Rethinking polymore

New development of a platform model

A central challenge of our business design sprint is to constantly familiarize ourselves with new markets and competitive situations. Our joint project with the plastics platform polymore, a corporate venture of the KraussMaffei Group, shows how this is possible within a very short time - emphasis on joint, because only in close collaboration is it possible to penetrate and rethink a complex B2B market.

The task of the project was to redevelop a profitable platform model that offers real added value for buyers and sellers in the plastics industry. Thanks to clearly defined methodology and hands on mentality, we were able to go through a process ranging from identification of market opportunities to development of innovative business model approaches to validated prototypes in just two and a half months. With this philosophy, we managed to build a functioning, interdisciplinary team in a timely manner that combined polymore's expertise with the methodological and creative skills of our Experience and Business Designers.
Josef Art, managing director of polymore, writes about this:

After the first half hour of getting to know each other, we were already in the operational action and immediately felt like a joint team. For us, the methodical approach - and then digitally on the Miro board - was completely new and we were happy to be guided through the process with tact by denkwerk.

Josef Art Managing Director of polymore

Even after the project is over, polymore will continue to benefit from the new tools and methods: "For us, the Business Design Sprint methods were new, as was the very well-prepared and structured work on the Miro board. In the meantime, we work almost exclusively in this way in the workshop environment, and we ourselves very successfully drive an unusual hybrid approach: we gather together in our conference room and each work on individual digital boards. Since our workshop with denkwerk, this has made us faster and more efficient in the follow-up.", added Josef Art.

During the seven project phases, from the alignment workshop to the final documentation, a variety of selected and partly customized methods were applied. Individual user journeys were generated from the qualitative user interviews in order to best understand the daily work and needs structure of the platform users. PESTEL analysis, value curves and trend cards were used to examine the market and competitive environment and as inspiration for the subsequent ideation. Finally, in this part we had to systematically derive innovative ideas, using targeted techniques such as brainwriting, sketching and storyboarding. With the help of gallery walks and dotting, the whole thing was then condensed and turned into possible business models using further methods such as the Business Model Challenger or the Ad Lib Proposition. In the end, a low-fi prototype formed the basis for testing under real conditions.

Project approach: Designsprint polymore & denkwerk
WiP - Work in Progres: Design Sprint polymore and denkwerk at work

The newly developed platform model was able to confirm the hypothesis of solving a real problem and was rated in terms of added value by the interview partners with an average of 3.9 out of 5 points. For Managing Director Josef Art, this reflects one of the successes of the project:

I am thrilled with the result in this short time. We have learned an incredible amount and subsequent customer interviews have confirmed that we have hit the nerve of the customer and that the "desirability" is given. The prototyping and customer interviews were very helpful and the results much more robust than without validation.

Josef Art Managing Director polymore

From polymore's point of view, a major strength of our business design sprint was also the strong user-centeredness of the approach: "Before the project, we had very much discussed possible advantages, disadvantages, opportunities or risks. But at the core, these were always our own experiences and assessments. With denkwerk's consistent business design method, the customer was the focus at all times and we evaluated less subjectively", added Josef Art

The intensive weeks of the project showed that the right combination of complementary skills in the team yields more than just the sum of the individual members. In addition to the existing technical competencies, the basic prerequisites are the creation of suitable structures as well as the unconditional willingness to think in new ways and to break away from existing patterns.