Evolving winter road maintenance ecosystems in Finland and Hokkaido, Japan
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© The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2015.Business ecosystems aim to develop the capabilities of its participants through collaboration supporting new offerings, better fulfil customer requirements and eventually create new innovations. Acting in an ecosystem provides synergistic benefits to actors by increasing the total value of the output - the actors can achieve more than they would have achieved working independently. The main objective of both studied winter maintenance ecosystems, Finnish and Japanese, is to enhance safety and ensure good road conditions. These ecosystems are compared to analyse and discuss the potential ways to develop current value networks. As roads and streets are publicly owned in most cases and mobility services regarded as a public good, the role of the public sector mostly dictates the topology and ecosystem actors. In Finland, the role of the road authorities is reduced because of the restructuring of the public sector, whereas in Japan it has so far remained stronger although road authorities have enhanced cooperation with local residents. For authorities in both countries, the prevailing lack of resources for maintenance operations is a strong motivating factor for finding new, more efficient procurement and operating models. Understanding the roles of all actors involved in the winter maintenance ecosystem is essential in this search for efficiency.
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