7 tips for industrial scaling – beneficial for your colleagues as well
Industrial scaling involves all the measures that startups need to take in order to raise their operations to the next level: technological solutions, process technology and business models can all be scaled up. It is essential to know which measures and outputs are needed at each stage of scaling.
Industrial production is transforming from a linear to an increasingly circular economy. The key players in the revolution are industrial startups who have open-mindedly started to think about production in a new way.
However, the path from idea to commercial production is not straightforward. It typically involves refining the idea, possible laboratory tests and experiments, pilot and demo stages, and finally commercialization. This is followed by a duplication stage, in which the commercial entity is duplicated – in the best case, globally.
Each stage has its own unique characteristics that must be considered with appropriate precision and scope according to the needs of the scaling stage. Along the way, the following tips should be kept in mind:
1. Right from the outset, when developing the idea, consider holistically the possibilities of the circular economy and bioeconomy
In the circular economy, value is created by minimizing waste and using energy and natural resources – by getting more out of less. The bioeconomy in turn covers all kinds of production based on renewable natural materials and the further development and use of related innovations and technologies.
Scaling should start by looking at the possibilities of the circular economy and bioeconomy on a large scale together with different types of partners. The key is to understand the role of the different actors in the value chain and find a suitable niche for your business.
2. Develop the idea sufficiently before proceeding to the next stage
On the one hand, the idea is everything – yet on the other hand, nothing at all. In the ideation stage, there must be room for creativity and flexible ways to navigate to the next stage. It is also good to remember that the success of scaling depends crucially on visualizing and understanding the entire business.
3. Use advanced tools to test the idea
Laboratory trials provide information about phenomena related to the idea, set limits and generate information about the possibilities. Various theoretical calculations and mathematical simulations can be used to evaluate the feasibility of the idea. Testing and modeling can also be used in the later stages of scaling.
4. Create a clear presentation of the scaling concept to secure funding
In the pilot state, the focus shifts to technological solutions and the requirements for industrial production, and the investments you need start to increase. Therefore, one of the most important considerations at this stage is to secure funding and convince financiers.
It is extremely important to understand what outputs the financiers expect at each stage. It must also be remembered that, whether it is a pilot, demo or production stage, the same design phases must be implemented in each of these. In all stages, it is worth using a project-based operating model.
5. Move towards automated production in the demo stage
The purpose of the demo stage is to gain an understanding of the requirements for industrial production. It is important to understand how industrial-scale production works and, in particular, how the process can be automated as much as possible.
At this stage, it is also worth investing in quality and other features of the final product to ensure they meet the needs of users in an optimal way.
6. Gather proof that the concept is technically and commercially viable
In the commercialization stage, you must be able to demonstrate that your concept is both economically and technologically feasible. It is equally important to refine the final product in order to make production more streamlined and efficient.
At this stage, large investments are already required, and risks are also increasing. This highlights the choice of partners to ensure that the project can achieve its targets on schedule.
7. Consider early on what is required to reach the global level
Scaling up to a global level involves business development above all. Create a clear model that enables operations to be expanded efficiently while managing the risks of expansion.
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