How business model innovation helped future-proof GCE.

Data-driven Manufacturing

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The GCE Group is Europe’s leading gas equipment company. They ensure that customers in the healthcare industry and laboratories have a safe and effective gas supply. The GCE Group headquarter is located in Malmö, Sweden, and they have local sales companies in 18 countries.

The challenge.

GCE was about to launch its first ever IoT (Internet of Things) product via its GCE Healthcare unit and wanted to make sure it had a solid business model in place for it.

“IoT was a very new thing for us, and we had heard about Stratiteq’s expertise in the area, so we reached out to them to help us challenge the planned business model,” CEO Christophe de Fitte recalls.

With the development of the hi-tech Zen-O lite device – a lightweight portable oxygen concentrator – GCE not only embarked on a new technological journey, but was presented with several new customer groups, going beyond the regular distribution line. Aside from the hospitals ordering the devices, customers also included the physicians prescribing them, but most importantly, the actual patients, or end-users. Not uncommon for B2B-companies, GCE’s value proposition was centered around the product’s features rather than addressing the real value that could be delivered to each target group.

The solution.

During a three-day workshop the GCE team and Stratiteq used Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Genera- tion (BMG) methodology to analyze the customers and end-users, understanding how the Zen-O lite’s value proposition and communication could be improved to address the real jobs, and pains and gains of each customer group. The business model was challenged, and several new and alternative business models were designed and later analyzed.

“The toolbox used consists of canvases and methodologies that are commonly used for prototyping new business models, customer discovery and value proposition creation, in global enterprises as well as within the start-up community,” Hedberg explains. The model supports an agile and a hands-on approach to business development.

After just one workshop, one thing became clear: GCE had to become more customer focused, getting its product development information directly from the source itself: the end-users.

“It was a big eye-opener for us,” Christophe de Fitte says. “We realized we needed to go beyond the distributor and understand the needs of the person who’s going to use the devices we sell.”

Workshops were then held with all business areas within GCE, challenging current business models, evaluating value propositions and identifying new business opportunities. Participants were also trained in how to conduct customer interviews and work beyond traditional company structures, realizing, for example, the value of increasing communication and collaboration between sales reps and engineers. “It’s essentially a cultural change for us,” Christophe de Fitte says.

Stratiteq also introduced GCE to agile development methodologies, creating an understanding of how to run agile software development projects to improve project and requirements management, resulting in increased speed in development and go-to-market.

The impact.

By applying the BMG methodology, GCE is now able to properly identify and understand their end-users’ needs, allowing it to develop products that more accurately satisfy market demand – all the while reducing its overall R&D spending. It also allows for a speedier, and more competitive development phase and go-to-market.

“It became apparent to us why some of the products we’ve launched in the past have failed to meet end-users’ expectations. And with BMG we found a model that we can apply in all of our product development, helping us prioritize the projects and hopefully increase the success rate of future product launches,” Christophe de Fitte says.

“We’re becoming a lot more customer- focused. By us applying this mindset to our business and giving our customers what they actually need, they will come to us by preference over our competitors.”

Pick my brain.

Paul Ulvinius
Industry Lead Healthcare
+46 (0)76 526 98 35