Customer need for material handling in creating a business model
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Nowadays to sustain competitiveness and continue the growth of the business, companies are focusing on analyzing the markets and customer needs of their current and potential clients. Understanding what customer value and being able to provide and grasp the value of company’s offering, is one of the key issues in the corporate world. Therefore, companies are concentrating on creating business models that will respond to customer needs and fulfill their expectations. The objective of this paper is to identify customer needs for material handling in mass incineration plants with a grate fire technology in order to create a business model. Recognized customer needs provide an overview of the market of mass incineration and serve as a base for creating a business model that should respond to the customer’s needs. The study provides theoretical background on the business models and customer needs as well as key concepts in the case study. The empirical data was collected by conducting qualitative interviews with the production and maintenance managers of the mass incineration plants that are processing municipal solid waste and produce energy. To understand different points of view on material handling, waste management company, managers in companies providing turn-key solutions for mass incineration and a consultancy company were interviewed. In addition, concept of circular economy approach proposed by European Union was studied to see its possible influence on the mass incineration segment. The results of the thesis shows that the only need for material handling is in the form of crushing machine that reduce the volume size of the bulky waste, that are large, irregular, usually broken items such as furniture, bookcases or shelves. The crushing equipment could be either stationary or mobile. By decreasing the size of those particles, mass incinerators can keep continues process of feeding the material in to the hopper and also prevent from unplanned stoppages or damages of the hopper. The thesis proposes three different business models that respond to the customer needs. Product- oriented business model with selling a single equipment of stationary or mobile crusher. Use-oriented business model in which mobile crusher is rented to the customer and finally, result oriented model wherein crushing is offered as a service.