Fira

Platform strategy and experimentation –
bending the curve and bringing the future to present day

OUR CONSULTING AND ADVISORY SERVICES CLARIFIED AND ANSWERED THE FOLLOWING ASPECTS

Relationship of strategic vision, concepts and development projects, individual tools and platforms in Fira ecosystem
The potential platform candidates in Fira’s business model and the stakeholder interactions that these platforms remove friction from
How to test-drive the assumptions with iterative model based on experimentations?
How the identified platforms should enable scaling?
What is needed to enable parties to interact with the platform?
How to make the platforms reality and align them towards common goals?
+ One platform taken into practical experimentation with the stakeholders.

STARTING POINT

How to make the strategic platform economy vision reality, how to start creating the basis for horizon 3 capabilities today?

Fira is a next generation construction company aiming to revolutionize the old-fashioned ways of working and thinking of the industry. Construction work is often quite inefficient when compared to other industries and different aspects of customization and personalisation are often seen as costly distractions rather than potential for new business and better customer experience.

In order to disrupt the industry, Fira’s strategic vision is to remove all the unnecessary and friction-laden steps from all the interactions between the stakeholders. This will bring the inhabitant (user of the building) and professionals (builders & service providers) into closer, more personal and more real-time interaction with each other. This allows the inhabitant to express her/his personal needs in all phases of the building process, during the lifecycle of living and makes it possible for the professional to fulfill these needs in professionally meaningful, efficient and quality-producing way.

The core of the answer lies within platforms and platform economy. Platforms can be used to to match the two sides and enable direct (automated and streamlined) interactions between the sides. When the benefit of one side depends on the amount of participants on the other side, platform growth is boosted through network effects. Moreover, through design and orchestration of APIs and other boundary resources, the platform sides can join and interact without need for case-by-case consultation from Fira.

In the end, this enables significant possibilities for next generation customer experience, global scaling, hyper-efficiency and completely new business dynamics and value propositions – such as offering “living environment as a service”.

Fourkind was in the core of our strategic thinking and helped us to enable new business via platform economy.


Raine Hermans
Chief Innovation Officer, Fira

STRATEGIC APPROACH

The context of platform economy is abstract and still widely misunderstood. To stir up scalable platform economy you need more than just technology and APIs.

Let’s focus on the very principles of platform economy and tie them to practice: What are the interactions in this business? Which are the parties the platform matches? What is the friction that the platform aims to remove? What are the network effects that stimulate platform growth? What boundary resources do we need to enable the platform sides to operate at arm’s length?

To enable platform economy in horizon 3, we need to start building the core assets right now. We need to understand how to experiment the platform candidates in small scale and short time frames to prove our hypotheses, guide the further investments and stir up further growth.

OUR SOLUTION:

Strategy consulting and hands-on advisory with a platform-twist

Fira as an organisation has a lot of capability and proven success stories in turning impossible-sounding, bold ideas into reality. While others deliver pipe renovation in two months, Fira does it in two weeks. This is the case with platform economy as well: The people of Fira had already trained themselves in the principles of platform economy and started to bring platform-like aspects into their respective development projects.

We started by mapping Fira’s vision: The future of construction all the way from the plot acquirement to lifecycle services, taking into account related third parties, ecological factors and next generation financing models.

By understanding the whole context of the building process and the lifecycle of living in the apartment, we were able to map the interactions between the different participants in the ecosystem and evaluate the potential of each interaction to be a basis for a match-maker platform whose growth is driven by network effects. For the evaluation, we used Fourkind Platform Canvas, an open-access platform design toolkit, which is based on the academic research by our consultant Kimmo Karhu.

After the platform candidates were identified, we aligned them into a strategic platform constellation where each platform is cross-feeding each other, meaning that growth in one platform is driving new users to other platforms.

To prove the strategic hypotheses in practice, we devised a plan for the quick experimentation of each platform and prioritised the experimentation order. Focusing on the growth of key platform participants, re-using existing investments, and the ability to support the already existing (non-platform enabled) business were the driving factors in the planning and prioritisation.

As the first step in bringing the platforms into reality, the Fira Financing Platform co-developed by Fira and Fourkind was taken to experimentation with the stakeholders in less than three months after the assignment started.

Platform-based approach makes it finally possible to integrate design into the construction process seamlessly.


Tero Vanhanen
Phenomenon Creator, Fira