to the questionnaire (N = 108) found intangible assets, i.e. knowledge resources to be their main source of competitive advantage. However, only less than a third of the companies actively deal with knowledge management. The results also indicate a significant correlation between activity in knowledge management and sustainable organic growth of the company. The interview study (N = 10) explored the context and motives of the SMEs for managing their intangible assets, and the concrete practices of knowledge management. It turned out that KM facilitated change management, clarification of the vision and new strategy formulation. All the interviewed companies were aiming at improved innovation process, new ways of doing business and attaining an increased “knowledge focus” in their business. Nearly all also aspired to grow significantly. Thus, KM provides a strategy for these SMEs to guarantee their survival and sustainability in the turbulent markets. The action research was a process to assess and develop intangible resources in three companies. The experienced benefits were the clarification of future focus and strategy, creation of a common language to discuss strategic issues within the company, as well as improved balance of different categories of intangible assets. After the process all the case companies had developed in the chosen key areas. Thus, by systematic knowledge management the implementation of new strategic orientation (knowledge focusing) was facilitated. The findings can be summarized in two main points. First, knowledge management seems to serve the purpose of change, renewal and new strategic orientation in the SMEs. It also seems to be closely related to organic growth and innovation. All of these factors can be considered dimensions of entrepreneurship. Second, the conscious development of intangible assets can increase the balance of different categories of intangible assets and the overall knowledge focusing of business. In the case companies, this in turn facilitated the path to the improved overall performance.
  • Judl, Jáchym; Mattila, Tuomas; Manninen, Kaisa; Antikainen, Riina (Finnish Environment Institute, 2015)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 18/2015
    In recent years, life cycle assessment (LCA) has become one of the main tools for quantifying environmental sustainability of products and services. The main advantage of LCA is that several environmental impacts are assessed simultaneously over the entire life cycle of a product or a service, across its whole value chain. Its holistic nature makes LCA a laborious and expensive method, less accessible to start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, as most of Finnish companies are of those sizes there is a clear need for a more simple, yet robust, solution. To tackle the challenge, we have developed a concept called the LCA clinic. Our idea is to streamline LCA and make it affordable for SMEs and start-ups. In this report we present the conceptual idea and illustrate its application on a series of trials with real companies. The outcomes of the LCA clinic trials show that it is applicable in practice. Moreover, they provide a valuable feedback for further development of the concept. The trials also proved that LCA clinics have a potential to stimulate life cycle thinking (LCT) in the participating companies.
  • Kokko, Teemu (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    The present study concentrates on a small – but important – area of marketing: offering development within the service sector, more exactly the restaurant sector. The empirical part of the study has been carried out in the Helsinki metropolitan area using six successful restaurants. First, a conceptual offering development model is developed based on how the management perceives the offering development processes. Second, customer perceptions of offerings and management beliefs about how the customers perceive the offerings are analysed. Finally, an extended offering development model is created based on the management perceptions (the first model) as well as on observed gaps between customer perceptions of offerings and management beliefs about the customer perceptions. The study reveals that customer perceptions and management beliefs are rather similar but also that some differences exist. These differences are taken into account in the extended offering development model (the second model). The empirical data was collected through interviews and surveys. All together 393 customers and 14 managers participated in the study. The study suggests that successful offering development has to be closely connected with the general strategy of the company. A shared vision within the company in combination with a systematic strategic offering development process create a sound basis for the practical development work. The main contribution of the study is the extended offering development model forming a framework for further studies within the area.
  • Fagerholm, Fabian; Sanchez Guinea, Alejandro; Mäenpää, Hanna; Münch, Jürgen (2017)
    Context:Development of software-intensive products and services increasingly occurs by continuously deploying product or service increments, such as new features and enhancements, to customers. Product and service developers must continuously find out what customers want by direct customer feedback and usage behaviour observation. Objective: This paper examines the preconditions for setting up an experimentation system for continuous customer experiments. It describes the RIGHT Model for Continuous Experimentation (Rapid Iterative value creation Gained through High-frequency Testing), illustrating the building blocks required for such a system. Method: An initial model for continuous experimentation is analytically derived from prior work. The model is matched against empirical case study findings from two startup companies and further developed. Results: Building blocks for a continuous experimentation system and infrastructure are presented. Conclusions: A suitable experimentation system requires at least the ability to release minimum viable products or features with suitable instrumentation, design and manage experiment plans, link experiment results with a product roadmap, and manage a flexible business strategy. The main challenges are proper, rapid design of experiments, advanced instrumentation of software to collect, analyse, and store relevant data, and the integration of experiment results in both the product development cycle and the software development process.
  • Koskenkari, Tapani (University of Helsinki, 2000)
  • Syvänen, Silja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Packaging is a part of an integrated food system, where actors are linked through value chains. This research aimed to identify collaboration amongst the primary external stakeholders of the fiber based packaging value chain of CH-Polymers Oy, and to understand the decision making regarding supplier and material selection. This research was conducted as a qualitative case study that explored the experiences of 6 companies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as the main data collection method. The data collected from the interviews was analyzed using thematic analysis method. The findings showed that stakeholders were dependent on each other, shared mutual goals and understood the benefits and necessity of collaboration. Succeeding in packaging development was found to be the main purpose of collaboration. Even though collaboration functioned well with closest stakeholders, the lack of resources and time limited collaboration with other stakeholders. Lack of supplier and customer involvement in the early stages of packaging development were found to cause challenges and uncertainties. Also, product development projects were often started with former partners. The value chain criteria guided the development of new packaging and the decisions regarding material and supplier selection. However, quality, price and available processing equipment created limitations in adopting new technology. This study raised the importance of integrating the entire value chain during packaging development, and the importance of engaging the suppliers and customers early in the packaging development process. However, the significance of internal collaboration during packaging development should be highlighted and studied further especially regarding sustainable new product development.
  • Jyry, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Whey is a significant side stream in the cheese making industry, and it can be utilized in several ways especially because whey proteins are nutritionally valuable. Whey cheeses are produced all around the world and mostly in small scale and traditional ways. The production of Ziger whey cheese has a long tradition in Switzerland, and it requires fresh whey derived from rennet-induced cheese making. The whey proteins are precipitated by high manufacturing temperature, the addition of acid and NaCl. The goal of this master’s thesis is to develop a Ziger whey cheese that can be applied in the Finnish dairy industry including optimization of the manufacturing process emphasizing the manufacturing temperature. The thesis also investigates and compares the effect of the temperature on the moisture, protein, and fat content and the yield of the Ziger whey cheese. Also, this thesis aims to examine the effect of the manufacturing temperature on the shelf life by monitoring microbial and physicochemical parameters of the Ziger whey cheese over 21 days of storage. The manufacturing temperatures examined in the production of Ziger were 88 oC and 93 oC, and the production was repeated three times for both temperatures which resulted in altogether six production series. The temperature had a significant effect on the yield which concluded, that the higher the temperature was during the manufacture, the higher the yield was. The microbiological quality was not affected by the manufacturing temperature. However, during the storage there was a significant correlation between the growth of lactic acid bacteria and the pH value i.e., the bacterial count increased as the pH value decreased. After 21 days of storage, every Ziger whey cheese sample crossed the threshold of spoilage for the total viable count which was set at 107 CFU/mL. The manufacturing temperature had no impact on the protein and fat contents. Instead of the manufacturing temperature, there was a strong correlation between the moisture and the fat content. Based on the fat content, the Ziger whey cheese can be categorized as creamy and soft whey cheese. For future reference of research, the quality and shelf life of Ziger whey cheese could be improved by modified atmosphere or vacuum packaging, high packaging temperatures, and shorter drainage time. Moreover, the production could be made more efficient by a continuous process in comparison to batch production.