Our client is a household name in the water purifier space, supplying point of use water purifiers to homes all over Asia and Europe. The manufacturing business of building and selling physical products has however been commoditized over the years and product differentiation is not easy to maintain. Moreover, competing local brands in each country are eating into their market share and new sales channels like eCommerce only exacerbate this problem by adding to discounts and putting pressure on margins.
Our client had to do something to break the logjam of commoditization of their product on one side and shrinking margins on the other. They decided to make a big shift in their business model from selling products to selling their product-as-a-service; meaning that instead of selling water purifiers, they would now give away the product for free and charge their consumers for the water that they consumed. So far so good. But there it was, how would they know how much water their consumers had actually consumed? How would they charge them exactly for this consumption?
They reached out to a bunch of technology companies for possible solutions. These included the big 4 firms too. iBot was also invited to present. Our approach to this was to show and tell. Afterall, IOT is also about the touch and feel of technology. We went to the nearest store, purchased one of the clients’ machines and spent a few days integrating the iBot E-series Processor into their product and sending data on consumption to the IBM Bluemix cloud.
We landed at their office on the designated day and instead of dishing out powerpoint, we showed them how their own machine was able to meter the exact amount of water, send this data to the cloud and allow for consumers to prepay for a certain amount of water like they did for cable TV or their Internet at home! We welcomed them to the world of water-as-a-service.
Not only was our system able to help them sell water like a utility company would sell electricity, our system also alerted them to the wear and tear of spare parts and allowed for replenishment based on actual usage (condition monitoring).
Our trusted iBot Hive is always there to ensure that iBot’s devices, apps and connectivity is running and manages any hardware and app upgrades ever so smoothly.
Our client launched the system in a few countries in Asia. Thousands of consumers signed up for the system and were excited that they would get high quality machines that could provide their homes with safe drinking water, without paying anything upfront, while they could consume water and use their smartphone to prepay again.
We enabled our clients’ vision to provide safe drinking water to homes while allowing them to digitally transform their business model from selling products to selling water-as-a-service.