An Austrian company offering the hydraulic adjustment of heating systems in an automated way.
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The Story of Mywarm
Mywarm is an Austrian company offering the hydraulic adjustment of heating systems in an automated 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 technical implementation works with the help of large modules, which are placed onto each of the radiators. The modules communicate with each other via a server and enable the hydraulic adjustment in an automated way. The base of the solution is a mobile MSR system (measure, steering and regulation). The modules communicate the measured temperatures to the server, on which the optimized values are calculated and communicated back to the modules, which adapt to the optimized values automatically. The system is designed as a plug and play solution and works via mobile networks. The main advantages Mywarm offers in comparison to a manual hydraulic adjustment are:
• Easily usable
• Only short introduction necessary
Installers can rent the modules and use them for their services. Furthermore, Mywarm also offers the mediation of end customers (private customers, building administrators, offices) to installers.
The model turned out to be specifically profitable in district heating grids that feature a tariff component on temperature-spreading, because the technique builds on decreasing this figure. As this is only a small share of the market it is necessary to make the business model profitable (in whatever respect: energy savings, maintenance, other benefits i.e. health, comfort,…) for other circumstances as well.
Business model canvas
Customer segments: Mywarm works B2B by renting the hydraulic adjustment system to HVAC installers. The installers themselves offer the service to office buildings or multi-familiy houses, in which a big amount of radiators is available.
Value proposition: Mywarm promises the automated hydraulic adjustment on whole heating circuits by placing the system onto the individual radiators. The system enables equal heating possibilities in all rooms by adapting the heating to a mean temperature. A low level of training is necessary for the installers, as the data server takes over most of the communication. The value proposition is slightly switching towards comfort. The service is very much technic oriented, following the pushing harder strategy
Channels/relation: The renting system is promoted and communicated via a partnership to the installers. Mywarm sees the possibility in rising awareness among installers to realize the potential of this service. The problem is that Mywarm cannot communicate with the end-user in this way, because the craftsmen are the intermediaries in between and thereby the control over communication is out of hand of Mywarm. The contact to end-users is only foreseen in the capturing of new markets
Revenue: in regard to pricing, installers pay a certain amount per rented radiator (~ 50,- EUR per radiator). The price for the end customers lies around 100,- EUR per radiator. Resources: The main resources consist out of the server necessary for the analysis, a metering and adjustment kit, which is necessary for the hydraulic adjustment as well as adapters, which remain on the radiators after the service.
Activities: the activities of Mywarm include the improvement of the technical performance of the adjustment system. Besides, the system must be user friendly and simply in usage for the installers. As the partnership of installers is the most important channel to customers, the improvement of the partnerships is a priority agenda.
Partners: important partners of Mywarm are IT-specialists dealing with the server operation and programming as well as the suppliers of the technical equipment.
The big challenges for my warm are the high costs for the renting of the system. Due to the relatively high costs of development and investment the costs for renting are much higher than for e.g. manual hydraulic regulation offers of competitors. Besides, cost for server maintenance and logistics have to be dealt with. Moreover, the system does not provide a performance guarantee in energy savings.
Mywarm works B2B as well as B2C. Thereby two different Value Proposition Canvas have been produced as the content of both is differing tremendously.
Customer value canvas
B2C: 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. The fact that an increasing number of end-users are seeking long-term-relationships for enjoying constant comfort is not reflected in the service
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 hydraulic adjustment can be made without any changes of behaviour/living of the client. The results of it are measurable in energy demand and cost.
As a consequence the “pushing harder”-strategy is being followed by improving the performance of technical appliances and economic performance
Orchestration: Mywarm is rather good at this capability as it developed relationships with retailers to compile the technical package. But it is not the orchestrating skill, where the company aligns her partners to act as one in delivering the user experience, but it’s to improve the technical and economic performance of the product. It’s the traditional approach of an Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Stretching is not a target of the company yet: the communication of service features and values (if any) is performed by a limited group of co-workers (including the CEO).
Contextualizing: Mywarm is contextualizing the communication according to the target groups. Thereby it distinguishes between
1. Home owners
2. SMEs and real estate
3. HVAC-designers and
4. Facility managers
5. Retail partners
Thereby the core product stays the same, only the technical advantages are promoted, but not the pains and gains of the clients addressed.
Scaling: Mywarm is not only addressing HVAC-installers as partners, but also utility services that have obligations by the energy-efficiency-law through delivery of energy-efficiency-measures.
The product service / paradigm
Mywarm positions itself rather on the service orientation. In the focus lies the renting of the whole system including introduction, server access etc. Besides, Mywarm works on a B2B as well as on a B2C basis.
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.
Customers/end-users: customers offer their end-users a better heating control in all of the rooms. Consequently, a higher level of comfort and lower cost of energy can be achieved. End-users pay for a service rather than a product.