CNCITY energy is an oil and gas utility company headquartered in Daejeon, Korea, distributing gas to 590,000 customers. Previously known as Choongnam City Gas Co. Ltd., during the past 32 years, the company rebranded itself in 2017 to establish a new corporate identity away from being a regional gas provider to a customer-centric energy company.
The rebranding campaign also symbolizes the company’s effort to adopt to the changing environment and to create new markets. Yet, this is a difficult challenge that requires innovation in its existing services and business model transformation. The CEO of CNCITY energy, In-kyu Hwang, recognized the importance of fostering innovation culture within his company in order to achieve their vision. SAP Design engaged to contribute to the customer’s transformation journey.
Changing the way of working
The transformation journey began with the company-wide implementation of Design Thinking. SAP Design conducted the first Design Thinking workshop with the CEO and the executive staff of CNCITY energy. The goal was to help them experientially learn design thinking and to show them how it could apply to their own work. The design challenge for the workshop was “Design a future service for CNCITY energy“ which SAP design specifically chose to tackle the real issues by hearing the voice of the real users. After meeting with the real customers, the senior executives left an impression:
Empathizing with customers helped us to build a common understanding of their experience and made us realize what problem we should solve– In-Kyu Hwang, CEO at CNCITY energy
By fostering empathy between employees and end users, the executive members were able to develop a clearer vision of the company’s priorities and future. After the first workshop, the CEO has requested a following workshop for their top talent employees. He emphasized that everyone should learn Design Thinking.
The second workshop with the top talent employees designed to ideate for CNCITY energy’s newly established foundation that supports young talents, local arts, and culture in the region. Throughout the workshop, the participants gained a shared understanding of the new brand’s strategy that particularly helped the participants build a common vision for the future of the company. Moreover, the top talents learned how to work more collaboratively by brainstorming together. With the help of an ‘inspiration wall’ that was curated by SAP designers, the participants could spark new ideas and draw imagination.
The ideas were then translated into working prototypes. Various ideas were presented by using lego, role-playing, and cutout cardboard pieces.
At the completion of each workshop, CNCITY energy understood how Design Thinking could help them find the best solutions.
The collaboration with SAP AppHaus and its energetic Design Thinking specialists allowed us to change not only our thoughts of SAP solely as ‘The ERP Solutions Company’, but also provided a valuable opportunity to share and grow through a creative way of working.– Sung Jin Cho, The secretary-general of CNCITY Maum Foundation
CNCITY energy is now taking Design Thinking to the next level – adopting it internally and offering training sessions to the entire organization. They have set up a task force to facilitate workshops and drive innovation/business transformation. Moreover, They are inspired by a creative space like AppHaus and plan to make a space where Design Thinking activities happen every day.
Partnering with SAP
As a result of the successful collaboration and SAP Design’s engagement, CNCITY energy has changed its view of SAP – from an ERP solution company to a trusted innovation partner. They are leveraging Design Thinking to roll-out a people centric approach in their services and doing business. Moreover, Embracing the innovation strategy, CNCITY energy has become the first utilities company in Korea to move to the cloud by implementing SAP’s PCM solution – a big leap towards digital transformation, and a significant development for CNCITY energy’s newly branded future.
For CNCITY energy, the next ten years are brighter than the changes we accomplished in the past few months.– Yun Su Lim, Strategy & Finance at CNCITY energy