The last few years we’ve worked closely together with hundreds of big (international) corporates and dozens of disruptive startups. We’ve helped and learned a lot but we really feel that it’s time we start bringing those two worlds together today.
See, most companies are forced to re-invent themselves to remain competitive.
You need a strong vision, mission and strategy to transform, but the real challenge starts once you begin to execute your new plans. You come across unexpected roadblocks and realize: “we can’t innovate fast enough”.
And that’s normal, a corporate is nothing like a startup.
Corporates are like big oil tankers: large, valuable, well organized, but nearly impossible to turn within a reasonable timeframe. Being agile and flexible is crucial in the digital world, so this could be a major problem for your company’s future.
The best solution is to keep your mother ship going as it brings in most of the profits, while rapidly building a fleet of speedboats with their own rules, customers and goals alongside it.
This doesn’t mean you should stop working on your main business.
Instead, use a dual model of inside-out and outside-in innovation, this combination is your best shot at making change happen. Start building your transformation fleet around the mother ship and onboard new talent, businesses, resources, technologies and networks to take your organization to a whole new level.
You can learn a lot from startups (and vice versa) and we want to help you with this. We plan to do this in 3 ways.
1. Innovation Radar
The rise of the Internet has lead to a global explosion of innovation. If you want to be a leader in your industry and work with new innovative players, you need to know who they are. You must be a professional scout.
We monitor the startup world daily and bring you the right insights on the newest trends, the evolution of innovative players and track the most relevant event in any industry that may add value to your network. We have already done this for De Persgroep, BD myShopi,…
2. Corporate Accelerator
Building an accelerator is a strategic decision that allows corporates to drive innovation and be competitive in a rapidly changing economy. It’s a smart move to help you engage with relevant startups and stay close to innovation.
This concept is nothing new, just look at what companies like Disney, Unilever and BMW have been doing. However, running an accelerator alongside your already massive workload and coaching people with a fundamentally different mindset are serious challenges which most companies seriously underestimate
Startups expect added value and dedication to help them scale their business. We help you with this through our extensive experience in transforming companies and working with startups.
We select the startups for you as jury, be their mentor, help them scale, make them pivot if needed and much more.
3. Corporate Startup
In the Corporate world, innovative ideas rarely make it past a business plan, which can be very frustrating for motivated intrapreneurs that want to push forward and be the leader in their industry.
Corporate Startups allow you to innovate at the edge of your network, using your internal resources and experience to build standalone initiatives that can grow to become new revenue streams.
As Digital natives, entrepreneurs and growth hackers, we can build and scale your Corporate Startup together with your team.
Want to work with us?
More than ever you need to embrace outside-in innovation for the future. We have helped dozens of (international) companies with setting up their Innovation Radar, Corporate Accelerator and/or Corporate Startup. Contact us if you want to make the right decisions today.
Over the past decade, e-commerce has evolved a lot, driven by the rise of the Internet and smartphones. Shopify and others have made it incredibly easy for anyone to start a webshop in minutes, leading to a heavy influx of new competitors with new business practices and models. Digital-first players like Amazon, Alibaba and Zalando (profitable or not) are redefining the expectations of the consumers towards all retailers.
As a result, we have an unprecedented fragmentation in the retail landscape and traditional retailers can barely keep up. In 2015, over 10.000 retail stores were closed in just the United States and many more are in financial trouble. Creating the right vision, strategy and agenda today is the ONLY shot many of them are going to have.
Most retailers want to go omni-channel and use data as their holy grail, but will it be enough to stand their ground? Will it be enough to be part of the third generation of digital retail?
The 3 generations of Digital Retail
The first generation was relatively simple and can be summed up in two words: Home Delivery. Within what timeframe and in which state you received your package was less relevant. The fact that you could get something home delivered instead of having to go to a store was an evolution on its own. The focus was mostly on low value products with a low complexity to deliver them, but as time went on we began to order higher value products like electronics as well.
The second generation was kickstarted by digital-first challengers like Zappos and Coolblue. They focused on solving more complex user problems like deciding between products, a better return policy to allow you to try things at home, sublime customer service and the optimization of logistics to speed up delivery times. Most retailers are still playing catch-up with this today.
Meanwhile the third generation, one of high logistic complexity, has already quietly begun. Expensive products and better return policies further complicated logistics, but fresh food delivery will take this to the next level. There are very strict rules to ensure the quality of food, which must be kept in a good state and at the right temperature at all times.
If the food the customer gets delivered isn’t on time and in a perfect state, you will quickly hear about it on Social Media and see it in your financial results. When you buy bad food in the supermarket, you blame yourself for not paying attention, but if bad food gets delivered to you, all hell breaks loose.
Despite challenges, solutions are ahead
Despite these challenges, many digital-first players are hell-bent on getting you your food delivered in under an hour. This requires even more sophisticated logistics and a higher reliability. This is vital when it comes to food, you simply can’t get told your order has been delayed for x days or weeks.
To solve this challenge, we are seeing the rise of subscription models on food, and also many innovations in delivery methods like drones, peer-to-peer delivery models and new coldchain solutions. Cracking the code to make these feasible on a large scale is hard though, but there is one company that seems to be well on its way to doing it…
The Commercial Fresh Food Cloud
To make you understand what is happening, we must look at Amazon. To become the biggest online store in the world, Amazon knew it would need the best, most scalable online infrastructure, so they built it themselves. In a moment of pure genius, they allowed others to use this infrastructure for their own hosting purposes, the commercial cloud was born.
A massive amount of today’s startups run on AWS, Amazon’s Cloud Computing, which allows them to scale from hundreds to thousands to millions of users whenever they need to. Without AWS, most of these startups would probably never have existed. Amazon effectively turned their in-house expertise into a billion dollar market.
So what else is Amazon good at? Delivery.
Many people have never heard of Amazon Fresh, which is Amazon’s Fresh Food delivery branch. To deliver fresh food as efficiently as possible, Amazon needs to build the best distribution infrastructure in the world. Once you have this, why not let others use it too? Now imagine Amazon pulls the same trick to open up their own infrastructure for third-parties to use. If this happens, the commercial fresh food cloud will be born.
Any startup with a great idea in food will be able to make use of Amazon’s Fresh Food Cloud and won’t have to worry about any of the logistic challenges. This will drop the entry barrier massively, leading to the disruption of a whole industry.
It is happening as you are reading this
In January this year, an article appeared on Techcrunch about Amazon-as-a-service. This is effectively their business strategy and Amazon has been buying up and building fulfilment centers all over the world to make it a reality.
Why this matters for non-food retail
Once your favourite fresh food or groceries can be delivered in under an hour, when and where you want it, customers will expect the same from all retailers. Waiting days or weeks will no longer be the norm. Retailers will have to face these expectations and deal with them one way or another.
Food retail will accelerate e-commerce. Whether that is in 2 years or 6 years doesn’t matter. You need to start preparing for this today.
So what can you do? More than ever you need a clear vision, strategy and digital leadership for the future. We have helped dozens of retailers like Gamma, A.S. Adventure, Makro, Torfs and JBC to create theirs. Contact us if you want to make the right decisions today.