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Green Processing and Synthesis

Editor-in-Chief: Hessel, Volker / Tran, Nam Nghiep

Editorial Board: Akay, Galip / Arends, Isabel W.C.E. / Cann, Michael C. / Cheng, Yi / Cravotto, Giancarlo / Gruber-Wölfler, Heidrun / Kralisch, Dana / D. P. Nigam, Krishna / Saha, Basudeb / Serra, Christophe A. / Zhang, Wei

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.128

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.263
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.366

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Volume 4, Issue 1


Createlli: addressing your end-customer needs better and faster through collaborative innovation in your eco-system

Frank Dethier / Jan De Kezel
Published Online: 2015-01-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gps-2015-0001

Intro and expertise

Createlli focuses on increasing results from collaborative innovation between organizations; for example,

  • large companies innovating with their ecosystem of customers and suppliers

  • collaboration in regional or industry ecosystems, in sector federations

  • innovation projects between consortiums

Createlli’s core team bring a background in value chain, innovation, sustainability and collaboration technology.

Createlli is a young startup, founded in early 2012 as a result of research into barriers for collaboration in value chains [1, 2]. Developing practical methodologies and tools, the Createlli team has, on the one hand, co-created processes and approaches with its customers and on the other hand, continued to apply research in collaborative innovation and collaboration in ecosystems. For example, it recently joined an ITEA/FP7 R&D project to develop processes for creative collaboration in ecosystems with a large number of stakeholders [3].


Competition is between ecosystems

Innovation and continuous improvement are a matter of survival. Today’s products and value chains have reached a complexity level that even the biggest players know they cannot address alone anymore.

They have to work intensively with customers and the complete value chain to focus on the right market needs and develop products faster through approaches like co-creation.

They also have to rely on the knowledge, ideas and capabilities of their supply chain to make it happen. Companies – even large corporations – that do not leverage the collaboration of their supply chains to innovate are lagging behind and lose market share to competitors or even fail to survive. One example from retail: while Walmart built out a very strong collaborative ecosystem with its’ suppliers, Kmart chose to stay “closed” in its relations with its suppliers. But as a result it could not keep up with the pace of change and went bankrupt in 2002.

Also, customers today are more demanding than ever and require a solution for their problem, and not a product or service that fits the company strategy or organization. For example, in the healthcare industry, electronic patient portals where doctors, nurses, patients, family members, researchers and insurers share useful medical data are a solution that meets both raising customer expectations, and as well increase the industry’s insight into customer demand changes and fluctuations. Those companies that focus on end-customer innovations within their ecosystem will therefore prevail.

Most innovations are very dependent on stakeholders in the ecosystem

Success in innovation requires more than a good idea, expertise and a business plan.

In order to bring an innovation to the end-customer capturing the value, there are many links in the chain who need to adopt the innovation and collaborate to deliver the added value. It can be distributors, service partners, providers of complementary products or other indirect actors.

Hence, the risk of innovation success is very often higher outside the walls of the inventing company than inside.

Innovators need to build a value chain, beyond the new product or service. An example of where this went wrong was when several pharma giants failed to introduce inhalable insulin in the late 1990s. The idea of having insuline without injections was great, but they all failed to build a system that offered patients an easy pulmonary test that was necessary to get the prescription and use the new medicine.

Building the capability for collaborative innovation with the ecosystem

Createlli’s vision is to help companies to overcome these challenges, and to build the capability in their organization to engage the ecosystems of customers, suppliers and other partners into collaborative programs, co-creating innovations and innovating the value chain.

This in a holistic approach, from creating the right vision to shaping a smart strategy to training people and implementing tools and processes.


  • Eco-system creation: With a pragmatic approach and proven tools, the Createlli team helps a company to uncover the needs, opportunities and challenges in its ecosystem, and to establish a dynamic, result-oriented collaborative eco-system.

  • End-customer driven collaborative innovation: A methodology and toolset to help the sales managers, product managers and innovation managers to create value and become relevant for the customers of their customers, help customers succeed and co-create new products with customers a few links further down the value chain.

  • Collaborative innovation within the supply chain: A methodology and process to identify critical players in your supply chain, become their preferred customer, get first access to their innovative ideas and develop them faster into products then their competition.

Createlli offers

  • Bootcamp programs: A combination of group training and workshops, combined with either team or one to one coaching, typically over 3–4 months. Designed to deliver results fast and train people on the job. We run catalyst programs for innovation managers, strategic procurement, account management and cross-functional groups.

  • Coaching, tailored workshops and trainings: Specifically tailored for a project, challenge, strategic analysis, or to solve a specific problem.

  • Interim management: Where we can contribute to bringing long-term sustainable results, we are eager to help in the field. We work globally, in many languages and leverage a network of strong partners to bring you the right expertise where you need it. This is an ideal solution to help your company bring the change from within. We not only offer training and workshops, but also have daily coaching and lead change by example.

  • Process and technology projects: We apply our broad experience in CRM, SRM, innovation management and collaboration processes and technologies to help you design what is best for you, and implement it in your existing tools or find more elegant solutions.


  • [1]

    Meet us in the collaboration lab. De Kezel & Boucart. Research poster, iSup Conference, Bruges, 2012.Google Scholar

  • [2]

    Unlocking barriers to collaboration in value chains and eco-systems. Research paper. De Kezel & Boucart, LCA Conference, Lille, 2012.Google Scholar

  • [3]

    All aboard! A starting point towards a broad-spectrum citizen involvement. De Roeck & De Kezel, Nordchi Conference, Helsinki, 2014.Google Scholar

About the article

Corresponding author: Jan De Kezel, Createlli nv, Lange Winkelhaakstraat 26, 2060 Antwerp, Belgium, e-mail:

Published Online: 2015-01-31

Published in Print: 2015-01-01

Citation Information: Green Processing and Synthesis, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 47–49, ISSN (Online) 2191-9550, ISSN (Print) 2191-9542, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gps-2015-0001.

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