How does Borg & Overström innovate?
The foundational methods for developing a new product and upgrading an existing one
Key to providing a premium service and maintaining ironclad customer relationships is justifying your product’s reputation. For some, a new unveiling elicits suspicion, coming as a repackaged product with a new coat of paint, complete with an inevitable price increase.
So, what factors do we always prioritise when either launching a new product or revamping and upgrading an existing one? Here’s a look behind the scenes at the never-ending process of improvement behind our tap systems and water dispensers.
We begin with the big three…
1. User experience
Underpinning all the support we provide to our distributors is our mission to keep both them and their end-user customer base satisfied. The hallowed user experience begins with an easy purchase, continues with a straightforward installation and persists through the machine’s years of use. Expanding our reach to include an overseas logistics hub for EU partners was our most recent success at easing the experience.
For the end-user, everything begins with the aesthetic. A water dispenser need not be in active use in order to provide a pleasant and edifying experience, complementing high-end executive environments and enhancing the decor.
Hands-on usage experience comes next. For example, the U1’s upgrade to the T1 meant more than just discreet size for the user, but twice the dispense speed of its predecessor. Such a feature saves time for the hurried office worker. Beyond heightening dispense speed, we extended this time-saving achievement to chilling speed, with the ProCore™ unit lowering water temperature from ambient to 2°C in under two minutes. Capacious dispense height is also important to us, as it means a dispenser or tap system can work with a diverse range of handheld bottle types.
With the machine’s lifespan extending well beyond the honeymoon phase, the Borg & Overström philosophy for a premium experience includes the adage that a dispenser must be as easy to clean and maintain as it is to purchase and install. The use of PVD coating as well as GreenCoat® steel and antimicrobial panel coating on certain models reduces the burden of regular intensive cleaning.
This is our guiding and all-encompassing philosophy. With water simultaneously existing as a universal human need and limited resource, we take extra care to ensure our existing victories on the sustainability front are not rolled back and sabotaged when upgrading, but maintained and enhanced where possible.
Our company-wide sustainability initiative deftly blends the global with the local. Going green isn’t just ethical, but profitable. In anticipation of a year which would largely be defined by navigating a shaky supply chain, we upgraded not only products, but their means of storage and delivery. This informed the decision to add in Eco mode. This covers everything from rising costs of living and running businesses to hitting the wider national net zero goal.
For upgrading and introducing new products, we’ve recently taken efforts to point out how much money a business stands to save from energy saving via Eco mode, and why the larger ethos of sustainability is their best bet for a wider profit margin.
We see keeping cash in the end-user’s pocket (whether renting or outright owners of their machine) and handing distributors a green product as excellent ways to remain at the cusp of thought leadership, convincing the wider water industry to adopt eco-friendly practices.
3. Customer feedback
This is the very thing that shapes our knowledge of customer experience. We keep an open forum with our distributors and end-users (though we still do not sell to users outright) and consider their impressions for research purposes. Best of all, we can prove it. Our Distributor Stories archive contains extensive testimonials.
The prominence of feedback in the upgrade process means acknowledging previous issues with transparent honesty and amending them thoroughly. Please see the Distributor Stories section for testimonials like these, and know that your input can influence our upcoming product line.
With the big three covered for every product, we now move to the next tier; which consists of secondary but still extremely important influences.
4. Consumer trends
Consumers vote with their feet and their wallets, and tracking consumer habits means monitoring global trends, balanced with immediate user needs. Key to remaining at the tip of the innovation spear in a competitive market is meeting the demands from the larger context of business trends alongside the bespoke needs of a niche, established consumer base.
For example, the massive upshoot in sparkling water demand shaped the T2’s design, particularly its sparkling water option. We remain informed of SWOT analyses and market reports and integrate such findings into our research and development.
There is no use in burdening our distributors with products made of materials that fluctuate in availability.
By moving away from imported materials and towards nearshoring, we uplifted time-efficiency and ease of transition. Nearshoring also eases improvements and makes the product creation and upgrade process quicker, and further drives our net-zero ambitions on the sustainability front.
Why claim to lead the market at the cutting edge of water refreshment with outdated tech? Our engineering teams monitor markets for the latest materials, then trial and test tirelessly in the labs with all previous factors in mind. Water dispensers and electronic tap systems with advanced internal technology have superior upgrade potential.
High-tech must retain simplicity and ease of use, with minimal inconvenience to users of a previous model. This also applies to the room required for a dispenser. When it comes to technological advances, the goal for upgrading Borg & Overström products is to retain the same external dimensions whilst improving internal usage qualities. For example, when the B2 became the B3, it featured superior dispense height, higher capacity cooling, improved hygiene and more damage resistance for longevity.
For countertops, as long as the user has their waterline fitting, they can upgrade to a direct replacement with the external dimensions remaining unchanged.
Similarly, our tap systems follow a model of direct replacement. We foresaw that buyers would not relish needing to change the cupboard area that they set aside, nor their required cutout size, nor that distributors would want to pitch a product requiring such changes. A T1 operates over the same tap hole, and occupies the same space, with all features installed to specifications replicating the original U1.
Be sure to keep a close eye on our Learning Centre for future updates and innovative new arrivals; the process never ends. If you’re curious and want to learn more, reach out to our team today.