Industry is vitally important for countries and regions. If a region loses its manufacturing capabilities, it also loses its ability to innovate, as was demonstrated by the Harvard professors Shih and Pisano in their book “Producing Prosperity” . For a long time, industry has also enhanced its operations by utilising subcontracting chains that innovate and reshape together, producing more than just the sum of their parts.

Reshaping industry also networks beyond the scope of its conventional subcontractors as digitalisation and special technologies bring new operators to the field. Efficient use of, for example, 3D printing and computer vision requires a lot of new expertise. It might be more efficient to search for a partner with such expertise rather than study the subject yourself. The same applies to the utilisation of sensors, data and analytics in business.

The industrial Internet also requires more efficient networking from the part of subcontractors and partners. More value and efficiency can be derived from the integration of data flow, of which the German auto industry cluster is an excellent example. Thanks to close co-operation, Schmitz-Cargobull, for example, reports that it has reduced its average unit production time from 120 minutes to just 12 minutes by, among other things, integrating more efficient data flow throughout the supply chain .

The corporate networks of reshaping industry are wider than traditional subcontractor networks. These networks include, among other operators, specialists in business-based analytics, sensors, cloud services and various special technologies such as computer vision and robotics, as well as data integrators. A wider than ever network requires not only finding suitable partners, but also efficient co-operation that facilitates agile operation and data flow integration. In addition, old contract models often require remodelling in these value networks of reshaping industry.

Tamware, a participant in the Tampere Region’s INKA project, is also accelerating the networking of its various value chain operators. Companies operating in the business park of intelligent transport systems and intelligent solutions are integrating their data flows even more closely than before, enabling them to jointly offer their customers the wider comprehensive solutions they are looking for. This improves the competitive edge of the entire corporate network and also benefits the specific companies taking part.
There is a demand for developing partnership. With new concepts and fresh viewpoints comes access to new markets and new business opportunities .

Traditionally, price has been the major competitive factor for subcontractor networks, and this certainly continues to be true today. Nevertheless, partnership is becoming more important in reshaping industry as the functionality of network relationships and business value creation are based on trust and sharing information. Few companies are able to reach full business efficiency and benefits on their own. A subcontracting network that efficiently utilises digitalisation may be one of the foundations of reshaping industry’s competitive edge.

Completely new form of networking will take place at the Subcontracting Fare 2015. Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea together with Finpro and Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd organize a matchmaking for Finnish and Norwegian companies in the spirit of Drømmeløftet. The meetings focus on new innovations that solve the challenges of traditional industries. Drømmeløftet is a term used by Norwegians that means lifting the spirit, making dreams come true and innovating new business.

Päivi Myllykangas D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.) is the CEO of Tredea Oy, Tampere Region Economic Development Agency, and Kaija Pöysti M.Sc. (Tech.) is a Senior Partner at Intosome Oy