To successfully sell and deliver outcomes, generators must rethink (and perhaps even restructure) the way they do business, from initial marketing all the way through to delivery.
The sales process generally requires a dialogue between multiple stakeholders for both sellers and buyers. While margins are often considerably higher in this model, so are the performance risks. Vendors must fully understand the outcomes they are selling and guaranteeing, the costs of delivery across the organization, and the risks.
The old model of selling a product, winning a sales commission, and moving on—with delivery being somebody else's responsibility—no longer reigns here. Instead, integrated teams must collaborate from the process of pricing through to actual delivery, while focusing on serving the customer. All aspects of the service must be defined and appropriately priced.
Critically, performance failure and downtime risk, which can easily accrue to millions of dollars over relatively short periods of time, now become the responsibility of the solutions provider. These risks must be assessed and accurately priced into the product. Providers must establish communications and feedback loops to minimize the potential for failure, while ensuring that lessons learned are incorporated into the organization. Incentive programs must often change, as well, so that entire teams are rewarded for performance and value creation. From the customer perspective, this must appear seamless. Internally, this means clearly assigning provider responsibilities and developing the ability to learn and adapt quickly.
Creating these capabilities, along with increasing digitization, can represent a critical and challenging cultural shift for plants. In the long run, though, it is likely to pay off for the top performers. Increased margins and lengthier contracts should outweigh the risk and create opportunities to forge stronger bonds with customers, providing them with the outcomes and services they truly desire.