Digitalisaatio tuo uusia palvelumahdollisuuksia ja asiakasarvon lähteitä käyttöomaisuuden hallintaan

Digitalisaatio luo uusia palvelumahdollisuuksia käyttöomaisuuden käyttöön ja ylläpitoon. Yrityksissä tarvitaan analytiikkkaosaamista ja asiakkaiden liiketoiminnan ymmärtämistä, jotta näitä mahdollisuuksia voidaan hyödyntää. Haasteena on tunnistaa ne hyödyntämättömät mahdollisuudet, joilla on merkitystä riittävän laajalle joukolle maksavia asiakkaita.

Väitämme, että kokonaisvaltainen näkemys asiakkaan prosesseista tukee palveluntarjoajan tuote- ja palvelusalkun kehitystä. Alla olevassa kuvassa esitetään digitaalisten palvelujen kehitysprosessin tärkeimmät tekijät. Kehitysprosessin aikana on erityisen tärkeää pyrkiä ymmärtämään asiakastarpeita ja asiakasarvoa mahdollisimman hyvin.

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Digitalisaation mahdollisuuksien ja vaikutusten ymmärtämiseksi laitevalmistajat (OEM) ja palveluntarjoajat ovat laatineet tiekarttoja digitaalisten teknologioiden käyttöönotosta. Digitaalisten palvelujen kehittämisessä keskeisiä tehtäviä ovat asiakkaiden liiketoiminnan analysointi, asiakkaalle tuotettavan lisäarvon määrittely sekä palvelujen suunnittelu.

Luotettavuus- ja kriittisyysanalyysiä voidaan soveltaa tunnistamaan, missä kunnossapito ja investoinnit voivat saada aikaan parasta vastinetta rahalle, paljastamaan asiakkaan prosessien pullonkaulat sekä mahdollisuudet digitaalisiin palveluihin. Elinkaarikustannus ja –tuottolaskelmat (LCC / LCP), elinjaksokustannus- (TCO) ja kokonaistehokkuusmallit (OEE) antavat lisätietoa tehokkuuden ja taloudellisen toiminnan näkökulmista. Suurten kone- ja laitekantojen tietoja voidaan hyödyntää tarjoamaan vertaisarvioitua tietoa.

Viime vuosina on kerätty suuria määriä käyttö- ja huoltotietoa. Tätä tietoa on kuitenkin usein hyödynnetty varsin vähän. Suhteellisen pienet panostukset esimerkiksi kunnossapitohistoriatiedon analysointiin voivat auttaa tunnistamaan, missä kunnossapitoa tarvitaan eniten, missä suurin osa kustannuksista syntyy ja missä on eniten toiminnan kehityspotentiaalia.

Digitalisaatio luo mahdollisuuksia uusille liiketoimintamalleille. Liiketoimintamalleissa keskeisiä elementtejä ovat arvolupaus, arvonluonti ja arvon haltuunotto.

Arvolupaus

Arvolupaus ja ymmärrys siitä, miten arvo syntyy asiakkaiden prosesseissa, ovat digitaalisen palveluliiketoimintamallin ytimessä. Lähtökohtana on visio teknologiasta, prosessimuutoksesta tai palvelusta, jolla saadaan aikaan myönteinen muutos asiakkaan toimintaan. Alusta alkaen tarvitaan systemaattinen lähestymistapa. Tarvittaessa arvolupausta muokataan liiketoimintamallin kehittämisprosessin aikana. Digitaaliset tuotteet ja palvelut edellyttävät usein arvolupauksen uudelleenarviointia, jossa tuotteiden ja palvelujen koko elinkaari on otettava huomioon. Digitalisaatio mahdollistaa suorituskyvyn myymisen tuotteiden sijaan, koska tuotteiden käyttöä voidaan seuranta ja valvoa. Asiakasprosessien optimointi on myös alue, jossa digitalisointi avaa uusia mahdollisuuksia. Tällöin palveluntarjoajien analytiikkamalleja ja asiakkaiden toimialatuntemusta on hyödynnettävä tehokkaasti yhdessä.

Arvonluonti

Asiakassuhteet muuttuvat yksittäisistä liiketoimista kohti jatkuvaa kumppanuutta, ja uusia asiakassegmenttejä voidaan hankkia digitaalisten tuotteiden ja palveluiden avulla. Asiakkaiden kanssa on tällöin tärkeää yhdessä määritellä ja sopia mittarit, joita seurataan palvelun laadun varmistamiseksi. Uusia kumppanuuksia saatetaan tarvita arvolupauksen toteuttamiseksi. On tärkeää tunnistaa nämä kumppanuudet ja luoda tarvittava liiketoiminnan ekosysteemi. Yhteistyökumppanit voivat sisältää esimerkiksi pilvipalvelujen tarjoajat, analytiikka-asiantuntijat ja ICT-yritykset. Hyötyjen jakamismallit on luotava yhdessä.

Arvon haltuunotto

Digitalisaatio tarjoaa uusia mahdollisuuksia tavoittaa asiakkaita suorilla kanavilla, myös maailmanlaajuisesti. Lisäksi tulee mahdollisuuksia asiakasvuorovaikutukseen liittyvien prosessien automatisointiin esimerkiksi automatisoimalla tilauksia tuotannosta saatujen tietojen perusteella. Digitalisaatio mahdollistaa jatkuvan kassavirran ja tuotot elinkaaripalveluista, joiden hinnoittelu voi perustua yhteisiin hyötyihin. Tietojen keräämiseen, tallentamiseen ja analysointiin liittyvät kustannukset on kuitenkin otettava huomioon, koska esimerkiksi data-analytiikkaan tai pilvipalveluihin liittyviä palveluita on hankittava.

Kohti uusia digitaalisia liiketoimintamalleja

Digitaalisten teknologioiden nopeasta kehityksestä huolimatta liiketoimintamallit ovat toistaiseksi pysyneet pitkälti transaktiopohjaisina. Näyttää kuitenkin siltä, että arvopohjaiset ansaintamallit ja arvon jakamismallit tulevat entistä tärkeämmiksi erityisesti tulevissa liiketoimintaverkostoissa. Tämän vuoksi tarvitaan uusia valmiuksia ja työkaluja, kuten arvon jakamiseen liittyviä malleja, keskeisiä suorituskykymittareita ja elinkaarikustannusten ja -tuottojen laskentamenetelmiä.

Uusi raportti ”Smart asset management as a service” esittelee lähestymistapoja ja menetelmiä, joita voidaan hyödyntää digitaalisten käyttöomaisuuden hallinnan palvelujen kehittämisessä.

Teuvo Uusitalo
Senior Scientist, VTT
teuvo.uusitalo(a)vtt.fi
@TeuvoU

Jyri Hanski
Research Scientist
jyri.hanski(a)vtt.fi
@jyri_hanski

Toni Ahonen
Senior Scientist
toni.ahonen(a)vtt.fi
@ahonentta

New service opportunities of customer value through digitalization in asset management

Digitalization offers several new service opportunities for the operation and maintenance of asset fleets. Companies need competencies in analytics and an understanding of the customer’s business to utilize these opportunities. The challenge for companies is to identify untapped opportunities that are relevant to a large enough number of paying customers.

We argue that a holistic view of the customer’s processes supports the development of the service provider’s product and service portfolio. The figure below shows the key elements related to the development process of digital services. We particularly highlight the importance of customer knowledge and the understanding of customer value creation being utilized throughout the service development process.

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In efforts to understand the potential and impact of digitalization, asset owners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers have established their roadmaps for the adoption of digital technologies. Roadmapping for digitalization and analysis of the value potential related to circular economy, as well as comparisons of the customer organizations’ and service provider’s roadmaps and plans are among the key tasks to be done when starting to identify concrete steps towards digital services.

Reliability and criticality analysis may be applied to identify where maintenance and investments could result in the best value for money and also to reveal bottlenecks in the customer’s processes and the potential for digital services. Life cycle cost and profit (LCC/LCP), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) models provide additional information in terms of efficiency and economic measures. Data regarding large fleets may be utilized to provide benchmarked knowledge and act as a gap analysis for the customer.

Large amounts of operations and maintenance data have been collected in recent years; however, use of this data has often been limited. Relatively small investments in the analysis of maintenance history data, for instance, may provide significant support in identifying where maintenance is most needed, where most costs originate and where the most potential lies in operations and maintenance.

Digitalization creates opportunities for new business models. Key elements in business models are the value proposition, value creation and value capture.

Value proposition

The value proposition and an understanding of how value is created in customers’ processes are at the core of the digital service business model. This begins with a vision of the technology, process change or service with which a positive impact on the customer is to be achieved. A structured approach is needed from the outset; however, there is room for iteration regarding the value proposition throughout the business model development process. Digital products and services require rethinking the value proposition. The whole life cycle of products and services must be considered. Digitalization enables new ways of selling performance instead of products, as it is possible to monitor the use of products. Optimization of customers’ processes is also an area where digitalization opens new opportunities. This is a particular area where novel analytics models and domain knowledge of the customer and provider organizations need to be efficiently utilized together. Data analytics provides information that can be used in improving the efficiency of processes.

Value creation

Customer relationships change from individual transactions towards continuous partnerships. New customer segments can be considered with digital products and services. It is important, jointly with customers, to define and agree the KPIs that will be monitored to ensure the quality of service. New partnerships might be needed to deliver the value proposition. It is important to identify these partnerships and create the business ecosystem. Partners could include, e.g. cloud service providers, analytics experts, and ICT companies. Models for sharing benefits within the ecosystem need to be established.

Value capture

Digitalization also provides new opportunities for reaching customers through direct channels, as well as globally. Furthermore, digitalization enables the automation of processes related to customer interactions, e.g. by automating orders based on data received from production. Digitalization provides new opportunities for continuous cash flow and revenue from life cycle services. Pricing can be based on shared benefits. However, costs related to collecting, storing and analysing data need to be taken into account, and services related to, e.g. data analytics or cloud services may need to be purchased.

Towards new digital business models

Despite the rapid development of digital technologies, business models have so far remained largely transaction-based. However, there seems to be a mutual understanding that value-based earning models and value sharing models will increase in importance in the future, specifically in future business networks. Capabilities and tools are required, such as measurements for value sharing, key performance indicators and models for life cycle costs and profits.

Teuvo Uusitalo
Senior Scientist, VTT
teuvo.uusitalo(a)vtt.fi
@TeuvoU

Jyri Hanski
Research Scientist
jyri.hanski(a)vtt.fi
@jyri_hanski

Toni Ahonen
Senior Scientist
toni.ahonen(a)vtt.fi
@ahonentta

New report on smart asset management as a service presents approaches, methods and frameworks that can be utilized in the development of digital asset managem

Thinking of research as service

Matti_Kokkala

Those who fund want to get more from research. What if we start thinking about the funders of our research as customers? And not as just any customer, but customers of a service business? A logical consequence of the change of mindset would be for research entities in general to apply the understanding and methods of those who have been carrying out research specifically on services.

The research community especially in Finland lives in challenging times. After several decades of increased R&D funding, the last few years have seen cuts both to public and private R&D funding. The justification for these cuts has all too often been the claim that we as a research community have not produced enough benefit to society or to industry. From the research side there is a tendency to see value in research in terms of ever increasing opportunities for knowledge, that is, further research is seen as a key output.

What if we change our mindset and explicitly treat research as a service for specific customers or to society at large? This is not a new way of thinking as, for example, within the European Commission, research has been mentioned as a typical Knowledge Intensive Service Business. In the NACE -classification of economic activities, research is also included as a business service. With this mindset it is relevant to start applying what scholars have developed in regard to services in recent years.

One of the hot topics in service research for more than a decade has been the concept of Service-Dominant Logic, originally presented by Stephen Vargo and Robert Lusch in their seminal study in 2004 (instead of the Goods-Dominant Logic typical of product markets). Although work in the study was based on earlier work by several scholars, the article was a real breakthrough and launched an exceptionally strong interest in studying what service is really about. The S-D Logic concept has been further developed by hundreds of researchers and already more than 10 000 papers have made reference to that seminal work. We at VTT had the pleasure of having Stephen Vargo as our Visiting Professor in 2012. A useful summary of the developments is the follow-up study published by Vargo and Lusch this year (2016).

According to Vargo and Lush (2004), the S-D Logic can be characterized as aiming to:

  1. Identify or develop core competences, the fundamental knowledge and skills of an economic entity that represent potential competitive advantage.
  2. Identify other entities (potential customers) that could benefit from these competences.
  3. Cultivate relationships that involve the customers in developing customized, competitively compelling value propositions to meet specific needs.
  4. Gauge marketplace feedback by analyzing financial performance from exchange to learn how to improve the firm’s offering to customers and improve firm performance.

These are all highly valid to a typical research organization. A research group or thematic area can often be taken as an economic entity (irrespective of accounting practices), since the continuation of the work depends on its capability to draw new funding. Even public funding organizations seek societal or economic benefit (cf. in Finland, these discussions led to the establishment of the STN – Strategic Research Council). When writing a research proposal one needs to understand not only the call text, but also the reasoning behind the call. In the case of contracted industrial research, the joint elaboration of the offering with the customer is a must. An ongoing assessment of the financial health of the research group is also needed, as no organization can afford in the long term any entity that is continuously spending more than it is earning.

customer

In the Service-Dominant Logic, the customer is the co-creator of value. One of the foundational premises of the S-D Logic states that “value is co-created by multiple actors, always including the beneficiary”. A research project, by definition, provides a unique solution to the customer or other beneficiaries. The value of the results depends on how they will be used. In basic research, the beneficiary is the relevant research community. There is no value in the work if there is no impact on the work of other researchers. A research project aiming to contribute to the solution of a societal challenge is of value only if it will be used to solve the challenge. A research project is relevant to business only if the results are used by the stakeholders in product, process or service development. Pre-determined research services are also needed, because specified operations like measurements, tests, interviews etc. are also important for, e.g., product development and performance confirmation.

The conclusion from the discussions referred to above is that research can and should be treated more explicitly as service to beneficiaries, that is, to other researchers, to industry, and to society at large.

In practice the change of mindset means that we as researchers need to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of government decision-making as well as the business logic of various industrial ecosystems. Only by properly fitting emerging knowledge and technologies to the realities of existing business and government ecosystems can we get permission to address the challenges, which help our sponsors to create value in their operations. The typical jointly funded public projects need to be seen as service to society or to business ecosystems. The EU, Tekes etc. are not funding research only to support researchers in the research performing organizations. Funding programs exist to have a positive impact on industry and society at large.

Matti Kokkala

Matti Kokkala is currently Senior Advisor, Smart Cities at CTO’s Office of VTT. From 2006 to 2013 he was Vice President, Strategic Research in charge of e.g. VTT’s publicly funded research portfolio on service business and services.

Twitter: @MattiKokkala

References:

Vargo, S. L. & Lusch, R. F. 2004. Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68(January), 1–17.

Vargo, S. L. & Lusch, R. F. 2016. Institutions and axioms: an extension and update of service-dominant logic. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci., 44, 5–23.