More than the sum of its parts – a customer-driven company offers more added value to its customers

Digitalisation is changing the operating environment of businesses at a rapid pace. The traditional production-centric operating model is viable in a highly stable environment, but future-proofing and growth require a customer-driven approach.

Customer-driven approach flips the management model on its head

In a traditional production-focused model, companies concentrate on manufacturing a specific product and finding the right buyers for it. The operations are rooted in creating a proprietary product or service and optimising its production.

The customer-driven approach, on the other hand, turns the management model upside down. Instead of basing everything on production, these companies manage and develop their operations continuously by reacting to customers’ needs and strategic goals.

A customer's strategic goal can be to reduce wastage, for example. When customers are provided analyses of the causes of wastage, technical solutions for reducing it, and result measurements and reports as a service, they can easily identify the potential benefits to be gained. Conversely, if customers are only offered electric automation, data analytics and cybersecurity as individual services, they may have trouble grasping how this varied collection actually reduces wastage in practice.

In other words, customer-driven service is more than the sum of its parts.

The silo effect and deficiencies in competence slow down the transition to a customer-driven model

A change requires systematic management, and the operational shift from production orientation to a customer focus does not happen overnight.

Rigid organisational structures are often a challenge in this respect. If the operations are guided by the perspective of a single individual or team, it is impossible to offer customers the full scope of the company’s expertise. Particularly in the case of extensive industrial digitalisation projects, customer needs are often divergent from the internal organisational structures of the companies in question. What this means is that the different aspects and areas must be woven together. The management must work to dismantle siloed structures by facilitating collaboration between teams, departments and business areas.

In addition to the company's own product portfolio, mastery of the customer's strategy, goals and field is required. This is only possible if the customer processes are managed systematically and the competence of especially those working in the customer interface is ensured. The company must ensure that the development of staff competence is managed in a planned and controlled manner. 

Excellent results through pilots

At Insta, customer-driven methods are guided by the One Insta approach, which penetrates all aspects of the company’s operations. This year, we have consolidated expertise from a variety of business areas to enhance our capabilities of responding to our customers’ digitalisation needs even more effectively. Where before we offered industrial automation, cybersecurity and data analytics separately, all these elements have now been incorporated into a single safe digitalisation solution.

We have been rigorously piloting new operating methods with our customers, and the results have been successful. For example, at the Boliden factory in Harjavalta we combined our strong automation expertise with artificial intelligence and data analytics. The trial generated a digital twin which helped to reduce production emissions by as much as 10%.

Our drone-based solutions have been successful in combining aviation expertise, knowledge of drone-related legislation, drone flying skills and solutions for forming a real-time situational picture. In addition to this, we help our customers convert the measurement signals provided by the drones into information by means of analytics and artificial intelligence.

We at Insta firmly believe that the only way for us to succeed is to help our customer thrive. We have been on a shared journey with our customers for almost six decades now, and the end is nowhere in sight. We will continue to enable our customers to focus on their own business operations by helping them achieve their result targets through safe digitalisation.

Author

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Henry Nieminen

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