A very good example of the world being turned upside-down is the utility building and city infrastructure value chain. The value chain used to be clear: building owners are setting the scene, using main contractors as their realization partners and engineering companies and architects as their advisors. The main contractors then start off a supply chain of subcontractors, building product vendors, etc etc. The chain of supply equals the chain of purchasing, and hence the ones at the end of the chain were squeezed out most.
Changing the game
Today, some of the suppliers at the end of the chain (or upstream, if you like to regard the chain as a waterfall) are introducing digital platforms, SaaS-like solutions, and Industry 4.0 mechanisms that are changing the game. They are changing the game for them to get a better stronghold in the market. Yet, by doing so, they are changing the chain. Some “X as a Service” providers are now addressing the other side of the chain and start to determine the role of all the contractors and subcontractors. That way, these subcontractors all of a sudden, have to turn their face to a player upstream who is determining what they should be offering for what price.
Do look beyond the walls of your building products company
So, whatever link of the chain in the utility building chain you are operating, do check the entire ecosystem thoroughly and see the games that are being played and being changed. And then see how you could use Industry 4.0 to change the game and be more important in the chain.
Did you know that ISM4point0 is exactly about this. In October we will gather a lot of players from the utility building sector and have them understand the old games that are being played and the new games that can be played.