Building the A-team

Since the need for knowledge and perspectives is often greater than what is found in one company, we are working with ISS to create a network of co-creation that will help deliver competitive advantage.

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Text: Kati Leuschel

The core of co-creation is to involve external stakeholders and turn customers, competitors and experts into partners. We at KONE are following through on that concept by working with ISS, a global facility services company, to help provide services to their customers around the world.

“I think operationally, real partnerships are becoming more and more important. Today, it is not about being a supplier, it is about being a partner, and for us – and me – it is very important to work with like-minded people who want the same things, and have the same ambitions,” says Troels Bjerg, ISS regional CEO for Northern Europe.

This collaborative model has been used by other industry leaders, including Apple Inc. for instance, which teams up with certified repair companies to service its products. By doing so, the tech giant provided repair services to its wide customer base, without having to massively expand its resources.

Building on each other’s strengths

Similarly, the underlying shared company value of precise service delivery feeds and guides the collaboration between ISS and KONE.

With a cross-border contract covering 21 countries, we are, together with ISS, are playing to our strengths, using our reach, local knowledge and expertise to effectively expand our operations. While ISS’s focus is to provide quality services, the collaboration will see us being brought on board to look after vertical transport solutions and maintenance, helping ISS provide superior quality, speed and efficiency to its customers.

“ISS is in a business just like KONE, where efficiencies are constantly sought after. When we think of such companies together, we will actually change how these services are delivered in the future,” explains Thomas Hinnerskov, executive vice president, North and Central Europe, KONE.

In the shared venture, analyzing intelligent data and taking full advantage of new technological solutions for building and machinery management is central. Both companies are actively working in the IoT field and see a lot of opportunities that would benefit the thousands of buildings in locations around the world. We can help ISS provide consistent services, across geographies and bring in transparency to services allowing ISS to know in real time how the equipment is performing.

Partners from the start

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The local knowledge and expertise that we have built up over decades across our wide geographical footprint is a clear benefit to the association. ISS ensures that we are involved right at the start of a project and are working closely with the customer to customize solutions and decide what solutions need to be put into place to secure the desired outcomes.

“Local knowledge and uptime are very important to our customers. Having access to a local supply chain and the ability to be on the spot very quickly and to have very short reaction times is a prerequisite to that. And we know that KONE is in the same geographies as we are and that is key,” emphasizes Bjerg.

Co-creation as a process does not limit participation to a select few. For instance, KONE regularly organizes Hackathons where participants are asked to come up with new services based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The most recent event attracted more than 2,300 teams ranging from university students to established start-ups, with several innovative ideas being explored.

Utilizing innovative processes

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Similarly, ISS uses a system called N.O.S.E to understand each of its customers’ needs and then provide the outcomes and solutions that will facilitate those needs. New strategies are tested out in the Corporate Garage, an independent unit for innovation within the company. In this space, there is freedom to aim for a big impact with entrepreneurial fervor.

“We customize our service by making sure that both ISS and KONE are completely aligned with the outcome that the customers want and how that outcome is delivered,” says Bjerg.

A good example of orchestrating a positive outcome can be seen in Norway. We worked with ISS and telecom company and ISS customer Telenor, which in turn resulted in connections being made with a KONE customer, the Oslo airport. The result saw positive discussions and insights covering topics ranging from equipment maintenance to accessibility and safety, in a crowded environment such as an airport.

“The next step in all of this is that, thanks to the partnership with IBM Watson, we are able to predict when equipment will fail before it actually does. We can actually change the component before it needs to be changed,” says Hinnerskov.

“This again means that ISS’ customers will have more efficient buildings with higher uptime. We can do the maintenance before things happen and at a time convenient to the customer.”

There is a constant drive to be more efficient and improve the experiences in the industry, and with co-creation, both of us (ISS and KONE) are able to constantly stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of new technologies, providing ever better products and services to our customers.

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