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Case
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Reference no. 317-0083-1
Published by: RSM Case Development Centre
Originally published in: 2017
Version: January 2016
Length: 10 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

This case illustrates the investment decision the Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij (NLE), a utilities company offering electricity and gas, was facing. Was it going to invest in a smart-home as value-added service or not? And if so, would it invest in the development of an own product or would a partner be a more suitable option? The case explains the history of the company, its founders and current CEOs. It also explains how the company has adopted a more flexible, flat corporate culture in a market primarily dominated by large bureaucratic organizations with a large overhead. Using expertise in sales and marketing, the CEOs of NLE have adopted several strategies to achieve growth in the past. Moreover, as they have a background in econometrics, they come to terms with the importance of data. Yet, with changing customer behavior and a market with unclear future the company set out an experiment. They concluded that they had the option to invest in a value-added service that could put them ahead of the competition. However, it meant investing in a product that NLE had never offered nor produced before.

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Abstract

This case illustrates the investment decision the Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij (NLE), a utilities company offering electricity and gas, was facing. Was it going to invest in a smart-home as value-added service or not? And if so, would it invest in the development of an own product or would a partner be a more suitable option? The case explains the history of the company, its founders and current CEOs. It also explains how the company has adopted a more flexible, flat corporate culture in a market primarily dominated by large bureaucratic organizations with a large overhead. Using expertise in sales and marketing, the CEOs of NLE have adopted several strategies to achieve growth in the past. Moreover, as they have a background in econometrics, they come to terms with the importance of data. Yet, with changing customer behavior and a market with unclear future the company set out an experiment. They concluded that they had the option to invest in a value-added service that could put them ahead of the competition. However, it meant investing in a product that NLE had never offered nor produced before.

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