Solar Danmark A/S
Design thinking, strategy, concept development, and cross-platform service design
Solar is a listed company and a leading European sourcing and services company operating within electrical, heating, plumbing and ventilation. The core business has been "product sourcing and any value adding service to optimize their customers business." To be better prepared for future business challenges, Solar wanted to explore and find new possible ways of attracting clients with a focus on services for both existing customers and the end-consumer. Sourcing and focusing on craftsmen needs is no longer enough, so what to do?
“The designers' help has enabled us to focus on customers and become more competitive. Our key business areas will be product sourcing, value creating services and optimization of our customer's businesses. That is how we have to differentiate in the future"
During the six months, we facilitated several workshops with a task force team from Solar and external advisor Lars Thøgersen of CPH ID. We wanted to truly understand the new target groups, and uncover potential spaces in the market, where Solar could make a difference with the experience and business logistics already in place.
We discovered and mapped the challenges homeowners face while undertaking any private construction projects, big or small. We focused on three categories for the users:
Five possible concepts were tested on real homeowners, the management, and other stakeholders. Finally, we could develop an identity and a design concept for the final prototype(s), now set to be the base for further development in 2017 (…to be continued).
Solars team had the insights and at the same time the liberty to move in completely new directions. The project was titled Solar Explorer from the get go, as everyone agreed we did not know exactly where the journey would take us
Solar is now equipped with a 360-degree concept for a digital suite of services and apps. Flexible enough to be rolled out over a timeframe not to make development costs too high or too rigid. A concept that provides immediate value for all parties: the end user, the craftsmen, Solar or other partners on the platform, as it is intended to be open for anyone – even competitors – to participate. We reported and documented the whole process and developed a brand proposition along with a fully designed app (first and most important app in the suite) to showcase key user flows. Our deliveries included:
An action plan is now being made to bring the concept into reality. We recommend to do it in the style of a Startup organization: building MVPs, testing, prototyping, learning and building more: Solar will learn from the initial releases; gather user feedback, and adjust the plan and adapt to the input.
One of the concepts was launched under the name "Homebob" October 2017: http://www.homebob.dk/video.mp4
Design Director Jesper Fagerlund presenting the initial app concepts
Allowing the required time for a design thinking process, can make it or break it for companies that feel challenged by new ways of doing business. Major corporations can by nature be more careful to keep agile and willing to change. Innovation does not come easy. People fit into hierarchies and are often keen on protecting what they know because the unknown is perceived as dangerous. You could lose your job. Or maybe someone forces you to change the plans that you had all along. It is uncertain, and hence organizations struggle.
With a custom made process of design thinking, we help organizations reach new goals and make it possible to see true innovation happen. Setting up a dedicated team, with a clearly designated area to work within, a limited budget and time plan, detached the work from everyday business, we can work freely, arrive at testable assumptions quickly and relatively cost efficient.
We end up with business propositions that are possible to see, feel, interact with through the power of quick high fidelity prototyping. This gives you evidence to make decisions that otherwise would seem too dangerous and to go in a new direction with your business before it starts to cost precious hours.
„I have to say I have been extremely happy to work with you. It has been an eye opener to approach new business areas the way you have done and I truly believe that your work will help us take Solar in new profitable directions“