Att skapa produkter och tjänster som kunder vill ha!

I veckan höll jag en lunchföreläsning för medlemmar och gäster i Affärsnätverket Västra Hamnen 15. Ämnet var ”Value Proposition Design” eller på svenska ”Konstruktion av värderbjudande”. Teorin från Alex Osterwalder’s book med samma namn blandades med exempel från Admiritus affärsmodell och kunderbjudande..

Ett lyckat lunchmöte med mycket bra diskussioner och positiv återkoppling!

Som en del av tjänsten ”Förbättring – Effektivisering av verksamheten” erbjuder nu också Admiritus kunder möjligheten att ta hjälp med omvärldsanalys, framtagning av affärsmodell och värdeerbjudande. Tjänsten är baserad på Osterwalder’s metod men anpassas givetvis individuellt för kunden.

En reflektion är att metoden lämpar sig utmärkt för utveckling av digitala tjänster!

Godkänd i kursen Making sense of service logic

Nu är jag godkänd i #mssl141 kursen. Det var en distanskurs på Centrum för tjänsteforskning på Karlstad universitet. Den har gett mig en helt ny syn på produkter och hur vi som kunder upplever produkters värde.

I mitt nuvarande uppdrag som interim-produktchef för ”fysiska produkter” kan jag direkt se vilka möjligheter som tjänster kan bidra med för att differentiera produkterna. Det här är emellertid bara första insikten…

Kanske mer intressant dock, är synen på hur vi som leverantörer skapar värde. Det är kanske inte så att frågan ”Hur skapar mitt företag värde?” som är den viktigaste utan ”Hur skapar våra kunder värde?”. För detta tankesätt, tjänstelogiken, ger ett helt annat sätt att se på produkt/tjänsteutveckling. Dels hur produktutveckling kan göras och hur värde kan levereras till kunder.

Bo Femtvik från PROMARK och jag har gått kursen tillsammans och marknadsför numera också våra konsulttjänster inom tjänsteutveckling.


Processes for new service development – Good or bad?

Development processes could be both a good and bad instrument. My experience is that just the talk and existence of processes makes many people worried to be slaves under work methods and that the joy to do the work and to innovate new work methods get lost. Another argument is loss of flexibility. Adding processes and especially interleaved processes could create a monster to maintain and if the processes are owned and maintained by people not working with the core business a pseudo world is created with its own people and theoretically problems such as handshaking of deliverables, synchronization of checkpoints and flowcharts. My experience is that this is the point where the whole point is lost with processes. I have met colleagues working theoretically with process development who were not willing to deal with the “ugly reality” and just strive to create a theoretically consistent framework of processes.

I believe in processes and that they are needed to create a common view of best practices. It also creates the base for improvements. There is a say “if you don’t know how it is done, how can you then improve?”

Below some thoughts of how I would like to implement a service development process:

  • I have a firm belief that processes must be built bottom up. Informal leaders involved in the core business should be given the responsibility to describe the process and be a “keeper of good practices” and influence the practical work.
  • By definition a process should describe frequent performed tasks and I can imagine that service development is more situation specific than product development because it is co-created with a customer. I would therefore pay attention to keep the process at a high level giving room for flexibility and customer adoptions.
  • The development process should be co-created with an innovative and open minded customer. Inspired by Lars Witell and the video role of the customer in new service development this method could perhaps also bring innovative development processes during the development of the actual service offering.
  • The leadership is important when introducing a new process. I would work with people mindset to remove the fear to become slaves under a process. People who do the actual job must be involved in the process work. To be invited, involved and be able to affect leads to engagement and responsibility. This is the fundamental drivers for continous improvements.


Servitization in the Medtech industry

I find this subject very interesting and many of the videos included in the course confirm spot on the challenges that I experience in the medtech industry. It feels good to know that the outcome from the research is very applicable!

Servitization, or service infusion, is a way of differentiate products. It means delivering service as a component that adds value to the product.

From what I know, the equipment manufacturers in the Medtech industry have followed the traditional pattern of first introducing services for free (like installation, assessment of equipment needs and basic product training). Next step is that the customer would like help with e.g. long term technical service and education and these services can then be charged for.

In a multi-national goods dominated company charging for services probably starts as a local initiative and not pro-actively through a global organization. I think that it is at this point the challenges start to emerge. In the global organization as: “creating a service culture”, “development processes” and “goals but no strategies”. In the local organization there are other challenges such as “sales force resistance” and “launching new services that are more sophisticated”. From originally being a bottom-up approach I think this is the turning point to start working top-down to be able to scale the service business up. If this situation is recognized by management, the servitization forces the company to increase the global resources and to create a service business unit. If not, the local organizations will continue to develop the service offerings and revenues, but probably at a low pace. Then the global replication and scaling opportunity is lost. #mssl141

Service innovation in the MedTech industry

Reflections on module 4 –Service innovation

In a previous post “Service Logic in my industry” I wrote that the medtech companies are struggling with decreasing product margins and tougher competition from low cost countries. To grow, either through acquisitions or organically, is important in order to stay in business and not be a victim for an acquisition. Organic growth through product innovation and development of medical equipment takes longer time than many other products because of the medical directive regulations, risk assessments and formal documentation requirements. A faster avenue for growth is to expand the offering beyond existing products. This has already started to change the medtech industry and it will probably continue to do so even more.

I believe the most common way to be innovative in this area is to combine products with services into solutions which also is called Recombinative innovation*. An example of this is combining a patient lifter with a smart software that can help the customer to monitor the usage of the equipment and encourage not frequently used lifters to be more utilized by the caregivers in that department (and thereby giving more value-in-use and operational benefits that improve cost-effectiveness of the investment)

Another common type of service innovation is Formalization*. This means to standardize and formalize the performance of a procedure. Examples of this are procedures carried out by hospitals (like e.g. laundry) that can be turned into a service and offered by a service provider.

A radical* service innovation today offered by bigger medtech equipment companies are the “Guaranteed solutions”. Some of these services focus on preventing adverse advents e.g. patient falls or caregiver back injuries and consists of a 2-3 years improvement programs with a guaranteed outcome that will lower the operational costs for the hospital. Such programs include both products, product training, process changes, monitoring and follow up of the outcome. Referring to the Diamond model** in, this service innovation is truly multi-dimensional and consists of process innovation, social innovation and business model innovation. #mssl141

Diamond model
Diamond model

* Gallouj, F. & Weinstein, O. (1997) Innovation in services. Research Policy, 26, 537– 556.
** Developed by CTF – Centrum för tjänsteforskning in Karlstad

Customer experience in the MedTech industry

Reflections on module 3 – Customer experiences

The products that I’m working with right now are lifters that help disabled persons e.g. out of bed and into a wheelchair or to the toilet. When talking about customer experience I need to separate between the caregiver and the consumer/patient.

An important caregiver experience of such products is to feel that that the patient is transferred safely, comfortably and not feeling anxious. For a caregiver the patient contact is also very important and thus the equipment is designed in a way to accomplish eye contact and that at least one hand is available for physical contact when operating the equipment. On-site caregiver training is of course important to “enable” these values to create the best caregiver experience through correct handling. Just to write and talk about these values is just not enough.

I therefore find Per Kristenssons presentation about predicted, experienced and remembered value very interesting. I think the situation together with the patient is so strong and needs to be experiences and that is why on-site demonstrations are so important to create a memorable experience.

Value co-creation in the MedTech industry

Reflections on course module 2 – Value exchange, value-in-use, value co-creation. The term “value exchange” is defined as the price a customer pays at the time of purchase whereas the “value-in-use” is defined as the value created by the customer during use. In MedTech, the value exchange exists both as “Capital sales”, “Rental” and “Service sales” where the latter two are driving re-occurring revenues. When the caregiver is using goods/service the value-in-use could be e.g. less back injuries for the staff when using a lift equipment and as a consequence fewer sick leave days. Other value-in-use could be less patient falls or less staff needed to perform a task. According to my experience “value co-creation” together with a hospital/ward can be done via a number of co-creation platforms:

  • During product development where the caregiver is a co-producer
  • Product trainings which could really be a reciprocal value creation opportunity
  • Through assessment of equipment at a hospital where needs are clarified and value propositions are presented to address the needs
  • Through advanced service products that improves the caregivers work procedures and use of equipment. The company commits to a guaranteed outcome and the two parties join in the value creation.

The last item is a challenge but very rewarding for both the provider and the customer. The relationship is long term (years) it creates a strong bonds. #MSSL141

Service logic in my industry

I’m having an interim assignment within MedTech and I think there is a mix of Goods and Service Dominant Logic in this industry (GDL/SDL). Of course there are both pure SDL and GDL players. However, the standard goods shows decreasing margins due to hard competition and to keep the margins, GDL companies are focusing on goods innovations, more sofisticated integrations of goods to solutions (Foundational Premise 9) and/or services that increases the value of the goods. Small companies are good at offering e.g. goods customizations and larger companies offer complex services that really interacts with the customers processes (FP6) and offer ”guaranteed measurable results”. #MSSL141

Company offerings and what they do

When I’m thinking about the statement ”It is not so much about what offerings you have but instead about what your offerings do” I find it interesting what a strong brand can do with a consumer offering. Consider two similar phones (design and functionality wise). An iPhone is probably “doing” very differently in the hand of a customer compared to a phone coming from a weaker brand. As a result, for these two companies the value creation process at the customer is different and that must also lead to different marketing strategies.