CASE STUDY

BUILDING DIGITAL MARKETPLACES
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A key component of any business’s customer attraction strategy in today’s digital age is that they must take advantage of all omni-channel opportunities available. While some would argue that the lines between marketing and sales are blurred, the fact remains that digital marketplaces, regardless of their technology backbones and slick user interfaces, are often still about connecting the needs of users. Developing a successful digital marketplace requires understanding the stakeholder community, blurred lines or not. This case study offers insight from the formation of a complimentary coalition between industry agnostic stakeholders to build and test a digital marketplace to sell transportation capacity space. By closely examining the compounding attributes of a multi-modal group of non-competing stakeholders, composed of a demand generator, volume user, platform investor and a not-for-profit incubator, a coalition of mutual benefit was formed that would co-develop and implement Canada’s first transport capacity marketplace.

BACKGROUND

The Silicon Valley venture arm of a global OEM with an appetite for a 10x return worked with AviaMind to validate the economic landscape and readiness of a transport capacity marketplace in Canada. Investment commitment required a well-regarded air carrier and volume supplier for the purpose of both platform validation and subsequent business scaling.

Figure 1 – Dashboard prototype

 

The stakeholders identified are current low revenue collaborators who agreed to business case participation after identifying that the engagement would improve their revenues with no material cost consequence. In other words, they were ignoring an opportunity for low hanging revenue.

APPROACH

Solution development was split into two engagements: First were multi-stakeholder process mapping sessions – to identify value chain gaps. The second was a feedback loop from the sessions to program managers in order to translate functional discoveries to a digital storyboard and cross check for a strong user experience.

Figure 2 – Process workboard.

Design iterations were continuously monitored for stakeholder requirement matching and the user experience was bench-marked in a sentiment check.

 

CONCLUSIONS

A hypothesis to create a multi-stakeholder coalition between non-competing members for the benefit of realizing financial and operations gain was tested. The result of the collaboration was the co-development of a marketplace platform where the carrier would offer varying carrying capacity to the volume supplier. Investment was provided by a non-biased venture capitalist with the goal of scaling globally. AviaMind identified the stakeholders and facilitated introduction, process mapping sessions and managed development feedback. This collaboration showed that financial success and operations efficiency can be achieved by organizations with different business models and services all working in coalition, provided that their core competencies are engaged and each stakeholder must both provide and receive benefit to at least one other stakeholder.