Innovation Power for SME’s
VANBLEND has distinct ways and means to start up innovation and make it real. Many of our customers are large companies and public services. But does what we do also apply to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s)? Oh yeah! And since most SME’s have no shortage of entrepreneurship, they out-speed anyone in bringing the good stuff they develop to market.
Sports clothing: innovation just around the corner
Masita, a niche player in sports clothing, wanted to learn about the possibilities of smart clothing – for instance connected to smartphones and the cloud. Our team of designers developed some great outside-the-box ideas, including a Lionel Messi-trainer, a sports suit that corrects your movements until you take a free kick like Messi does. But while working together – client and designers – the real issue became apparent: if you source your components at exactly the same Chinese factory as your competitors do, you’ll never surprise your customers. So why not seek cooperation and knowledge transfer with the Technical University that lies virtually around the corner? And – being real entrepreneurs: they immediately did exactly that!
Software development: lock-in through the customer-of-the-customer
Logitec develops support software for fitness centers and spas, to manage subscriptions, payments, entrance, lockers et cetera. A highly competitive market. Their question: what functions could we add to the software to develop a tighter lock-in situation with our clients and reach higher margins on our product? Our research showed that their software already has so many functions available for clients that it would be hard to think of some useful add-ons. But we also found that the software has no functions that support and lock-in the customers-of the-customer. Since business models of fitness centers and spas are mostly based on subscriptions, that’s a really important issue. Besides building great database-stuff, they are now in in the process of building connected apps that are useful and supportive for clients-of-clients.