Research-based management consulting / We create and implement new knowledge


29.08.2017 09:04What does the buzz word sustainability mean to you? Eeva Vuorinen, CEO

At PBI, our vision is to create and implement new knowledge for a more sustainable world. This is something that we are very proud of and feel like we are one of the few companies that actually have the methods to drive sustainable change.  

For us, sustainability derives from a business ecosystem view – a methodology that ensures sustainable industrial investments for our customers.  Companies operate in business ecosystems consisting of business models (Tsvetkova et al 2017) and thereby the value creation system consists of numerous categories of actors that need to be considered. A business ecosystem is also an institutional structure, a context within which organizations operate and interact and which is guided by a set of rules, roles, players etc.

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12.10.2016 19:13The guiding principles of value-based selling Hanna Luotola, Researcher

Today the vast majority of companies claim to provide solutions which add more customer value than traditional product-service offerings. As these solutions often combine a mixture of products, services, and processes, demonstrating the concrete business benefits is a common challenge. Value-based selling is a theme that has evoked an increasing amount of interest among our industrial client companies, who have expressed a need for new type of problem recognition tools and selling techniques.

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19.09.2016 12:52How mature is your service offering, actually? Anders Jungar, Manager at PBI - Dr. Magnus Hellström, Senior Lecturer at Åbo Akademi University

Many companies struggle with industrial services, especially when it comes to harvesting their full financial potential. Typical problems with industrial service offerings are lack of clarity as to what has been promised, cost-overruns, delayed deliveries as well as quality issues when delivering these services to the customers.

In addition, your customers may constantly request you to adapt your offering to the customer’s own systems and preferences, and your organization sticks to old specifications or habits of delivering the services. According to our experience, there is a direct connection between low service offering maturity and the aforementioned issues.

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12.09.2016 12:27Are the right persons at your customer organization promoting your business case? Filip Franck, Senior Analyst

In my previous blog post I introduced the idea that your customer is just as important a promoter for your business case as you are – as a B2B sales person. You need the right promoters on board to push your sale forward, and the more complex the business case, the larger the crowd you have to convince.

But who are these promoters then? How do you find them, and why do they actually matter to your business case? There are 5 promoter types you need to identify, and in this blog post I will explain why and how to do that.

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06.09.2016 20:19New financing logic improves industrial and infrastructure investment outcomes Kim Wikström, Professor

Industrial and infrastructure investments are constantly becoming more complicated and sizable. At the same time there are alarmingly high cost overruns, delays and underperformance. A key reason for this is that the investments are poorly organized, and sometimes by the wrong actors. Several studies claim that one reason for the poor outcome of investments relates to involving the wrong types of financing instruments and organizations that mainly provide financing that is short-term and unreasonable.

New technologies demand new ways of financing investments and new kinds of governance structures. In this blog post, I propose a new systematic approach to financing schemes where the right actors and interests are tied together to ensure investment success in the long term.

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23.06.2016 15:21Your customer promotes your business case just as much as you do Filip Franck, Senior Analyst

In my previous blog post I talked about the importance of co-creation of your business case with your customer. The business case should not be a back-office exercise, but rather something you prepare to build together with your customer. This is for several reasons: Firstly, in the world of industrial project business, customers are not afraid to shop around for competitive supplier alternatives through tendering so it’s important that you align them to shop for something unique that you are offering. Secondly, if your products and services are innovative or unfamiliar to the customer, they may undervalue, misinterpret or completely ignore your value proposition. Thirdly, you should see co-creation as a two-way street, where you can learn from your customer just as they learn from you. In addition, you’re more likely to come up with more creative and unique solutions that fit your customer if you create them together, serving your customer’s needs better, justifying a healthy sales margin for you while enhancing your competitive edge. Last but definitely not least, co-creation stems trust, and if the customer trusts you are working in their best interest, they are more likely to buy and to buy from you.

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25.05.2016 14:09Systemic perspective in policy-making: why do we need it? Anastasia Tsvetkova, Senior Researcher

One can’t deny the importance of regulations, government support and other policy measures in shaping markets and industries. At the same time, policy-making aims at directing industries towards sustainability; generating welfare while employing environmentally and socially preferable ways. Often, there is a trade-off between the three dimensions of sustainability - environmental, economic and social - making it a tough decision for policy makers to put pressure on industries to become ‘greener’ and compromise some of their growth.

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12.05.2016 08:19If you’re not co-creating the business case with your customer, then don’t claim to be a solution provider Filip Franck, Senior Analyst

In my previous value-driven sales blog post I talked about that, as a b2b sales person, you should strive to let customer investment value drive your sales pitch. Being able to quantify this value as lifecycle net cash flow that an investment in your solution brings will essentially contain the element of cost (both CAPEX of initial investment and OPEX, both variable and fixed), and as such an isolated discussion regarding only cost in your sales pitch is irrelevant.

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04.05.2016 15:07Don’t get it wrong – risk management is more than mitigation Kim Wikström, Senior partner

Uncertainty in large projects is not only a risk for negative consequences but also a source for innovation and improving efficiency.

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20.04.2016 14:08Why do companies fail to harvest the sales potential found in their existing data sources? Eeva Vuorinen, Head of Diagnostics Operations

Based on our experience, industrial companies fail to identify aftersales and service sales potential found in their existing data sources. This concerns not only spare parts and maintenance sales potential but also agreement sales, for example. Sales people we have talked to have a lot of questions:

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30.03.2016 11:29Build your service portfolio based on real customer problems Anders Jungar, Manager at PBI - Dr. Magnus Hellström, Senior Lecturer at Åbo Akademi University

First, let us get one thing straight: it is not about goods versus services or services being better than goods. It is about fulfilling (often latent) needs that your customer has in the area of your technology, or rather solving problems that your customer did not know could be solved or even existed in the first place. Solving such problems often requires innovative combinations of goods and services based on a thorough understanding of your customer’s business.

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09.03.2016 08:59Leadership is now available for everyone, effortlessly! Robin Wikström, Senior Researcher at PBI & Johnny Långstedt, PhD Student at Åbo Akademi University

As discussed in a previous blog post, there is an increasing need to develop new types of tools for aiding organizations with making decisions. It is important to embrace the thought that these tools should not only address established processes, but preferably introduce new ways of thinking and acting. 

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29.02.2016 10:57Satisfied with the freight services you are getting? Now you have a possibility to have your say.

Are you satisfied with the freight services you are getting? Our report on the “Uber of the Seas” shows that sea freight is inefficient and could be improved a lot. You now have a chance to have your say in what kind of systemic renewal is needed to break from the old, inefficient ways of working. 

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17.02.2016 12:13Revolutionizing short sea shipping – the Uber of the Seas Anastasia Tsvetkova, Senior Researcher

Current short sea logistics are inefficient, especially in the dry bulk and general cargo segments. Low utilization of vessels, significant idling times, lack of coordination between the multitude of actors involved, and low information transparency about cargo and vessel movements make it impossible to have an optimized and smoothly operating logistical system. As a result, many businesses suffer – a dry bulk vessel is barely a good investment for shipowners, ship operators are hardly profitable, and technology providers cannot capitalize on their latest technologies. A systemic renewal is the only way to break from the old, inefficient ways of working.

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27.01.2016 10:02Leveraging the power of industrial data Eeva Vuorinen, Head of Diagnostics & Henrik Wahlström

Requirements for analytics or entire “signal systems” are increasing in the traditional manufacturing industries. The number of Internet connected devices is increasing, so is the amount of data. Meanwhile the governance of data is becoming an issue. Traditional industry is not entirely utilizing the benefits of the data.

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20.01.2016 09:36Open digitalized marketplace – improving the performance of infrastructure investments in logistics? Kim Wikström, Senior partner & Magnus Gustafsson, Partner

If you missed our first blog post titled "Uber of the seas?", click here to read it!

Large infrastructure investments in Europe are in average two years delayed and record a 60% cost overrun. However, even more worrying is the low utilization and delivery of value from the investment during its life cycle. 

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12.01.2016 11:13Why are industrial services not getting the attention they deserve? Anders Jungar, Manager at PBI - Dr. Magnus Hellström, Senior Lecturer at Åbo Akademi University

What is the first thing that springs to your mind when you hear the words 'industrial services'? Here's our educated guess: words such as spare parts, technical support and maintenance delivered by the 'Service division guys'. There is no international standard definition, but for industrial services, or industrial service products to be precise, we mean a series of pre-defined activities that are delivered/performed during the complete lifecycle of any large industrial investment. Examples of these include feasibility studies, project management, engineering, system integration, transport and logistics, commissioning, installation support, construction management, i.e. services you would find in the scope of any larger industrial investment such as a container terminal, motorway, or power plant.

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05.01.2016 09:35Infrastructure investments need functionality! Anastasia Tsvetkova, Senior Researcher

An investment that works as it should

What is the value of investments in infrastructure? Surprisingly, the answer is not obvious – it depends on whose perspective we consider. For investors, the interest is in an adequate return on investment. For those who build the investment object, the goal is to maximize the profit from the construction process and fulfill the investor’s requirements. For end users, it is the value they receive from using the investment object that matters. 

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22.12.2015 09:49Your innovative solution is only as good as how well your customer understands its value Filip Franck, Senior Analyst

A common problem in industrial b2b sales is customers recognizing the technical strengths of a supplied product but not understanding the value it brings their business. Customers of industrial technology products tend to only be made aware of the technical strengths (and weaknesses) of the product and are left to figure out the impact it will have on their business, earnings, and risk themselves. And why blame them? Take a look at most any industrial company’s marketing pamphlet or product catalogue and you’ll note that emphasis is more often than not solely put on technological characteristics of products without addressing how they bring about business value to the customer who is supposed to invest in them.

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15.12.2015 14:15The increasing need for decision support tools in industrial contexts Robin Wikström, Senior Researcher

Both practitioners and researchers are increasingly moving away from tools that make decisions for the users, towards tools that aid users in making the best decision. This movement is both logical and necessary. With a business climate that competes with decreasing margins, the need for tools that can help with avoiding unnecessary mistakes is essential.

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08.12.2015 13:21Taking the ecosystem perspective Joakim Sjöblom, Analyst - Anastasia Tsvetkova, Senior Researcher

Companies create value in interactions with other actors in their business environment, such as their customers, suppliers, and partners. Other actors, such as industry champions or policy-makers can affect this value creation process through creating ‘the rules of the game’: who does what and who gets what. Therefore any company can be seen as an element in a business ecosystem, where joint value creation as well as capturing, i.e. the company´s earnings, takes place. 

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01.12.2015 10:45Can you increase profitability and reduce emissions simultaneously? Magnus Gustafsson, Partner & Head of R&D

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is often presented as a costly enterprise with the only payoff in the form of avoiding a cataclysmic disaster few of us can even imagine. What if I told you that reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be highly profitable in purely economic terms, and that, as by-product, it may change the massive ineffectiveness in how many industries operate?

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24.11.2015 10:56Your data is only helping you if know what you should be looking at Eeva Vuorinen, Head of Diagnostics Operations

Nowadays companies integrate all the data that used to be trapped in multiple different company systems. Often these projects are started from a technical standpoint. However, finding the essence through the mountains of data does not start from its integration, but rather from understanding the value of the information that can be had from the data.

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12.11.2015 10:28Uber of the seas? Kim Wikström, Partner & CEO

The new emission regulations within the shipping sector have created a need to renew the logistics chain in the Baltic Sea. Could an Uber of the seas type of concept be the answer?

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