Business Innovation – AT2: Business Model Canvas (Evaluation & Portfolio) – Nguyễn Minh Yến Linh (SACE khoá 4)


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1. Introduction

The principal activity of the Veterinary Medicine Company (VMC) is to produce and distribute medicine for poultry. The current Business Model Canvas (BMC) was promoted from the information on the VMC website and an interview with the owner of the company. This document will include the evaluation of the process of developing the most suitable BMC for VMC and an individual portfolio of evidence.

2. The efecttiveness of decision-making, project management tools and strategies

My group made decisions well. We used the User Camera Study from Stanford D-school Methods Cards to understand customers’ pain of slow shipping times. That data then was used to develop a Lean Validation Board (LVB) of ‘more shippers’ assumption. The solution hypothesis of employing more shippers then was validated through interviews with customers and improved the Key Resources section (BMC) by recruiting new employees.

Another LVB was developed by iterating, researching and pivoting the invalidated assumptions. The solution hypothesis of providing more detailed information about the products online was decided on through a questionnaire with customers which validated the assumption of providing more information on the company’s website. This supported the Key Activities (BMC), which helped to improve the Communication Channels (BMC) by improving a more efficient way of finding information for customers.

We developed the Get – Keep – Grow tool by interviews with farmers. First, we suggested online advertisements in the ‘awareness’ section of Get Customers stage. This helped to attract more customers and increase profit, therefore helped to broaden the current sales of goods of the Revenue Stream (BMC). Second, to improve the Customer Relationship section (BMC), offering package deals in the ‘up-sell’ section was most important as it strengthened the relationship between VMC and customers.

We also developed the Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) which helped to create gains, relieve pains for customers and develop a focused Value Proposition section (BMC).  VMC’s products help to finish Customer Job in the VPC by providing the Value Proposition of high-quality medicines and efficient communication with suppliers through a professional supply management software which allows customers to track the location of their products.

3. Opportunities and challenges

Due to the social influence of the significant increase in the number of talented students in universities, by being partners with some exceptional universities in Viet Nam (FTU, University Of Agroforestry, etc…), employing accordant students there will help to develop VMC and promote new products for the Value Proposition section (BMC). This also affects the Key Activities (BMC) as there may be new products invented by this new generation and promoting those would be VMC’s key activity in the future.

There is a social impact of the avian flu season next month. Although farmers did use vaccines and prevent the disease as instructions, the flu could easily outbreak and cost the agriculture industry billion dongs. By developing the Key Activities as starting to produce avian flu medicines, the Revenue Streams section is affected by gaining profits from new products.

Due to the social impact of COVID 19, the company’s revenue stream has been decreased as a consequence of the quarantine. VMC should provide consultancy services about medicines use and how to take care of the poultries via messages or mobile calls. This helps to develop the Customer Relationship section and also the Revenue Streams section by providing a new service which adapts the social situation.

From researching the requirements of the products, VMC prevents ethical issues to increase customer relationships by emphasising the company’s transparency through developing the QR code on products so customers can easily track the product’s origin. This adds to the Value Propositions of the Business Model Canvas as it helps to solve the customer’s pains of unreliable products. 

By observing the company’s marketing and research with farmers, the key section of the BMC that is affected in the digital age is the Communication Channel because VMC does not do marketing online. In the digital age, VMC needs to promote them through free and paid advertisements on Facebook, especially pages and groups for farmers. This will help VMC increase the number of customers as well as increasing their brand awareness.

In the digital age, VMC has a good opportunity by using technology to help them secure secret data such as customers’ information by using an intranet system. This improves the Customer Relationship section by protecting their data and gaining their trust. Furthermore, the intranet system also secures the company’s medicine recipes. Preventing leaking recipes helps VMC to have the advantage of releasing unique products in the market, therefore positively affects the Revenue Streams section of the Business Model Canvas.

4. Individual Assessment

In the project of creating the best Business Model Canvas, I am mostly in charge of primary research with external stakeholders. Before doing any research, I gathered my group and designed our research plan. This helped them keep on track of what needed to be done and made it easier to organise work.

Observing VMC’s speed of replying to customers online and questionnaires about their complaints about the company’s service were the most effective research I did. It showed slow replies online which led to 30% of customers purchasing medicines from the company’s competitors as they could not wait for VMC’s responses. Therefore, the Customer Relationships section (BMC) needs to be improved by developing a virtual assistant for basic questions from customers.

During the progress, I did some interviews with the consumers for their opinions about VMC’s products and services for pivoting on the LVB. These researches were beneficial as they showed the company’s strengths and weaknesses. I found out that the Key Activities section (BMC) should remain as releasing more medicines produced ethically from organic ingredients, which is environmentally friendly. Not only this helps to protect the environment, but it also adds to the Value Proposition section (BMC) as it provides safe and quality products for their poultries. 

Furthermore, efficient communication with customers via emails and hotlines was found helping to develop the Customer Relationship (BMC). Interviews with customers help to validate our assumption to increase the variety of products for the Value Propositions (BMC). After iterating and considering the economic influence of the increase of unemployment, recruiting university students were added to the Key Activity section (BMC). 

I also analysed VMC’s pricing strategy by interviewing customers and found that their price is average and affordable. This helps the company to attract the customers and maintain the income from the Revenue Streams section (BMC). 

Despite the effect of the mentioned tasks, my secondary research about general information of VMC’s key activities did not benefit the progress at all. That information was too general when we needed detailed data to promote the BMC.

5. Collaborative skills

Our group work was efficient as communication and individual assignments were great. Every member did their work (STEEPLE, SWOT Analysis,..) circumspectly and finished before the deadline so we could check and guarantee the quality of the work. 

Before doing any research, “Division of labour” was used to divide work equally for each member. Any change in the research division was discussed and approved by all members. We also decided to give a member the assignment of having zoom interviews, due to efficiency reasons, with the owner of VMC and as many internal stakeholders as possible because she had followed this company for a long time. And as expected, her information was detailed, high quality and beneficial for the process that we used all of it to build the current Business Model.

Through secondary research on the Internet, we managed to develop a STEEPLE, which revealed some social, ethical, economical and technological influence which cause opportunities and threats for the company currently and in the future. These have been analysed in detail in the first three sections of the document.

SWOT analysis was also used to find the strengths and weaknesses of the company. That information was used combined with the STEEPLE tool to suggest what needed to be done to seize the opportunities and prevent threats for the company development. All sections of the BMC were affected through the process showing exceptional collaborative and analysing skills of the group.

Every problem our group had was all solved by serious discussions and studying the research gingerly. After finishing the promotion of the BMC, all members of our group checked it together and discussed whether it needed any change. It was hard to identify the suggestion on the canvas so we pivoted to highlight the changes section for easy finding information when we do our evaluation.

6. Summary

Although the group had great communication throughout the process and each member did their work circumspectly, we did not develop the BMC more as we expected. There is still some unnecessary research done which did not add any value in the progress.

My individual contribution to this project was doing research with external stakeholders and analysing that information and applying them to develop the BMC. My work was effective and received many compliments from my partners and especially from the owner of the business. 

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