Creating growth possibilities with business contracts
By creating a pioneering process optimised for harvesting indoor light to power electronics indoors, a Swedish company is now a leading developer and manufacturer of printed organic solar cells. The accelerating digital transformation requires new maintenance solutions. These include, among other things, energy harvesting that reduces or eliminates disposable batteries, cuts the cost of battery replacements and reduces the environmental impact. Rouse Consultancy was hired to form a secrecy strategy and to actualize deployment of agreements in order to maintain its advantage against competitors.
The main challenge for the client was how to protect the valuable functionality of, and revolutionary data associated with, the technology from being exposed to prospects in a sales process depending on a free trial offer. The client’s agreement strategy is based upon a dynamic approach of moving assets and knowledge between three strategic layers subject to business rationale; undisclosed, collaboration, and open layer. This layer structure helps in decision-making internally providing clarity regarding the level of secrecy to be achieved in relation to the own company and its competitors. The lack of strategy per layer, secrecy undertakings and agreements between the parts created operational implications in controlling how the competitors could reverse engineer the product into components and exploit the processes into designing a similar innovation. This would ultimately destroy the value of the client’s company and they would lose their competitive advantage and share of the market to competitors. The challenge for Rouse was to understand and distinguish the sales of material technology and electronic components industries in which the client operates to create a functioning structure.
Rouse’s approach was a joint collaboration over time where assets were identified and mapped into categories facilitating the analysis and structure of the secrecy layers. The close Rouse and client collaboration took the analysis further where Rouse’s frameworks were interpreted and adapted to the sales and marketing process of the product. This presented a solution where it now was clarified how some components could be distributed to the client’s competitors without exposing the complete mechanisms via agreements.
The client received an analysis and hands on solution of how a secrecy strategy could be created and applied to the business to later be formed into agreements. A clearer structure of the layers implicated a clarification in relation to the level of secrecy both internally and externally, and enabled a restructure and addition of an agreement for cooperation and a condition for a general term. The development and deployment of agreements were crucial for the client as they generated a higher level of security around the innovation against competitors. Rouse Consultancy’s work proved to be profound for the client as this gave further insights into how their sales process worked and where value could be created for customers.