Smartti Automaatio - Case Lassila & Tikanoja
Often new products and services surface from well-identified customer needs, but after a while, the initial excitement wears off and is replaced by slower-paced progress. Sometimes we even end up questioning the viability of the original idea.
These doubts often originate from a lack of clarity. If we don't have a clear idea of the product, its users, how the product's uniqueness and added value are communicated, or how sales are organized, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Read on how we looked for answers to these questions with the Lassila & Tikanoja Smartti Automaatio product.
Lassila & Tikanoja (L&T) is a Finnish service company focusing on keeping materials, properties, and factories in productive use as long as possible to conserve our globe. To do this, they deliver responsible and sustainable service solutions that make their customers' daily lives easier.
Lassila & Tikanoja operates in Finland and Sweden, and has more than 8000 employees working towards the common goal of protecting the environment.
L&T Energy efficiency services was created to identify problems with energy consumption and offer customers concrete suggestions on fixing these issues. L&T Energy efficiency services consist of multiple services, all of which focus on improving energy efficiency and sustainability of real estates.
"In our project with Coventures, we continued productizing our service and co-developed our capabilities to sell and market Smartti Automaatio service to enable a smooth go-to-market in Finland.", says Ville Rintanen, Operative Director, Technical Services at Lassila & Tikanoja.
Smartti Automaatio is a higher level building automation system that automatically optimizes the energy consumption of real estates according to weather conditions and other information centrally through one digital service.
It's pretty common for companies who tend to carefully listen to their customers to hurry into developing a service or a product to meet the customers' needs as quickly as possible. The ability to identify customers’, sometimes tacit cues, can be vital to a company's continuity, but responding quickly to changing needs often comes at the expense of product development.
"We already had excellent results from the first pilot customer, but we needed alignment on several aspects such as: who are our target customers, how to sell Smartti Automaatio, how is pricing defined, etc.", says Tuomas Hietala, Energy Services Unit Manager, Lassila & Tikanoja.
Smartti Automaatio product was a direct response to the needs of real estate customers who wanted a simple way to optimize the energy consumption of their properties with a single service.
Our goal was to first assess the status of Smartti Automaatio as a product/service.
We began the first stage of our two-part project with Smartti Automaatio by analyzing the product to see where we were with the product development and which things to focus on. We used a tool we call "The Easy 14”, or just 14E, to analyze the 14 principles of ease of the product, such as:
After discussing these questions with the Smartti Automaatio team, we had an idea of where to start and focus our attention. We also compared our findings with answers we received in interviews where we used a broader list of questions based on Lean Canvas.
We noticed room for improvement in several areas of the product’s definition. We agreed that the product didn't really have a clear product strategy and that there was still a long way to go before the service could be easily marketed and effectively sold to several customers. We also noticed that the product's connection to other Energy efficiency services was a bit hazy.
After the assessment, we agreed to help L&T with three key elements for growing Smartti Automaatio business:
We established a product team that included people from business management, sales, marketing, and people responsible for the product's technical development. The team adopted the agile approach well and worked iteratively in two-week sprints.
To build the foundation for successful business, we improved the business viability calculations with market analysis using the “TAM/SAM/SOM concept”, and clarified the product strategy with Lean Canvas.
The product team played a crucial role in identifying the product's unique features and strengths. With the team's help, we also defined the ideal customer profile for Smartti Automaatio based on L&T's existing customers and potential future customer profiles.
To help accelerate sales with the team, we set out to build a new sales narrative using Andy Raskin's model. To support the narrative, we put together a clear sales playbook, agreed on an initial sales strategy, and created additional sales materials.
We made significant progress with the product and sales strategy. When we introduced the new narrative to the sales team, we got great feedback even though the story-based approach was a new thing to them.
"Coventures’ agile project model with sprint duration of two weeks and clearly defined goals for each sprint worked well. The models Coventures used for productization and the sales narrative served us very well. In the beginning of the project, we had the technical part of the product, and now we have everything else around it so we are able to sell and market the product. The big picture is now clear and our people are enthusiastic about the product.", Ville Rintanen says.
After the project, sales activation was in good progress, sales goals were set, and L&T set up a roadmap to scale the business up.
While scaling up the business will take some time, and the agile product development continues, we, together with the project team, made great progress. We were able to get the product's foundation in order, clarify the viable business case, and create a lean canvas and a clear business plan with a sales narrative supporting the strategy.
"We are pleased with the outcomes of the project with Coventures. Together we were able to make a big difference to how Smartti Automaatio is perceived internally as a new digital product, and we can now move to the next phase of scaling up the sales", says Hietala.
Also, big changes in the organizational culture, regarding agile ways of working were made, but the work, of course, will continue. The L&T team was ready to focus their energy on sales and marketing actions.