May We Introduce? The Smart Laundry.
It is meanwhile common knowledge that companies that set their sights on innovative business models, should invest in the digitization of their individual processes. But how could such an innovative business idea look like? And how could it concretely be put into action by a process-based IT architecture?
Be inspired and join us on our fictional story about how to realize new business models, like the smart laundry, and how to profit from digital technologies. Get to know our protagonists: laundry owner Angelina, customer Marcus and IT specialist Christian.
Welcome to the Smart Laundry Scenario
Work is done. And after a hard day in the office, Marcus wants to take his clothes to Angelina’s laundry. “Oh no, not again, the laundry is already closed…”
Laundry owner Angelina, however, is wondering why less and less clients enter her laundry. Could it be because of her opening hours? Maybe fixed opening hours have become obsolete? Is it about time to think of a new business model?
No sooner said than done. And that’s the idea: Angelina will work as a mediator in the future and provide a 24-hours laundry service, fully flexible to meet her customers’ needs. She will simply sell all her washing machines, invest in new technologies and offer her services via a platform like Uber or Airbnb! Good blueprint, Angelina.
How to Digitize Business Models? Ask an Expert!
Angelina plans to enter the digital world. But how to transform her business processes? Together with Christian, a good friend and IT expert, she develops an innovative business model – digital, but nevertheless solid. First of all they take up Angelina’s requests:
- Enter orders 24/7
- Position garment bags at the point of need, e.g. in different companies
- Offer her services via a digital platform to act flexibly and process-oriented
How to Create Transparent Business Models with the BPMN 2.0 “Language”
In the next step, Angelina and Christian are visualizing her requests with the BPMN 2.0 (Business Process Model and Notation 2.0) tool. They pay special attention to the processes and it turns out that three roles map the situation: the customer perspective, Angelina as mediator, and the laundry partners as service providers.
And that’s the plan: order entry should be sensor-supported. Afterwards, the system will automatically find the matching supplier. This subcontractor picks up, washes, and irons the laundry, and brings it back. As soon as all these steps have been performed, the system informs the customer via email, SMS or Fiori Launchpad that he or she can pick up the garment bags with the cleaned clothes, now. After checking out, the invoice can be sent out.
And What about the Transformation into a Digital Platform?
So far the BPMN 2.0 model is only used to describe functional processes. Only afterwards the IT expert takes care of the technical implementation within the development environment.
What’s the benefit? Enhancements and amendments along the processes are always possible. Christian uses different integration solutions, components and services of the SAP Cloud Platform, which can be quickly implemented and applied.
The results? Personalized garment bags with IoT sensors for each customer. User integration is possible via Fiori Launchpad, the component for the workflow remains in the cloud, and SAP S/4HANA forms the backend. Such a scenario, which indeed can be transferred to the on-premise world as well, is worth a try, since costs and time spent remains manageable.
Smart Laundry – Process-Driven IT Architectures for Innovative Business Models
Being Always Up-to-Date Thanks to Maximum Flexibility
Let’s have a look at what happens two years later in Angelina’s laundry. So far, the garment bags have been a great success. More and more customers use the service, her clientele is growing and she makes profits.
But, Angelina has to learn: time doesn’t stand still – only shortly later, orders are declining again. Unfortunately a competitor had the same business idea and since he is much cheaper he is the one who closes the contracts with her customers, now.
Angelina’s business model has to be aligned to the new situation. Smart as she is, she plans to integrate a new process into her business model: she is doing the laundry herself again and outsources only those orders that exceed her capacities. Thanks to the architecture’s scalability a quick reaction is possible. To realize the idea, the architecture only needs to be changed at one point to add an additional gateway. The result? After having changed her business model once more, her margin rises and business is once again gaining momentum.
You want to learn more about IT architecture and process optimization? Feel free, to contact me, I will be glad to support you.