Messpunkt - Austria

Messpunkt is an Austrian company offering the hydraulic adjustment of heating systems. Basically Messpunkt offers the same value propositions as Mywarm, but offers the service in a manual way.

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The Story of Messpunkt

Messpunkt is an Austrian company offering the hydraulic adjustment of heating systems. Basically Messpunkt offers the same value propositions as Mywarm, but offers the service in a manual way. The basic idea is to measure the supply and return temperature of all the radiators in a building (up to 10000 radiators) and to adjust the temperatures, until a common level (mean level of temperature) is achieved. Like that, the radiators deliver after the adjustment the “correct” performance and losses in the heating system are prevented.

The business model is focused on specific knowhow, which is not multipliable. The entrepreneur collected experience in a row of companies. The developed business model combines this specific mixture in a very individual way: The technical implementation works manually. Each radiator has to be checked individually. The measured data is then transferred into an excel file, in which the regulation is calculated and an optimized flow temperature for the radiators is the result. The radiators are then adjusted one by one.

In comparison to Mywarm, Messpunkt offers a performance guarantee. The evidence of the performance is determined with the help of energy meters. The company does not work with partners, but offers the service with its components itself.

Business model canvas

Customer segments: Messpunkt addresses housing associations and owners in apartment buildings, which have a big amount of radiators that need an hydraulic adjustment. For new target markets (if any) essentially a push-harder-strategy is applied

Value proposition: the hydraulic adjustment of Messpunkt is conducted on whole heating circuits and enables equal heating possibilities in many rooms. The value proposition itself is very technically driven. The profits are mostly related to energy savings, partly to increased comfort, but only vaguely. At least it offers a one-stop-shop and one-face-to-the-customer, but it is built as a one-off purchase per object.

Channels/relation: Messpunkt is in direct personal contact with its customers and tries to communicate best-practice examples to its individual contacts. Thereby long relationships are the target, partly achieved through long-term framework contracts. Still the service per object follows a one-off strategy. On the downside: the used language is very much technically driven, so it needs a client that understands this language to be able to evaluate the service upfront and build up trust. The web-presence and printed material are very basic and also reduced to technical language. The revenue system (see next paragraph) tries to compensate this flaw, but a modified user-centred marketing would be more effective.

Revenue: the pricing of Messpunkt is done as follows: the first analysis per building is for free. Messpunkt calculates in the analysis the saving per building/apartment. The customer only pays, if the calculated saving (documented in a contract) is achieved. Due to the performance guarantee, the risk lies within the company. In comparison to competitors like Mywarm the price for the service is much lower (around one fifth of the Mywarm price!). Messpunkt works on B2C basis. This approach is very much service-orientated as the client doesn’t need the technical knowledge to approve the end result. This is a contraindicating to the strategy of the selling argumentation; thereby many business opportunities are lost.

Resources/Costs: the main resource of Messpunkt is the long-time experience and know-how, which is packed into the adjustment tool. The knowhow about the calculation is hardly reproducible. The big challenge for Messpunkt lies within the effort for the analysis, which is quite elaborate. The structure of costs is split with ~ 75% for the analysis of the measured data and ~25% for improving the calculation tool.

Value proposition canvas

Customer jobs: tenants prefer comfortable living such as a high level of comfort in their apartments. Furthermore, the reduction of energy cost is an attractive option to them. Building administrations try to reduce the effort for upkeeping and want to keep the property management as simple as possible.

Pain/pain relievers: building administrations, owners of apartments as well as tenants know that the energy cost for a comfortable living is high but could be lower. There are many different actors involved in a building and the right recipient cannot always be identified straight. The installers can represent themselves as one face to the customer providing the adjustment in an easy and clear procedure.

Gain/gain creators: end customers receive valuable results for their money in the form of a lower energy demand and consequently cost, which is the payback for investing in to the adjustment. The output is easy to understand. Products/services: The results of the adjustments are measurable in energy demand and cost.

Entrepreneurs Journey

For solving the problem of lack of trust into the proposed service the company introduced performance based remuneration. In principle this is a smart move as the success of the proposed action depends very much on the individual situation of each building. On the downside the M&V-method is not very convincing and is based on a one-time-metering without any normalisation of the baseline.

The unsolved conflict is that the entity that decides on the purchase is not equivalent with the user, who is enjoying the improved comfort and reduced energy costs. This split-incentive-dilemma is out of control of Messpunkt – we believe that the company is not even aware of it – and thereby reduces the business opportunities of the concept. A focused marketing strategy addressing the end-user would probably create awareness and build up pressure onto the managing and deciding entity.

Orchestrating is not a topic at the moment, because the service works as a one-man-show (with little assistance). In this way the whole business-model inevitably is one-face-to-the-customer- based.

Scaling is limited to dealing with residential quarters as a basis and aiming for commercial objects as well. The used language and communication is not adopted as it is technic-based in all cases.

Co-creating, co-learning, contextualizing, conceptualizing and stretching are underdeveloped and not actively considered.

The product/service paradigm

Messpunkt and its key stakeholders have to be split up between product and service. Marketing and Communications is placed double in the chart for the following reasons: the firm has good selling capacities, but the general appearance of the firm is not appealing (e.g. homepage or marketing material).

Customers: to customers a better heating control in all the rooms is offered. Consequently, a higher level of comfort and lower cost of energy can be achieved. End-users pay for a service rather than a product.

Enablers: The enabler(s) are placed mostly on the service side, as those encompass mostly infrastructure like Internet, mobile network etc. They are represented e.g. by housing associations, which act as important multipliers. Associations, which have already consumed the service, are quite willing to transfer it to other buildings.

Competitors still try to apply similar technical services in a conventional way, not performance related.

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