Qmarkets & Amer Sports – An Innovative Partnership that Created Unprecedented Employee Engagement
From mobile innovation solutions to analog internal marketing, gamification, and employee meeting spaces, read our case study to learn all about Amer Sports’ approach to innovation today.
Who Are Amer Sports?
Amer Sports is a large, international, Nasdaq-Helsinki-listed sporting goods company with both B2B and B2C focus in 34 countries. Founded in 1950, with origins and history in several industries, Amer has a robust background in adapting to new transnational markets and shape-shifting to refocus company efforts. It emerged as a key manufacturer of sporting goods in the 1990s, growing and solidifying this position in the last ten years.
Today, its many brands include Salomon, Wilson, Atomic, Arc’teryx, Mavic, Suunto, Precor, and others, offering equipment, footwear, apparel and accessories for a range of sports – tennis, badminton, golf, American football, soccer, baseball, basketball, alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, fitness training, cycling, running, hiking, and diving.
In the last two decades, Amer Sports has built and expanded its umbrella sports brands with a significant time, resources and direct monetary commitment to Research and Development, focused on consumer-centric product creation and development for athletes and amateurs.
Amer’s R&D team grew from 487 people at the close of 2009 to 802 people at the close of 2016 – amounting to 9% of all employees and 9.5% of all operating expenses, making R&D an irreplaceable core competency for the company.
What were the Innovation Challenges Facing Amer Sports?
For Amer to continue to be global, and at the same time, satisfy evolving sports-specific and local demands of a geographically wide and diverse audience, the company’s Collaborative Innovation Manager Matthieu Knibiehly looked for practices that would reinvigorate the innovation culture across all departments and branches.
Using a highly novel approach to innovation, he sought to create a startup-like environment where all employees – including blue collar personnel – could easily contribute to refuel and grow the R&D enterprise. To achieve his goals, Knibiehly knew he needed more than innovation management software. He envisioned implementing a digital transformation along with in-person changes to the way staff mingled at Amer.
His first priority became finding a fully configurable, flexible, and scalable innovation platform that would eliminate barriers of distance and language, encourage active employee engagement across the organization, plus offer opportunities for high-level technical collaboration for designers, engineers and manufacturers to be able to work together.
Amer decided to partner with Qmarkets to build and expand innovation projects that would serve the company at present and in the future, as the Qmarkets team had the agility, the capability and the speed to meet Amer’s changing needs with a variety of targeted innovation solutions.
In 2015, Amer implemented Qmarkets’ Q-max platform for crowdsourcing, sharing information, idea development and evaluation, with tools that drove both white and blue-collar participation.
Now only two years later in April 2017, Knibiehly shared the spectacular results Amer achieved with the Qmarkets platform, with fellow innovation managers at the Paris Innovation Leader Breakfast Tour.
Innovation as a Force Multiplier
An incredible 50% of all Amer employees and 30% of factory workers have already collaborated to take the company further. Download our case study on Amer Sports to learn how 8,500-worker-strong Amer created this new company culture throughout the whole organization – including branding around it – and became agile like a disruptive startup.