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From Fire-and-Forget to Lasting Customer Bonds in the Era of Smart Cameras
In 2006, upon completing our house construction, I purchased a pair of Mobotix video surveillance cameras. Primarily intended for security, they also served the purpose of observing our natural surroundings. Renowned as a German manufacturer, Mobotix is celebrated for crafting exceptionally durable and premium-grade surveillance cameras. Over the years, their products have found utility across various BaseN customer locations. Despite real-time video feed not being the prevalent data processed by the BaseN Platform, our collective usage has contributed significantly, tallying up to approximately 100k€ in revenue for Mobotix throughout this period.
As Mobotix declared the end-of-life for my cameras, they unexpectedly wiped our customer data. Upon seeking upgrade options, their response was straightforward: no ongoing support for these models. They advised liaising with an unnamed local distributor, leaving me to resort to online searches. This situation would have been more understandable if the cameras were acquired for a minimal fee, say 50€, but considering the substantial purchase price of nearly 3500€, the dissatisfaction deepened.
Unveiling a Pervasive Industry Challenge: Rethinking Manufacturer-Customer Dynamics for Sustainable Engagement and Innovation
All of these circumstances glaringly illuminate a severe and pervasive challenge encountered by numerous manufacturers in the industry. The prevailing mindset seems to be that they can simply release products into the market and then wash their hands of any ongoing responsibility. This “fire-and-forget” approach overlooks the crucial aspect of fostering enduring customer relationships. The assumption that consumers will automatically be inclined to make repeat purchases solely based on past interactions is indeed a rather optimistic perspective. It underscores the need for a paradigm shift in how manufacturers perceive their role in the entire product lifecycle and the importance of customer-centric strategies that prioritize sustained engagement and value delivery.
A smart camera manufacturer would have a spime, a next generation digital twin camera, which would then have physical twins – the camera hardware, as per customer requirements, changing over time. This would create recurring, sustainable business and also tremendously support internal R&D as all products out in the field would be analyzed and accounted for.
It seems that I must find a new surveillance camera vendor, who understands digital assets and builds on customer relationships.