Case Studies in the Customer-Centric Company
Posted By admin / 31st May, 2018
While many businesses may tout themselves as “customer-centric,” the capacity to deliver on this promise is only as good as a business’ design process.
By definition, a process entails not only a series of interconnected steps resulting in a specific deliverable (a product or service), but a process in which each of these steps is informed by the customer as well as informed by innovations across multiple customer bases.
“It’s not ‘us versus them’ or even ‘us on behalf of them.’ For a design thinker it has to be ‘us with them.’” – Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO
In other words, customer-centric companies are customer-collaborative, inter-industry informed enterprises who are intimately in touch with the evolving needs of their customers and equipped to adapt accordingly.
In this sense, customer-centric companies are not in the business of selling products, but rather in the business of designing and delivering customized solutions.
Especially for B2B companies, a customer-centric approach means being “in it” with customers for the long haul, keeping a responsive ear to the ground for problems in a customer’s own ecosystem that present opportunities for innovative solutions or iterative improvement to existing designs as well as potential cross-industry application.
For example, we at Lifecycle Biotechnologies have longstanding ties to the organ and tissue donation community. When we learn that the tissue processors are struggling with problems that Lifecycle has the ability to solve, we work closely with them to create a custom, unique solution.
Take this situation: the conventional plastic and glass aseptic containers used by many tissue processors posed problems related to compromise of aseptic conditions, ease of use, efficiency of storage, and environmental impact.
Using collaborative design process, Lifecycle innovated a solution to these problems: the CHEM+POUR Bag, a non-rigid container in the form of a bag with built-in handles that decompresses from the exterior when poured. This design eliminated the aseptic-compromising splash and “glug” characteristic of pouring from the industry-standard rigid container and provided a secure, comfortable grip for ease of use.
Further, Lifecycle designed their emptied CHEM+POUR Bags to deflate to a flat, stackable, stable profile, consuming 84% less space as compared to bottles containing the same volumes that would normally be used for the same job, dramatically reducing the environmental footprint associated with disposal transport costs and landfill volume.
Building on the industry acclaim and market penetration it achieved through its CHEM+POUR solution, Lifecycle, in collaboration with Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO’s), innovated the CHEM+SLUSH, a specially designed containers for Sodium Chloride (known to the industry as “Slush”) used in the organ and tissue recovery process.
Lifecycle’s cross-industry informed solutions and dedication to iterative improvement is perhaps most clearly illustrated in its customer-centric approach to the needs of the biofuels industry.
Lifecycle’s customers involved in ethanol manufacturing were experiencing their own problems in regard to the contamination of the liquid solvent (known as mobile phase) due to the environment.
This presented a perfect opportunity for cross-industry informed design and application. Drawing on its experience in innovating, Lifecycle set out to engineer a solution that would overcome the contamination of mobile phases from dust, debris, and fumes that were routinely introduced through the design “gap” between the mobile phase containers and the HPLC equipment these containers were connected to.
The solution came in the form of Lifecycle’s aptly named CHEM+NECT Bags, bags that provided a closed system connection between the mobile phase and the HPLC.
Lifecycle’s innovation proved to be game-changing for the ethanol manufacturing industry, rendering traditional mobile phase containers obsolete.
Lifecycle was still listening, its ear to the ground for opportunities for iterative improvements to its own designs, and it identified one.
The mobile phase Lifecycle provided its ethanol manufacturing customers was available only in 5-liter bags. Because HPLCs can run on a 5-liter container of mobile phase for ~12 hours, this required technicians to come in after hours or on weekends for the express (as well as inefficient and therefore expensive) purpose of “feeding” the machine with additional 5-liter bags of mobile phase (a process known as “change-outs).
Iteratively improving its own design, Lifecycle engineered mobile phase in 20-liter CHEM+NECT Bags reinvented to offer all the advantages of a cubitainer but with all the benefits of a closed system delivery, compressible, pillow-style, eco-friendly design.
Taking its customer-centric approach one step further, Lifecycle also sourced adaptors that allowed the 20-liter bag to be hooked up to two HPLCs simultaneously, eliminating the time- and money-wasting inefficiencies of the change-out process.
Lifecycle’s commitment to a customer-centric approach is the bedrock of its reputation as a leader in the field of innovative, solutions-focused design. If you’d like to experience for yourself the difference a customer-centric approach can make, contact Lifecycle today and see how they can help you and your facility.