Posts tagged with "business model"

New Robotics

New Robotics: Shifting Business Models

IDTechEx Research analyzes the changing trends in the robotics industry in their report New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players, as new and emerging firms challenge the norm.

Machine makers in many established markets sell their machines directly or through dealer networks. At times, they create additional revenue streams by offering technical after-sales support. They often hope that the installed base of their machines together with limited incompatibility with competitors’ products provides some lock-in mechanism. They also seek to build-in some technology obsolescence into their product cycles. Some also provide finance, directly or jointly with a finance entity, to help potential customers overcome the barrier of the upfront cost.

Many traditional robot suppliers fit the description above. Integrators often install a robotic or automated solution and provide after-sale technical support. They make it difficult to integrate competitors’ robots with their solutions and offer regular hardware and software updates.

New and emerging robotic firms, however, do not easily fit this bill. They are, in fact, challenging the established norms. This is sometimes through will and sometimes through necessity. The trend towards alternative models is evident across all sectors that new robotics seeks to impact. This includes retail, agriculture, logistics, delivery, security, cleaning, transport, and so on.

In the next few paragraphs, we outline some trends and drives in each sector. To get the complete picture please see the IDTechEx Research New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players. This report is unique in its depth and breadth. It covers both existing as well as emerging applications. Indeed, it provides 21-year forecasts in value and unit numbers for 46 categories, painting a comprehensive and quantitative picture of this major transformation.

Agriculture

Autonomous robots can provide automated precision weeding. Robotic intelligent implementation can provide precision spraying or weeding, too. The upfront machine or fleet costs are often high today. The technology risk for end users is also high. Users are often afraid that expert operators and repair persons will be needed. They worry that the technology is not tried and tested, especially in an agricultural environment. They fear that the technology is likely to rapidly evolve, exposing them to serious obsolescence risks. Crucially, they require seasonal services and are accustomed to paying wages and not making significant capital investments into machines with low utilization rates.

To address these challenges, many companies are positioning as a RaaS- robotic as a service. They essentially become weeding service providers. They operate or monitor their own machines. They charge the customer per acre, a metric with which they are likely familiar. They absorb the technology risk. Crucially, they give their robots extensive field practice and will have the chance to gather data and feedback. This is important because the design of these products and services is still in a state of flux with many further iterations anticipated.

This positioning changes the nature of their business. Companies will require additional working capital and staff to absorb the service costs and to offer a sufficiently scaled service network. They cannot simply build to order to balance their cash flows. This is where partnerships will become important. This is also where early capital investments in case of start-ups become a necessity, as most will operate heavily in the red in the early years of their operations.

With time and technology maturity the model may revert back to a traditional arrangement, or will it? This is an ongoing debate because traditional heavy agricultural machine makers will also need to adapt their models. This is inevitable because as vehicles become more autonomous, in navigation and task, the machine becomes the services, blurring the boundary between equipment sales and service provision.  The whole value chains will need to adjust and even the dealers will need to find their sweet spots evolving their technical support into full-blown remote robot operations. To learn more please read New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players.

Last mile delivery

Many small robots are appearing worldwide to solve the productivity problem present at the last stage of the delivery process: the last mile. These small slow robots autonomously deliver small payloads to their final destinations. At the level of individual machines, there are highly unproductive. However, at the level of a large fleet, without a driver overhead per unit, they can become productive and commercially viable.

Here two business models have emerged. Some follow the traditional model of trying to sell their robots. Others are positioning as delivery firms staffed mainly by autonomous robots. This latter model is adopted for many good reasons. It is envisioned that the hardware will in the future become modular, standardized, and highly commoditized.  Essentially the same fate as consumer drones awaits the hardware platform. Competing in such a business would not be easy for start-ups, especially those based in California and similar start-up hubs.

Crucially, the robot companies require practice data. This is because they will need to improve their delivery and navigation algorithms so that one day they can operate large fleets in complex environments with high-speed units. The data loop would be cut if they just sold a machine and walked out. The data acquisition is a fundamental part of product improvement without which the company would likely stall. It will also open up the door to offering high value-added analytics services.

The technology is still immature. As such, it will require close monitoring and likely regular manual interventions to fix issues. As such, most players will, as a minimum, be forced to add a strong 24/7 service element to their business.

To learn more, please see the IDTechEx Research report Mobile Robots and Drones in Material Handling and Logistics 2018-2038. This report is focused on all aspects of mobile robotics in material handling and logistics. In particular, we consider the following: automated guided vehicles and carts (AGVs and AGCs); autonomous mobile vehicles and carts/units; mobile picking robots; last mile delivery ground robots (droids) and drones; and autonomous trucks and light delivery vans (level 4 and level 5 automation).

Logistics

Robotic firms are emerging to enable autonomous robotic picking. These robots combine autonomous mobility with autonomous picking skills. Here, too, companies are frequently positioning themselves as a service provider, charging a monthly subscription fee or a $ per pick rate.

In this case, too, robotic companies require the data. Their picking algorithms are based on deep learning and as such without training data their product roadmap will likely stall. This would be very dangerous to their business prospects because today’s generation of products only manages to slowly pick regularly-shaped known objects in simple environments. The future, however, is fast picking of novel randomly-shaped items in complex environments. To traverse this competency gap, data will be indispensable. The users too will require ongoing support. They too will prefer not to absorb the technology risk, especially since the technology – both hardware and software – are rapidly evolving. As such, a service model can prove win-win.

To learn more please visit www.IDTechEx.com/mobile.

Security

Autonomous mobile robots are developed to perform various security-related tasks. These robots are being designed for indoor, outdoor and even rugged terrain operation. They are essentially sensors-on-a-wheel. Some versions can have more than 50-onboard sensors, generating nearly 100 terabytes of data per year per machine. These robots can be deployed wherever some type of security and monitoring is required.

Here, too, firms are not always adopting an outright equipment sales model. It is common to seek a subscription model for giving customers access to the machine, the interface, the data plan, the 24/7 support, etc. Here, too, such arrangements can be win-win. The suppliers will retain that crucial data loop in their business models, enabling them to improve their products, for example, by offering specialized algorithms able to detect, recognize, and analyze specific situations, e.g., from car number plate recognition to detection of dangerous gas leakages in an industrial site. Customers, too, will take this arrangement because it is closer to an end solution and makes it easier for them to test the technology and the new ways of working that it might enable.

To learn more please see New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players. This report provides detailed technology analysis, assessing the trends in performance and price of key enabling hardware and software technologies whilst considering likely technology development roadmaps. We will also profile the key companies and innovative entities working on new robotics and drones.

Retail

Autonomous robots are also finding their way into retail stores, seeking to automate tedious tasks. In particular, they are being offered essentially as automated data acquisition tools, capturing data about items on the shelves with higher speed and accuracy than humans.

Here firms are positioning as full solution providers. This has many advantages. This future-proofs their business against hardware commoditization. They can accumulate hard-to-obtain and hard-to-copy knowhow and data which can then underpin their value-added data analytics services. Their customers too will be interested in a final solution and not another alien technology looking for a problem to solve. At the end of the day, they are interested only in an impact on the bottom line, be it higher stock availability, better stock positioning on shelves, or leaner inventories. As such, data-centric service-orientated models can be win-win propositions.

This shift towards non-traditional business models permeates every sector. It is happening even with cars where the rise of mobility is fueling serious debates about the future of mobility and the role of autonomous taxi fleets and shared facilities. In general, even if the business models are not radically redrawn, the profit pool within the value chain will be re-balanced. This will change the winners and losers and will demand that all participants begin looking ahead and planning now.

To learn more, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/robotics or contact research@IDTechEx.com.

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Consultancy and Events services, helping you profit from emerging technologies. Find out more at www.IDTechEx.com.

Finance Trends for 2019 and Beyond

Trends That Will Impact the Finance Industry 2019 – 2020 and Beyond

It is undeniable that the pace of technological advancement is the major force behind the changes happening in the global financial services industry (FSI). Financial institutions are left with no choice but to adapt their business models accordingly to remain competitive in the markets they operate.

FSI outlook reports for 2019 to 2020 and beyond by various top financial consulting firms in the world, PwC , Cooper Parry and Deloitte, show that FinTech, digitization of operations, data analytics, client self-service, and blockchain are the most likely sources of disruptions in the financial services industry over the next two years. This article captures the real-world implications of these changes and provides insight on how organizations can prepare to win in the increasingly dynamic playing field.

FinTech to Steer the new Business Model

Today, there is nothing more disruptive in finance than FinTech. Using service-oriented innovative technology, FinTech start-ups have finally become the unopposable tools for breaking into financial services. A recent Global FinTech Survey by PwC showed that traditional players are worried of losing about 25% of their business to standalone FinTech start-ups within the next 5 years.

In a smart move to remain competent in the industry, incumbents are smartly embracing disruptions. Large to small financial institutions have come to the realization that it is no longer about integrating technology into business operations but using financial technology as a central facet of new business models.

Analytics: Key Decision-making Tool

Data has never been more critical to businesses like it is today. Data analytics combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning will be key technological trendsetters for the financial services industry in 2019 and beyond.

Business analytics is continually becoming an essential tool for truly transforming financial institutions into data-driven organizations. Financial institutions are expected to invest in technologies surrounding data analytics to realize the massive power of data on hand and that which they can collect (big data). 2019 and 2020 will therefore witness massive increase in data utilization by these institutions. Even institutions that offer products for Forex trading for beginners are keen to use advanced data utilization technologies to ensure that their customers are able to make profitable Forex trades from the onset of their careers.

Mainstream Digitization

Retail banking, payments, insurance, and wealth management are areas in which digitization of operations is already taking place at great lengths industry-wide. With internet development and continuous technological advancement, financial institutions are putting more investments into digitization of more and more business operations to achieve more efficiency.

The e-commerce way of doing things has become the new normal in financial services. This is evidenced by the tendency by financial organizations to transform traditional operational units into e-business units. This trend has also caught pace in financial regulatory institutions.

Shift to Client Self-service and Increasing Value of Customer Intelligence

Delivering superior client experience is one of the major competition grounds for banks, insurance companies and investment management firms. Every other day, these organizations are looking for new technologies to provide more relevant services to their clients and in the most seamless ways. Self-service platforms are especially growing in popularity.

As services become digitized, financial institutions are keen to provide technology-based solutions that add value and enhance client experience. It is no longer just increase the number of self-service functionalities.

Of critical importance is making sure that technological capabilities being developed are customer-intelligent. Customer intelligence deals with how an organization interacts with its customer as it seeks to meet the client’s needs. Being customer intelligent is a key trend that will potentially drive FSI revenue and profitability going forward.

Blockchain Will Become an Integral Part of Financial Institutions

Just recently, one of the world’s biggest banks, HSBC, reported how using a blockchain-based system enabled it to make significant cost savings on Forex transactions. It is evident that blockchain has started shaking things up in financial services. There is a surge in funding and innovation in FinTech and blockchain. There are convincing signs that the use of blockchain is likely to become a crucial part of financial institutions’ operational and technological infrastructure.

Adaptability: How to Win in Financial Services

Future winners in FSI are institutions that can envision and execute initiatives at a faster pace than the speed of change. The institution must have an evolving mindset and culture to enable it acquire the right talent and capabilities that will help to develop flexibility and innovativeness. It must also be prepared to invest adequately in securing its brand as a technology leader among its competitors. This is the only way to gain sustainable growth in the increasingly digital future.

Pirelli Supplier Awards 2018

Sustainability, innovation and quality of service were the key elements for the Pirelli Supplier Awards 2018, the annual occasion when the Company awards 9 suppliers from its global supply chain of over 10,000. The Supplier Awards reward those suppliers who shine for their ability to make the Pirelli supply chain even more sustainable and enhance qualitative excellence, making Pirelli’s products more High Value, in line with the Group’s strategy.

Today the awards for the suppliers who distinguished themselves over the last year were presented by Chief Purchasing Officer, Matteo Battaini and the Chief Sustainability and Risk Governance Officer, Filippo Bettini, at a ceremony at Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan. The awards were given to nine suppliers in the areas of raw materials, services and machinery.

In the 2018 edition, the most frequently seen factors include innovation, quality of service and sustainability, which had its own specific award. Pirelli’s supply chain has been constructed to guarantee product innovation, process digitalization and long term competitiveness, where respect for the environment and attention to the value of people are considered a primary levers of growth.

Pirelli’s efforts towards a sustainable purchasing strategy were recognized by the confirmation that Pirelli’s supply system was in compliance with the UNI ISO 20400 rule, conferred in February 2018 by SGS Italia S.p.A. – one of the leading companies globally for inspection, verification, analysis and certification services. Pirelli is thus the first company in the automotive industry to have received this confirmation of compliance. The ISO 20400 constitutes the most important international guideline in the matter of supply chain sustainable governance, where the economic, social and environmental responsibility are integrated into the Company’s strategies, organization and purchasing processes.

The winners of the Pirelli Supplier Awards 2018 include:

Glanzstoff Sicrem Spa (Italy), suppliers of textile reinforcements – awarded for the criteria of “Quality” and “Speed”, plus the prestigious Sustainability prize, which the company deserved because it produces rayon using only cellulose from plantations certified for sustainable agro-forestry management;

JSR Corporation (Japan), a supplier of synthetic rubber awarded for the criteria of “Innovation” and “Service Level”;

Thai Eastern Innovation Co., Ltd (Thailandia), PT. Kirana Megatara Tbk (Indonesia) and PT. Prasidha Aneka Niaga Tbk (Indonesia); all suppliers of natural rubber awarded for “Quality” and “Service Level”;

VMI Holland (Holland), a supplier of tire assemblers and machines for semi-processed components for the criteria of “Quality” and “Global Presence”;

MDM (Italy), an integrated marketing and communication agency awarded for the criteria of “Innovation” and “Speed”;

APPIAN (USA), a supplier of the Business Process Management platform and related consultancy services awarded for the criteria of “Innovation” and “Speed”;

Warehouse Service, Inc. (USA), a logistics services supplier awarded for the criteria of “Speed” and “Innovation”.

Matteo Battaini, Chief Purchasing Officer,commented: “Pirelli has built its business model, focused on High Value, on product innovation and process digitalization. To pursue this strategy it is not only necessary to choose suppliers that are leading companies, but also to build with each of them a partner relationship. It is essential that they share values such as innovation, quality, customer care, product and process sustainability and attention to brand value. And, in an ever more dynamic market context, goals must also be shared, such as cost rationalization, speed of adapting to new technology and implementation of best practices in sustainable management. Today Pirelli’s procurement involves the management of around 10,000 suppliers for a total expenditure of 3.2 billion euro in 2017, mainly on raw materials (46%), services (36%), machinery (13%) and consumption materials (3%).”