Envision new Sustainable Business Models based on what your Customers desire

In this second blog post on BPI for Sustainability, I am sharing how Signavio Process Manager and SAP Signavio Journey Modeler can be leveraged in envisioning new sustainable business models. To illustrate this use case, I am taking an example from the travel and tourism industry. As the world is slowly moving into an endemic state, travel is shifting again into people’s focus, thus I trust that this example represents a relatable scenario for many of you.

I hope that the key take-aways from reading this blog post will be to 1) understand how SAP Signavio products can support your business in the process of designing new sustainable business models 2) appreciate how to connect customer sustainability journeys with your operational business processes to assess where to act.

Introduction

With changing consumer behaviors and demands of more sustainable products and services, business models will eventually have to change to stay relevant. Be it through this external push factor compounded by more regulations on a global level, or an internally driven passion to make a significant positive impact on the world, businesses have a monumental task to transform, while optimizing their triple bottom line (i.e. profit, people, and planet). Let’s face it, no business is changing the way they do business to win a sustainability award. They do it when they are certain that this will give them a higher chance to be successful and to stay relevant for years to come.

Businesses are now reflecting on three major questions:

  1. Are our products and services sustainable in itself?
  2. Is the lifecycle of our products and services designed, sources, produced, consumed sustainable?
  3. What do our customers, current and future, desire in terms of sustainability?

Some industries have already started massive transformations journeys towards sustainable business models. For example, companies that rely heavily on fossil fuels such as in the energy as or mobility sector. While we can argue about the speed of change, most business in these sectors have long started the journey to move towards more sustainable products and services. Most obvious examples are the shift towards renewable energy sources for electricity generation, and the move from fossil-fuel based vehicles to electric vehicles. There is certainty that these transformations will have to happen across all industries. But they will happen with different speeds and with different priorities.

For most businesses who look to transform their business models, they mainly investigate two major directions. One is circular economy models that are based around the three principles of 1) eliminate waste and pollution, 2) circulate products and materials, and 3) regenerate nature. Second is “service-izing” products, i.e. don’t sell a product as a product, but offer it as a service, pushing the business to optimize its lifecycle value, also often referred to as cradle-to-grave principle.

Whatever the new sustainable business model turns out to be, there is certainly value in taking a customer’s view on it. Eventually, the success of new sustainable business models will be determined by how they are accepted by customers.

This is where Business Process Intelligence can play a key part in visualizing what a customers’ sustainability journey can look like, and how current business processes are able to support this or where there is need for change.

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Create new sustainable products, services and business models

In addition, Business Process Intelligence can support businesses to:

  • Gather customer experience data to understand how the sustainability customer journey is perceived
  • Connect business processes with a customer journey to understand the need for change
  • Transform business processes to support the new sustainable business models

Use case example: Global Airline envisioning new sustainable business model

As mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, we will take an example from the travel and tourism industry to demonstrate how SAP Signavio Process Manager and SAP Signavio Journey Modeler can be leveraged to envision new sustainable business models.

In this example we take the viewpoint of a major global airline. After being challenged like never before through the global Covid-19 pandemic, the airline is taking the opportunity to plan for their future business success and have identified sustainable vacations as one key business segment in their 2030 vision for the business. They have invested significantly in consumer research to gain confidence to what their current and future customers desire and are willing to adopt in terms of sustainable vacation offerings.

One of the working groups now wants to model a desired customer sustainability journey for this new business segment. The starting point is one of the identified personas that will be a major purchaser of sustainable vacation packages.

Meet Jill, married, a mother of two, working as a product manager in a global life science company in Singapore. After more than two years of not travelling, Jill and her family are longing for a family vacation. Jill and her family have gradually adopted a more sustainable lifestyle and have started to consciously change their buying and consumption behaviors. Thus, the family has also decided that they want their next family vacation to be as sustainable as possible.

The working group is mapping out Jill’s sustainability journey using the Customer Journey Map in SAP Signavio Process Manager.

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SAP Signavio Process Manager – Customer Journey Map Selection

The team adds the persona as a graphical element to the customer journey map they created, and highlights key ideas, goals and demands as post-it style banners. From there the teams map out the individual steps Jill and her family take in her sustainability journey, envisioning the perfect customer experience that optimizes Jill’s family sustainability ambitions.

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SAP Signavio Process Manager – Customer Journey Map

Through various iterations the team is confident with the mapped-out customer journey and is presenting this back to the transformation program core team. After incorporating final feedback received through SAP Signavio Process Collaboration Hub the team is ready for the next step to connect the customer journey to the company’s operational processes to assess how the desired journey would be supported and where there would be a need for process changes and/or additions.

The team is creating a Journey Model in SAP Signavio Journey Modeler to help visualizing the connections between the mapped-out customer journey and the company’s processes.

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SAP Signavio Journey Modeler – Sustainability Journey Model

They start with the mapped-out customer journey and identify for each step which operational processes in the organization enable these steps. For this they work with their team of process owners who understand the business processes in detail and can quickly identify the correct processes that are already mapped in SAP Signavio Process Manager. The team also discovers that for one step there is currently no process that supports this, and this is highlighted as one of the areas for the team to work on. The team then spends time to review the linked processes in detail and based on the recoded customer expectations evaluate if the current processes are capable to deliver this, or if there are changes required to process, people, data, and or IT systems. These key artifacts can also be mapped into the journey model to quickly visualize the most important aspects that have an impact on the successful delivery of the new business model.

Equipped with a prioritized backlog of items to work on, the team transitions into project mode and is starting to design and implement the changes required to process, people, data, and IT systems.

After a successful launch of the new business model, the team has further planned to leverage SAP Signavio Journey Modeler to connect process mining to these journeys to discover and analyze the real journeys of its customers. In addition, they plan to connect customer experience insights from SAP Qualtrics to its customer journeys to get confidence that the delivered service matches up with customers’ expectations.

 

Conclusion

Businesses are faced with a monumental task to transform their traditional business models to new sustainable business models. Business Process Intelligence can play a pivotal part in supporting this journey. As demonstrated in this use case, SAP Signavio Process Manager and SAP Signavio Journey Modeler provide great capabilities to assist businesses in envision their new sustainable business models and make them transparent for the entire organization to collaborate on.

Stay tuned for my next post where we will discover how we can use SAP Process Manager, SAP Signavio Process Intelligence and SAP Process Insights can be leveraged to drive specific sustainability actions such as de-carbonize, reduce waste, and drive social responsibility.

If you are interested to know more about the topic of sustainability you can visit our community page here:  https://community.sap.com/topics/sustainability

You can also ask questions about the topic in SAP Community with using this Q&A tag link for Sustainability: https://answers.sap.com/questions/ask.html?primaryTagId=140502597117949649788634441139048

 

External Links related to this Blog Post

SAP Signavio Process Manager – Customer Journey Mapping https://www.signavio.com/customerjourney/

SAP Signavio Journey Modeler SAP Signavio Journey Modeler – Improve customer experience

Sustainability Through Servicizinghttps://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/sustainability-through-servicizing/

What is a circular economy?https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/topics/circular-economy-introduction/overview