The demand for design in Finland is growing rapidly


Demand for design is growing rapidly and design is increasingly being integrated into the core business of companies. Most of the design work is done in companies. In 2021, so-called in-house design will make up 67 percent of the company’s design costs.

This was shown by the survey of the member companies of the Chamber of Commerce of the Helsinki Region carried out in May-June 2021. The survey examined the use of design know-how in companies in different industries. 108 companies from the service, manufacturing and construction sectors responded.

The majority of respondents stated that the need for design or the demand for design services has increased in the last five years. In addition, many companies assume that growth will continue over the next five years.

The main advantages of design, according to the respondents, are the improved quality, usability and quality control of products and services, as well as the visualization. In addition to the design of products and services, design in companies is increasingly seen as design thinking and strategic design.

“The use of design is growing happily, and more and more sectors are investing in it. The production of design services in companies has increased significantly, suggesting that design is seen as an increasingly strategic part of the way companies do business, ”says Ornamos Executive Director Salla Heinänen.

“There is still room for improvement, as more than half of the companies surveyed stated that the greatest obstacle to the use of design is the lack of design skills. Companies need more know-how to make design purchases. Financial instruments should also be developed in this area. “

“Design reduces uncertainty in decision-making”

Elisa, which offers telecommunications, ICT and online services, has invested heavily in design in recent years. The design community has quadrupled in recent years.

“The transition from traditional user interface work to fast, data-driven experimentation and agile service design facilitation is evident in the design sector,” says Jussi-Pekka Erkkola, Service Director, E-Commerce & Digital Service at Elisa.

“Design also helps to understand what the value experienced by the customer consists of and how it is realized. A new design challenge is harmonizing a multi-channel customer experience that is facilitated by scalable and easy-to-share design practices and tools. “

Designers work in all of our main areas of business at different stages in the lifecycle of our services, “says Jouni Linkola, Head of Design at Elisa.

“The tasks of the designers include collecting and refining the customer understanding for service development, recognizing business opportunities as well as designing and quickly evaluating service concepts based on them. Design therefore plays an important role in reducing decision-making uncertainty. “

The growth of design service companies continues

According to the regional economic statistics from Statistics Finland, the turnover in the core design sector in 2019 was EUR 3 650 million. This number includes the manufacturing industry that makes heavy use of design (design-intensive industry), design service companies, and artistic activities.

The turnover of the design service providers continues to rise and growth amounted to 59.5 percent in 2010-2019. The fastest growth has been seen in companies providing industrial design and interior design services. Sales have also increased in the artistic field.

Traditional manufacturing with design accounted for 26 percent of the total, and sales fell by more than two percent in 2010-2019. The decline in sales in the manufacture of glass and ceramic products was the sharpest. There is growth in the industrial design and clothing manufacturing sectors, which is also reflected in the growth in employment in these sectors.

The total turnover of the design industry in 2019 was 12,600 million euros, including digital design and companies in the fields of architecture and landscaping. Digital design accounts for a significant and growing proportion of the total turnover in the industry. In 2019 it was worth 8,200 million euros. The area of ​​digital design includes, for example, companies that deal with software design and production. This has significantly strengthened the role of design in the development of digital services for companies.

Total sales in the design industry grew by around 2.9 percent between 2018 and 2019 and employment by 5.8 percent. The development was better than the average for the entire business area.

The cyclical expectations of the design have improved significantly

Ornamo’s annual business survey for the design sector tracks the state and trends of the Finnish design sector. The economic surveys for 2021 were conducted for Ornamo member companies from June to August and 103 companies responded.

According to the survey, the outlook for the design industry has improved significantly since the 2020 downturn. 51 percent of the companies surveyed assume that general demand and the economic outlook will improve in the next 12 months. A year earlier, the corresponding proportion of respondents was unusually low at 26 percent. The design industry’s assessments of the macroeconomic outlook and demand outlook are significantly better than the average for SMEs as a whole.

The survey also collected information on the number of companies, their size, employment trends and internationalization plans, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the development of companies.

Source: Ornamo

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