Market entry potential for foreign competitors vis-à-vis Finnish wood construction markets with an emphasis on structural connections
Naskali, Jarno (2018)
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This Master’s thesis has been commissioned by Rotho Blaas S.r.l. of Italy. The main aim of the study is to design a strategy for the segmentation of and entry into the Finnish wood construction markets from the point of view of interested foreign manufacturers of structural connections. The conduct of this strategy design task was based on the three literature reviews (a desk study) and the theme interviews (a field study). Sub-aim 1 is to select and review the theoretical frameworks and typologies for the formulation of entry strategies especially with contexts embedded in foreign construction markets. In Ch. 2, the phases, the modes, and the key frameworks, the international expansion process and the Spearhead Entry Strategy, are reported upon. Sub-aim 2 is to review and understand the structural connection systems used in combination with engineered wood products. In Ch. 3, these highly technical results include the connecting solutions in the CLT, LVL, and Glulam assemblies. Sub-aim 3 is to investigate the wood construction in Finland via a desk study. In Ch. 4, the results cover the market development between the years 2005 and 2015 as well as the technical assessments and the certification systems currently used in Finland. New residential building production is taking place as multi-storey buildings also in the coming years. Typically, wooden frame structures are being recognized as structures for small buildings only. Thus, the Finnish wood products industry should renew its offerings and operating mode in order to meet this new evolving demand. This implies the development of systems for high wood-framed buildings and the increasing use of engineered wood products. Sub-aim 4 is to identify and analyze the key factors in competitiveness and procurement within wood construction in Finland via the theme interviews. In Ch. 5, the conduct of this field study and the key results are reported upon, by the four interviewee groups. In the same vein, the most interviewees stressed the importance of connections in big structures, i.e., they play a focal role in the enhancement of competitiveness of wood construction in the near future. The attainment of these four sub-aims, i.e., the results enabled to design a segment entry strategy for foreign manufacturers of structural connections. In Ch. 6, the framework of the Spearhead Entry Strategy is applied to this focal context. The segment entry strategy is designed in terms of screening a market potential, segmenting a target market, adapting a marketing mix, developing a marketing plan, and selecting a mode of entry. Interested foreign structural connectors should identify “soft” key decision-makers among wooden frame manufacturers and focus early marketing efforts on them. Finally, the conclusions are put forth. In Ch. 7, the analysis and critique of the study, the scope of strategy applications, and future studies are dealt with.