Leveraging B2B A partnerships and value ecosystems
Areputed automobile manufacturer on an average produces only two similar cars out of thousands of units produced. In early days, automobiles were meant for few wealthy individuals only. Customization was possible and used to follow coachbuilding tradition, wherein, chassis maker supplies the chassis and the coach builder provides cthe ustomization. In today’s world, to cater to the masses, assembly lines are equipped with robots and automation helps in providing higher quality and near zero defects. This model of production line works on the framed linear chain from ideation (R&D), production and to sales. The R&D gets components and parts from the suppliers. Customizations are limited and closed doo ir nnovation ignores the customers and real user preferences. Digitalization bridges this gap by enabling manufacturers to provide mass personalization to the customer, wherein, the customer configures his requirements and the product is configured to best serve his personal needs resulting in a unique driving experience
Similarly, a retail customer looking for a personalized furniture might require one unique built out of a thousand possible combinations. Wood supplier, other part vendors, manufacturer, designer and seller needs stronger value driven design thinking to design each component of the end product and also uniqueness in after-sale services.
The common thing you find in these use cases is the complex Businessto-Business (B2B) partnerships or presence of an extended enterprise to deliver to the end customer – be it automobile owner, or a home maker or a city resident. We are entering an era of mass customization and digital value ecosystems. C losed door innovation is the thing of the past and the future relies more on strengthening of B2B partnerships and leveraging values across partners and integrating into the user journey and product/service life cycle.
Barriers to value creation
Early warning, head-up displays projected on windshield on certain top models of cars has innovative ideas from across their partners. The siloed innovation ideas in graphical display system, advancement in windshield coating, real-time guidance and warning systems (say road exit and other early warnings) are getting manifested into a bigger idea of convenience and safety. Idea integration with customer journey to solve a bigger problem cannot happen with closed door innovations.
Innovation in drugs needs a long term data collection and performance recordings. These take long cycles if drug companies, service providers and drug distributors work in isolation. Surveys and physical assessments are not efficient. Barriers to free flow of Patient data, drug history, service providers service history and other clinical trial data across stakeholder’s effects context generation and further research. Free flow of data helps in
providing the right diagnosis and value creation to the dreadful diseases namely cancer. Siloed partner applications and lack of integrations are the barriers to free flow of data across the B2B eco system.
Imagine a seamless B2B integration, wherein the customer uses his mobile to raise a SOS request after an accident with the pictures taken from his phone. The claim request is submitted with the insurance and the same time gets connected to road side assistance provider, nearest dealer and manufacturer is informed about the incident for any warranty checks. More than one business entities have tasks associated with the incident and these tasks need to be orchestrated to provide a unique experience. The lack of integrated business engagement model is a barrier to create value to the customer.
Digital value ecosystem
Cotton producers sell cotton to merchants, who sell it to spinners, who sell it to weavers, who sell it to garment makers and then to retail outlets. The ultimate aim for every business entity is to add value to it. The traditional framed linear value chain from cotton producer to retail outlets takes a straight line approach and thinks of generalization. From a value ecosystem perspective, customer requirements, personalization and shopping experience are brainstormed with customer as the center. Each business entity will have a perspective of the customer experience to add value or customization to his deliverable.
To create a strong digital value ecosystem, the B2B relationship should be strengthened. An integrated business model with customer at the center with mass customization or personalization as the goal needs a digital orchestrator. There are three important aspects to digital orchestration:
The shift from digitization to value-driven digitalization is supported through technology innovation namely hybrid integrations of business entities and cloud through specialized technology of IoT, Open API, Augmented and Virtual reality. The digitalization through value ecosystem is taking off across the industry and will be the norm in the next three years. Pharma companies are taking lead to integrate health providers, government regulators, drug distributors and patient data. Automobile manufacturers are slowly moving towards a value eco systems through connected cars. It is not far, we see majority of the product vendors and service providers will move towards a value eco system.