February 23, 2016
The real key of success and reaching long-lasting competitive advantage based on experience thinking lays on the mindset of the organisation. In FIMECC UXUS program Fastems has make a remarkable change towards UX oriented mindset resulting in new innovations and competitive advantage over competitors.
During FIMECC UXUS program Fastems, a leading manufacturer of factory automation systems, has taken a
shift towards experience economy. Director Innovation Development and Research Harri Nieminen says: “In history, designing for experiences has been kind of crazy idea in our business environment in the metal and engineering industry. World is changing. In emerging outcome economy, where we sell measurable results instead of products and services, experiences play very important role. By creating right kind of experiences it is possible to create unique customer value as well as competitive advantage which is hard to copy.”
For Fastems, the main goal of UXUS -journey was to create solid foundation and tools for right kind of experience mindset. Everyone at Fastems should understand what UX is, what it means for our customers and our own business as well as how to contribute. Mindset is a big thing and it is not created overnight.
During UXUS –research program the experience goals were defined in a systematic way, with bottom-up approach. Also a touchpoint chart was created in order to provide kind of external view to our company, view defining one- or two-way points customer possibly meets on interface between customer and Fastems. From experience management point of view, one should be able to communicate experience goals in every single touch point – every product and service created, every action taken, every email send should be in line with experience goals. This doesn’t just happen. For this reasons also a style guide concept guiding communication of experience goals and sharing case examples was created.
UX offers a strategic factor in competition. All of us as human beings are hard coded to behave in certain ways. We enjoy positive surprises, we are empathetic, and we want to be rational, but we are not. These realities demonstrate that our behavior as customers builds on how we experience products and services offered or in use. It is important to remember that this applies not only in business to customer (B2C), but also in business to business (B2B) context, even though that in B2B context decision makers and users are not usually the same persons. Organizations don’t make any decisions – human beings do.
A real competitive advantage is reached only when the company utilizes technology deriving continuously something new based on the customer’s needs and their real work. In such a company, the whole organization has a deep understanding about the customer’s and the user’s work and the organization speaks about users and their experiences. This is difficult and takes long time, but it’s also difficult to copy by the rivals, because it’s in people. If everyone in your company knows and values the users’ and customers’ world and can even step into their shoes and feel what they are feeling, this creates the strongly beating heart of radical innovations and business success.
Fastems has definitely shown that also in factory automation, the experience makes a difference. The program has opened people’s eyes towards user experience. In addition the concrete innovation based on user experience has been made.
“The benefits of UXUS program are evident. The journey demonstrates that the user experience can offer competitive advantage and unlimited source of innovation”, tells Harri Nieminen. “For Fastems concentrating on use user experience is changing the means by which we are going to win in our business” states Nieminen.