Q: Can we propose research themes or are they already fixed?
A: You are most welcome to propose themes, topics or phenomena that you want us to jointly study. We take all suggestions from you and other applicants into consideration before we decide which themes / topics / phenomena qualify to be studied (the criteria include that it should be novel and relevant for the participating companies and for science). After this we discuss with all the participants to form a mutual understanding of which ones we will focus on and commit to. We are always open to study interesting topics or phenomena in the areas of sales, marketing and customer relationship management that you, the other participants and we want to gain a deeper understanding of.
Q: Who are usually the project owners and how many people can participate from each company?
A: As our multi-company programs focus on topics related to sales, marketing and product/service management, the project owner / sponsor from a participating company is usually the head of sales, marketing or business development, a member of the strategy planning group or the CEO. These persons are often supported by a person who coordinates the project within the company. As for the number of participants per company: There may be one or several persons per company attending our workshops and round-table discussions, depending on the topic that we are dealing with.
Q: Do I have to be in sales or marketing to benefit from the results of the study?
A: Although the research questions that we focus on are generally strategic ones, anyone who works with customers (directly or indirectly) or manages those doing that benefits from our trainings. Based on previous experience, we can guarantee that everyone who participates in our programs get new insights and tools that prove valuable for them.
Q: Is the confidential information that we (or our customers) provide in safe hands?
A: Yes, it is. We take confidentiality very seriously. During the programs we regularly deal with company- and customer-sensitive information. We follow strict guidelines for ethical behavior in research when acquiring data. Moreover, to protect the companies and respondents in any distribution or dissemination of the data that is gathered, we apply our confidentiality policy. Additionally, we protect the participants in the group, for example by reserving the right to terminate (without notice) the membership of anyone breaching the mutual confidentiality clause(s). We are proud to state that we have never had any issue with loss or misuse of confidential information.
Q: Can any company participate in your multi-company programs?
A: No. Participation in our exclusive multi-company programs is by invitation only. You can contact us and apply for participation in one of our upcoming programs. The topics for our upcoming program can be discussed and planned until we have selected the participants for a program.
Q: How often do you arrange multi-company programs?
A: Normally we run two multi-company programs per year: one in Finland / Northern Europe and one in the USA. However, this is not set in stone. We can run more or fewer, depending on the level or interest by you and other companies and also on our availability.
Q: How are the multi-company programs delivered?
A: All multi-company programs are designed, structured, prepared and done in collaboration with the participating companies to ensure that we focus on the topics that are important for these companies. Once the group of participating companies has been selected and the topic(s) to be studied has been fixed, we kick off the program.
Q: Do we have to allocate a lot of time when we participate in your multi-company project?
A: Rest assure, the time that you need to allocate will be kept to a minimum (days per year). Although the multi-company programs involve a lot of research that work is done in the background by the research team. In other words, the participating companies do not need to allocate resources much more than granting the research team access to certain members of the their personnel, customers or material.
Q: How are the results presented?
A: The results are presented in the form of workshops and round-table discussions, which are normally held once per quarter.
Q: How and when are the results of the study / studies revealed and distributed?
A: Each project is divided into stages or phases. The results and findings are distributed during/after each phase of the project. Additionally, a final report that covers all the phases is distributed at the end of the project. All material is generally delivered in digital format for ease of distribution within the organizations.
Q: What is the price for participating in your multi-company programs?
A: The price per company is based on the resources that we use, i.e. it to a large extent depends on the scope of the program and the number of participating companies.
Q: Do the programs qualify for governmental funding (e.g. from Tekes, Vinnova or similar)?
A: This is case-by-case. Sometimes we apply for external funding, sometimes we don’t. There are several reasons to this, including the urgency of the study, the required budget and in case the topic is interesting enough for a wider audience and science.