Trailmaker customer: Saint-Gobain is building new competitive advantage through innovation

Saint-Gobain is looking for growth through both internal innovation and partnerships. Saint-Gobain Ecophon is constantly evaluating opportunities to cooperate with and potentially invest in technology companies. The company has been using the Trailmaker process in concretising and testing cooperation.

Saint-Gobain Ecophon develops, manufactures and markets acoustic ceiling and wall systems. Products in the field are evolving at a rapid pace, as the effects of room acoustics on comfort and well-being have been widely recognized.

“New types of acoustic innovations are of interest to builders, designers and architects. Of course, we want to meet the expectations of our customers. In addition to our own product development, the growth of our brand is possible by finding innovations outside and developing new businesses”, says Juha Ryyppö, Business Unit Director Saint-Gobain Ceilings.

There are a lot of potential and opportunities for a win-win setup in the cooperation.

“For a big company like us, collaboration is an agile way to gain new skills and technology. The partner company with technology is not yet in a mature stage, while we have bigger muscles to export the product to a bigger market”, says Ola Karlsson, Research & Development Director Saint-Gobain Ceilings.

“By working together, everyone wins. We want to offer our customers innovative and sustainable solutions and the company with the innovation is looking for possibilities to enter the international markets”, says Ryyppö.

The Trailmaker process forces to make reasoned decisions quickly

With the help of Trailmaker, the conversation quickly gets to the heart of the matter.

“Basics of the new business is handled in a very structured way. We produce a common vision that allows us to assess the level and profitability of the business and its opportunities from different perspectives. It is not worth running such projects for many months, but the study must be done quickly”, says Ryyppö.

Trailmaker process significantly speeds up and clarifies the Saint-Gobain’s process.

“Trailmaker brings people to the same table and forces people work together on a tight schedule. The process is a big benefit for both large companies and small businesses”, Karlsson says.

According to the schedule defined in the Trailmaker process, it’s then time to make further studies and technical evaluations. After that, a decision on how to proceed will be made.

“The decision is important – whether we decide to continue together or not. It’s important to make a reasoned decision quickly so that we can either continue together or leave the case”, says Ryyppö.


TRAILMAKER is a concept for faster strategy execution:

• Concrete common view and commitment

• Identified capability needs

• Visibility