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Jussi Mantere: What can K-retailers learn from coders?

Jussi Mantere | 23.11.2018

Every company wants to benefit from the ideas and skills of coders, designers and other tech types. They are, after all, the modern world’s key problem-solvers, and we need their expertise to build easy-to-use online stores, phone apps that really work, and software to support smooth processes. All of us, K-retailers included, can draw inspiration for our own work from these virtuosos of the modern world.

Photo credit: Junction

K Group is the biggest trading sector company in Finland, with a long history. The trading sector has an even longer history, and has remained pretty much unchanged for nearly 200 years: there’s a store selling products that customers buy. However, winds of change are blowing also in the retail sector: the brick and mortar store has been joined by the online store and other digital solutions. We believe that the store of the future is a seamless combination of brick and mortar and digital, which can provide customers with precisely the service that they want. This journey has only just begun and there are still plenty of tricks to learn.

Inspiration can help us learn these tricks. That is why I am so excited by this chance to gain inspiration from the brightest people in the tech sector, as we participate in Junction, a weekend event for the programming sector that is bringing together 1,300 coders, designers and tech types in the main building of Aalto University to solve the challenges set by the participating business partners.

For inspiration, I have made a list from the perspective of K-retailers of everyday things in programming circles that can help the retail sector (and others too) advance towards a future that is certain to be more digital.

1. Develop as a person

The world is changing at such a rate that we will all have the chance to gain and learn a whole host of new things and skills. So, it’s worth entering a cycle of continuous development, which is very normal in the tech world, as new ideas and the solutions to be learnt as a consequence tend to spring up like mushrooms.

2. Problems are made to be solved, so have a go!

When creating new things, you are bound to face some problems, and it might even feel like you’ve come up against a brick wall. Don’t lose hope, have a go! If you can’t solve the issue by turning over one stone, there is bound to be a second or a third stone you can look under, and eventually you will find a solution. It may not be the one that you expected, but if it works, so what! We all know that the programming sector can solve the strangest of problems – do you still remember the days when we found our way using paper maps?

3. Strength through cooperation and openness

The best ideas are produced by bouncing off each other, and often someone will have already though about the issue that we are frantically trying to solve. The tech world is a wonderful example of how to network across boundaries, come together over a common issue that interests us all, and hand out tips to each other. Junction is a prime example of this.

Interested in Junction? Check out K Group’s challenge for coders, designers and tech types!

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