27-Replay-HUBDAYRetail _ Ecommerce-HUBInstitute-IKEA

IKEA : une supply chain sous le signe de l’innovation

Par : Maxime Tricoire
10 February 2021
Temps de lecture : 2 min

Known as the largest furniture company in multiple countries, IKEA has innovated to become a must-see brand for the majority of consumers. This sense of innovation is found at all levels of the company, and in particular in its logistics. During the “HUBDAY: Future of Retail & E-Commerce”, Peter Ac, Head of innovations - Supply Chain at IKEA, spoke about the Swedish group’s sense of innovation.


Since its creation, the IKEA group has always been eager to create a better everyday life for most consumers. This phrase, which is found in its DNA, translates into an approach centered around 3 pillars : affordability, accessibility and sustainability. As Peter Ac points out, “Without innovations in the supply chain environment, it is extremely difficult to achieve these 3 objectives. […] At IKEA, innovation is in our DNA. It is found, for example, in our flat packs, which were a logistical disruption that allowed costs to be reduced while maximizing quality."

The faster you deploy an innovation, the more you capture its value and the bigger the competitive advantage.

- Peter Ac, Head of innovations - Supply Chain Development (Inter IKEA)

On the sustainability side, IKEA has been working on various measures for several months. This involves creating paper packaging rather than plastic, but also by setting up carbon-free delivery methods with alternative fuels produced from waste. "We are not only innovating for the planet, but also for the people who live there, whether they are our customers or our employees" explains Peter Ac. To simplify his worker’s lives, the group is exploring many solutions, in particular augmented reality or exoskeletons.

Far from wanting to wipe out the past, IKEA now seeks to reuse the existing while optimizing it. This is the case with some production robots which are now enhanced with computer vision functions in order to better recognize the products. This desire is also reflected in the technologies being deployed: drones used for inventory control will be able in the future, thanks to AI and machine learning, to control product compliance and safety. To accelerate the deployment of innovation, IKEA launched its own Innovation Lab a few years ago.

Failure is an important source of learning. It is better to fail quickly than to work for a long time on a project that no one believes in, and which will ultimately undermine everyone's motivation.

- Peter Ac, Head of innovations - Supply Chain Development (Inter IKEA)

 To conclude, Peter Ac highlights the various key learnings IKEA :

  • Decision-making must be based on the reality experienced by the company's audiences.
  • Innovation is part of the daily life of the company.
  • Innovation is everyone's business, and each employee must be able to share their problems and ideas to solve them.
  • Implementing indicators to measure innovation (time to market, return on investment, etc.) is key to ensuring the validity of its development.
  • Creating communities made up of other companies allows co-creation and sharing of each other's values and visions.
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Diplômé du MBA Digital Marketing & Business de l’EFAP, Maxime s’appuie sur sa culture du monde digital pour dénicher les dernières tendances et insights. Fort de plusieurs expériences du côté de l’annonceur, il met sa plume au service de nos partenaires pour les aider à élaborer des contenus à fortes valeurs ajoutées. Ses buts : découvrir, informer et éduquer.

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