Our strategic approach
Our strategy is based on three horizons of profitable growth. The first horizon represents our current business, where standard components are delivered through wholesalers. In terms of building solutions, our products are mainly supplied to the residential construction market. For Uponor Infra, the first horizon business model represents systems in stock and standard project sales. In the first horizon, the commoditisation is accelerating and competition getting more intense. Therefore in 2018, we concentrated on improving our competitiveness by reviewing our business and geographical portfolio. As a result, we divested Uponor Infra’s North American business and Zent-Frenger GmbH in Germany and we decided to close down our operations in Asia. In 2019, we will continue to improve our operational efficiency and launch new, innovative products to the markets.
The second horizon represents the growth of business through expansion into the commercial segment, i.e. multi-family housing and commercial buildings. For Uponor Infra, the commercial segment equals sales of designed solutions. In 2018, Uponor Infra increased sales of designed solutions significantly, and we anticipate the good progress to continue in 2019. In building solutions segments, we streamlined our portfolio of prefabricated elements and increased manufacturing capacity. In addition, we reorganised our sales organisations. In 2019, we will continue to roll-out our portfolio as well as develop our digital presence and customer experience further.
In the third horizon, we build options for future growth, which will include our digital solutions and possible service business. We launched Phyn Plus water monitoring system in the North American markets and trained a certified dealer network of 350 professional installers. We also launched Uponor Infra’s water monitoring services in European markets. In spring 2019, we will launch Phyn Plus in Europe.
Going forward, we will focus on our core businesses in Europe and North America.
We are committed to addressing the key sustainability issues of our time through product innovations and improving our own operations. In 2018, we worked around updating our sustainability strategy. Going forward, we will focus on four different themes that have been chosen from United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: clean water and sanitation; responsible consumption and production, climate action and decent work and economic growth. Selected focus areas are those that have impact potential on the business, including major opportunities and are aligned with Uponor’s business scope.