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Working Paper: Case Study

Customer Centricity at Ponsse: Redesigning the Company to Serve a Broader Set of Customers

Ponsse Plc, a manufacturer of forest machines, reframed customer centricity to generate meaningful digital solutions that addressed the needs of a broader set of customers.
CASE STUDY

An in-depth description of a firm’s approach to an IT management issue (intended for MBA and executive education)

Abstract

By the end of 2021, Ponsse Plc, traditionally a manufacturer of forest machines, had earned its place as Finland’s most reputable company across all industry sectors for the fourth consecutive year. Ponsse’s top management team, which included the chairman and seven other directors, credited the company’s success to its customer centricity. For most of the company’s history, this had meant focusing on the interests of one type of Ponsse customer: forest machine operators. In 2014, Ponsse diversified its innovation efforts to generate digital solutions for additional types of customers—although initially these solutions did not resonate with the customers they were designed for. This case study describes how the top management team at Ponsse redirected the company’s innovation efforts to generate meaningful digital solutions that addressed the needs of a broader set of customers. It explains how the team reinforced the company’s cross-functional culture, defined new customer segments, and identified which customers’ needs to address, then redesigned and built out the company’s digital capabilities accordingly.

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About the Authors

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Nils O. Fonstad, Research Scientist, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

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Jukka Salonen, MIT CISR Industry Research Fellow, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

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