Valmet, a global leader in the pulp, paper and energy capital equipment and services was encountering significant challenges in becoming a truly solutions-driven organization. As the company increased its more stable service and automation businesses, it saw an increasing need to develop ‘solutions’ around the critical customer benefits of plant reliability (continuous uptime); plant performance (improving yield) and new technologies (step changes in yield). Consequently there was a significant need to further align the organization along these customer needs and decision making processes. Along with a team of consultants, the company initiated the study looking at the benefits of global aggregation versus local customer adaptation, and BU-specific versus cross-BU logic for numerous activities such as mill sales, account management, product sales, sales support, field service, customer service and product management. Ultimately, they need to decide whether and how to change the organization design, that had been in place since 2011. Learning objective: This case is about organization design – especially for companies interested in deploying a solutions-based strategy. Many product oriented companies have difficulties in developing and implementing solutions based on customer needs. Pieces of the solution are spread throughout organization and collaboration may not be rewarded. The case presents four increasingly complex organization design alternatives to address the challenge: do nothing, solutions adaptation, solutions aggregation and a front-back model. Each one can be discussed regarding its benefits and drawbacks.
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