Supply REBMs process




By the end of this stage you will have:

  • Developed up to three resource efficient business model options through innovation workshops that can be developed further in Stage Two – Feasibility.
  • Identified a project sponsor and a multi-skilled project team.

It’s essential for companies and organisations to innovate the way they do business to remain competitive. For many, it can be challenging to recruit a sufficiently multi-skilled project team for this phase. Many large companies do not allocate resources for cross-department business model development and so the benefits for the company may need highlighting.

The innovation stage consists of engaging with appropriate internal and external stakeholders through a series of workshops. The interactive workshops aim to develop an outline proposition for up to three resource efficient business models for your company or organisation.

The business models that an organisation chooses to develop should fit within their product mix, culture, consumer base and the resource capacity.

Leadership in testing innovative circular approaches to business has been cited as an important driver for some organisations, whilst others are keen to test an approach that is already in the marketplace and tailored to their needs.


How to guide

Step One

Give yourselves some time and space to work out which resource efficient business models (REBMs) would work for your company or organisation.

Creative thinking workshops
Invite key colleagues, suppliers and other relevant external stakeholders round the table for one or a series of workshops that focus on innovation. It might be easier to start with an internal meeting, however, this must include multi-skilled attendees. Send attendees an agenda at least one week in advance highlighting the aims of the workshop:

To identify business model ideas that are suitable for your company and understand the support that is needed to develop these ideas further.

Suggested meeting outputs

  • A clear definition of the business model ideas generated;
  • An understanding of the outline proposition and resource needs; and
  • A shortlist of possible project sponsors.

To inspire others, it’s useful to include an initial presentation that introduces the circular economy, shares examples of existing REBMs and what needs to be achieved from the workshop. See our case study section for some ideas for REBMs.

It’s useful to have all your company data to hand as well as any market data from your competitors that might be available to help you look at the bigger picture.

Try using a facilitation process designed to draw out creativity and an objective approach like ‘Six Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono (search online for the short book and courses available).

Having a good mix of colleagues is recommended to get a broad perspective. Your workshop should include a wide range of stakeholders typically:

– procurement,
– business development,
– marketing,
– operations,
– design,
– environment/sustainability,
– finance,
– logistics,
– store,
– IT,
– supply chain partners as appropriate to your business.

The workshops should aim to create a space to explore business model options out of the constraints of business as usual – so an assessment of options is completed after the workshop rather than during the innovation discussion.

Step Two

Assess the options generated in your innovation workshop and prioritise these options ready for the next stage – Feasibility.

Research the models and highlight how you believe the models will benefit the organisation and your customers. Focus on the key performance indicators and language within your organisation.

Outcomes of this step

  • An understanding of resourcing and work packages required to develop these ideas;
  • Scope research, communications, timescales, stakeholders, a sponsor and an action plan; and
  • An outline proposition that includes: target market, competition, products, audience, partners required to deliver the REBMs and a SWOT analysis.

Step Three

Identify a champion (a colleague in an operational role) and a sponsor (a senior colleague such as a Director) to support the development of the new business models project.

Step Four

It is useful to identify members of a project steering group to agree and carry out key actions and any necessary trouble shooting.

It is also important to set up a small project team which includes a range of skills and experience to help you develop your business model proposition. This team might change over time as you become more aware of the range of skills required through the development of your business model. The innovation workshop may help you decide who should be involved.

Present the propositions to the project sponsor and the project team.