New perspectives

on energy technology

In a fast growing region

The Case

Together we discover what is really important for end users and which design solutions suit their needs. How can you create a competitive advantage in the fast-growing markets of Egypt and Northeast Africa?

Schneider Electric Egypt & North East Africa offers efficient and sustainable energy and automation solutions. The company combines leading-edge energy technologies and services into integrated solutions for homes, buildings, infrastructure and industries. With an annual revenue of $25 billion they are global market leader in their sector.

We got to know Schneider Electric (SE) during a service design thinking workshop that we organized in Amsterdam. SE CEOs from 28 countries attended the event. During the informal reflection, a lively discussion followed about dealing with uncertainty, the possible failure of projects, about innovation and the importance of knowing the customer.

Client
Schneider Electric
Egypt & North East Africa

Objective
Creating competitive advantage in fast growing markets in Egypt and North East Africa.

Outcome
Improved factory processes, showroom experience based on customer journeys, a training center for electricians and recognizable service providers on the street.

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“I think I understand what you do,
you discover what is truly important for the end users.”
2 trips, 10 days, 6 challenges and a movie

Our team traveled to Egypt to start designing new services, processes and logistics for SE. We went to Egypt twice and took a total of ten days to work on three challenges. From processes in the local factory to experiencing design for the showroom at the head office.

We had to recalibrate our scales because the Egyptian population is close to 100 million people – growing by 2 million every year. Huge investments in infrastructure, housing and facilities have been made to keep up with that rapid growth and development. These figures challenge companies like SE to step up their game. Companies that are most efficient and successful in meeting the increasing need for materials, tools, equipment, skills and knowledge create a serious competitive advantage. An added complexity to the challenge: Most of the products that electricians work with have been purchased from stores in the logistics nightmare of Attaba’s city center.

Research
Attaba district in Caïro. The researcharea of Schneider Electric.

Discovering opportunities

As always, our first step was research. We took it to the streets of Attaba, interviewed retailers, visited the construction site of a residential site just outside the city, and spoke to electricians. One of the preliminary results of the study was the opportunity to find ways to support and train electricians. Simplifying their tasks with easy and open access to knowledge, skills and the right products is a key differentiator in this market.

Value
By going into the field ourselves and talking to people, we get a grip on the issue. We can make the link with other contexts and compare them.

This is what we achieved

Now there is a training center for electricians. And there are SE experts in green polo shirts on the street in Attaba. They help customers find their way to the right shops, give advice and verify the quality of products.

In addition, we redesigned and enhanced the customer experience (CX) in the showroom at the SE headquarters based on the mapped customer journey.

The paying client does not visit the factory, but his (hired) engineers are consultants for whom time is money. By improving its stay and productivity, SE creates happier and more loyal customers.

We have shown that growing and improving the service side of companies (especially in the maintenance of running systems) offers many opportunities to identify the needs of CEs such as quality, customer focus, expertise and customer service.

By redesigning the Customer Care Center, we focused on the employee experience. Egypt and Northeast Africa cover a large region with many cultural differences. Designing an approach to serve so many different customers while bringing employees from across the region together – that’s a challenge.

Reframing the context
We looked at Attaba through IKEA glasses. With that mindset, we could see the analogy in a customer journey leading across the city center.

“Help is … highly appreciated, feeling back-up when needed, supplying in difficult issues and just being there.”
Takeaway

It was extremely rewarding for our team to be able to make a valuable connection between this multinational and its end user. Within a few weeks, we translated the gigantic challenges Egypt is facing – keeping up with population growth – into specific and targeted actions and projects. Schneider Electric can now continue these and other projects and take an active role in developing a smooth and efficient infrastructure that enables further growth.

Strategic Design

Design thinking creates and fosters meaningful innovation. It unpacks the mysterious connection between design and growth. Our non-linear, iterative processes challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. Trust the process and uncover the right answers.

Applied methods
User interviews, Shadowing, Mapping, App Prototyping, Co-creation

Design Research
Putting people first

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Get in touch

Want to create competitive advantage?
Call +31 30 8903220 or send an e-mail!

Design in
the service
of people

31Volts
Schaverijstraat 11
3534AS Utrecht
030 8903220