The Context

For this unique project, the team and I employed an "arms-length" approach as a 3rd party to the automaker, which enabled us to learn about diverse aspects of the value web and ecosystem, some of which might have been challenging to glean otherwise. As a result, we gained rare insight into equipment choice/use, management approaches, processes, systems, software, pains, and other key phenomena that actors experience throughout their daily work/life (and across the value web).

I personally prepared the recruiting, scheduling, incentives, and facilitated in-depth virtual interviews with a variety of upfitting professionals. This 360-degree human interview-based research uncovered several deep structural relationships, latent market dynamics, entrenched industry orthodoxy, legacy procedures and tools—as well as hesitation, secrecy, or fear of disruptive technologies (and change as a whole).

As a result, these learnings helped form the foundation of numerous intervention opportunities that take advantage of, or disrupt the status quo—not to mention lead to immense monetary value and market share capture.

In parallel to the interviews, I led the team to perform an immersive business deep-dive to size the market, tease out tacit industry knowledge, map out key experiences or processes, and enumerate and analyze the actors/factors competing in the commercial upfitting landscape.

Methods & Activities
  • Desk Research, Doc and Literature Review
  • Market, Environment, and Horizon Scanning
  • Market Trend and Driver Analysis
  • Business Immersion, Value Web Modelling
  • Ethnography, Observation, and User Interviews
  • Stakeholder, SME Interviews
  • Venture and New Business Design
  • Product, Portfolio and Innovation Strategy
  • Service Design, Product Design
  • Strategy & Tactical Planning, Roadmapping

When combined, the insight garnered from this immersive business deep-dive and our in-depth human interviews uncovered subtle nuances and critical gaps in the current state where our client could make key strategic investments.

We provided directionality on ways the client could innovate on new products, services, procedures, technologies, and data sets, eventually leading to the creation/ownership of new industry-disrupting marketplace platforms.

In addition, the team and I delivered structured strategic recommendations that take into account the behaviours and needs of a myriad of upfitting ecosystem actors; a comprehensive snapshot of the market landscape, and where their competitors stand; a system-level depiction of the entire industry value web, including which organizations to approach for partnership or acquisition; and (most importantly) a detailed array of turn-key opportunities for them leverage in the aim of developing novel marketplace platforms, products, services—and massive stakeholder value.

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