mm_generic2Matt Merrifield – GIS Manager, The Nature Conservancy

“We had developed a simple web and mobile application to collect harvest information from the Conservancy’s industry partners.  The application had a small set of users but we thought the concept was novel.  Our expertise is in conservation science and planning and as such we did not have a good method for evaluating opportunities and defining market strategy. We hired LeanCog to help. LeanCog brought experience and a rigorous, proven methodology to help us do a comprehensive and creative evaluation.  They provided a level of critical thinking that was invaluable in evaluating our own assumptions and keenly identified how our core strengths could be leveraged.  We’re extremely pleased with the results which have brought focus to our effort that’s exciting.”

Getting “Out of the Building” to Protect Nature

tncThe Nature Conservancy is a global non-profit whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. In one of their projects, the Conservancy had a need to independently collect data to ensure the resource was being managed in accordance with the terms of their partnerships. Unfortunately, there were no good off-the-shelf solutions to do this – so they made their own.  A clever, intuitive, and user-friendly application that provided actionable insights that led to an order of magnitude improvement in conservation management.  With that kind of result, the obvious question was: how to leverage that success where the Conservancy may not have as much influence?

This is where The Nature Conservancy looked for help from a partner.  While solving data problems with technology is something the Conservancy does every day, developing these solutions for the market is not.  They selected LeanCog because of their focus and experience on addressing “product-market fit” using strategic and lean start-up methodologies. LeanCog “got out of the building” (as Steve Blank would say) and interviewed prospective customers, partners, competitors and regulators to identify user segments based on shared pains.  We took an hard look at what the Conservancy did well compared to other organizations and helped them identify strengths to define a differentiated offering.  By determining the intersection of the Conservancy’s expertise  the pains of the market, and the unique feature of the application, LeanCog was able to help TNC pivot their technology strategy to solve a much bigger problem than that previously considered.

I never imagined when we started this that we would end up here!

“I never imagined when we started this that we would end up here!” – George Yandall, Director of Real Estate The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is continuing on their Customer Development roadmap with LeanCog by implementing several pilots to collect feedback.

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Tim Slavin – VP, Operations BrightGrid Solar

“In today’s fast paced world, the quality of your customer service is directly related to the quality of your technology solutions. So when we decided to automate our proposal and contract process, we wanted to make sure that we selected the technology that best fit our needs and would create a seamless, enjoyable experience for all of our customers. However, as a growing company, we lacked the skills and resources to make informed decisions on what was the right course of action. LeanCog was able to assist us with defining our requirements, guide us through the technology selection process, and manage the implementation process on-budget and on-schedule. The final result condensed our process from hours to minutes, and LeanCog’s involvement throughout the process allowed our management team to focus on growing the company. We continue our relationship with LeanCog today and rely on them for a broad range of development and administrative services.”

Customer Discovery through Managed Services: The Value of Continuity

cbgBrightGrid Solar is a white-label finance company offering leases to the residential solar market.  Given the nature of their business, they needed to be able to help their partners provide quotes, contract, and project management workflow in a highly customized and branded experience – being able to do this well is their key differentiator.  After their service oriented, manual process started to strain operations and they needed to find ways to automate their proposal and contract process in a way that didn’t lose the high-level of customization, flexibility and service that the manual process was providing.

BrightGrid’s core competency is solar and lease finance, not enterprise software strategy and architecture (and nor should it be!).  LeanCog’s methodology made us an ideal partner to help BrightGrid address this business challenge – how to provide automation to their complicated, service oriented partner processes.  LeanCog COGset methodology provided end to end solution management, taking ownership of all aspects of the solution – from architecture to outsourced support:

  • Discovery: LeanCog conducted an exhaustive set of interviews of both operations and customers to understand the “as-is” processes and customer pain points
  • Solution Architecture: LeanCog created a “to-be” conceptual design based on the feedback in discovery, and then performed an evaluation of existing technologies, build v. buy considerations and gap analysis, managed a vendor RFP process, and facilitated the decision
  • Program Management: LeanCog managed the implementation of the “Partner Portal” across 10 different vendors – connecting the dots between the different component solutions ensuring the guiding requirements were never lost sight of
  • Customer Launch: LeanCog provided onboarding and training of BrightGrid’s customers onto the portal, and captured user experiences and feedback along the way to constantly iterate the product
  • Support and Ongoing Development: LeanCog provided outsourced services to not just maintain the product, but continue to provide incremental development to improve it

LeanCog condensed our process from 3 days to 3 minutes

The result?  BrightGrid was able to have a best in class partner solution without ever having to build their own team.  They were able to scale development up and down on demand, all while maintaining continuity of resources thanks to LeanCog’s end to end services.