What is it?

Platform companies and business models are now becoming increasingly pervasive across a broad range of sectors spanning both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business markets (B2B). From platforms like Amazon and Alibaba to recent contenders like Shopify, Agroclub, Fresha, and Teachers Pay Teachers, the aim is to efficiently connect directly consumers with producers, making it possible for consumers to buy products cheaper and for producers to increase their market share.

This workshop aims to address the skills gap amongst executives in UK SMEs regarding the unique dynamics of platforms, the changing competitive landscape, and how they should react.

Participants will be able to:

  • Enhance their strategic knowledge of Platforms and enable them to identify and manage the opportunities and threats in the new platform environment
  • Work on a toolkit for growing their companies and manage multiple business models
  • Participate in business clinics with Cranfield University Academics where they can ask for help and get their ideas going

What is expected from me?

Bring your ideas and questions along. We want to discuss with you how to solve problems and how to grow your business. The academics will help you and direct you, so be prepared to immerse in an interesting programme and to spark new ideas.

Why should I participate?

If you feel threatened by the Platform concepts or if you think that Platforms open up new businesses, then this is the programme for you. Platforms are proving to be an attractive business model, which however, needs a lot of prior thinking in addressing a number of issues from setting the strategy down to successfully executing operations.

As a participant, you will be able to:

  • Learn the latest concepts
  • Interact with similar minded business owners and executives
  • Sound board your ideas with academics
  • Receive feedback and subscribe to mentoring opportunities

We will also be introducing the “Bring Your Own Problem Support Sessions”. In these sessions, you can discuss a problem that is currently of your concern with Cranfield Academics. During this session we will support you with practical solutions and sound academic advice.




28 June

Cranfield University, Martell House, Lecture Room 1

29 June

Cranfield Management Development Centre, Lecture Room 19

14 July

Cranfield Management Development Centre, Lecture Room 19





0830 – 0900

Registration & Coffee


0900 – 0905


Prof Emel Aktas
Dr Yannis Koliousis

0905 – 0930

Introduction to the Day
and to Platform Concepts

Dr Yannis Koliousis

0930 – 1015

Platforms: Why platform businesses
are so disruptive?

Dr Nigel Walton

1015 – 1030

Coffee Break & Networking


1030 – 1115

Data analytics: how data-rich platforms
can help grow business

Prof Emel Aktas

1115 – 1200

Supply Chain Management as an
enabler of Platforms

Dr Lorenzo Prataviera


1200 – 1300



1300 –1345

Warehousing practices for
platform-based companies

Dr Banu Ekren


1345 – 1430

Business architecture and operational
processes in the platform era

Dr Ismail Abushaikha,
Dr Yannis Koliousis

1430 – 1445

Coffee Break


1445 – 1530

How Industry 4.0 supports
Platform Business Models

Dr Abhi Ghadge

1530 – 1630

Parallel Sessions
Business Clinic
BYOPSS (Bring Your Own Problem
Support Session)
Matching event

Moderator: Dr Yannis Koliousis
Cranfield Staff


1630 – 1700

Key Takeaways & Closing

Prof Emel Aktas
Dr Yannis Koliousis

How to register

Please send the following information to Ms Sue Gregory s.gregory@cranfield.ac.uk:

  • First name and surname
  • Company name
  • Contact details (email/phone)
  • The two most preferred dates (in order of preference)
  • Any dietary preferences or restrictions
  • Any other requests

We will send a confirmatory response to the email you have indicated.

Certificates of attendance will be provided.