Rethinking the customer experience of a leading B2B automation company

“Fastems Customer Experience”

8 weeks, Sep / Nov 2013, Team Project

with Reetta Eskola, Verna Kaipainen

course: Experience-driven Design

Aalto University, Industrial and Strategic Design programme

tutored by Virpi Roto, Yichen Li

client: Fastems




 Fastems is a Finnish Business-to-business (B2B) company manufacturing and supplying automation systems (such as Flexible Manufacturing Systems or Robot Cells) to other business in the metal cutting industry around the globe.




They are taking part in the User Experience & Usability in complex Systems (UXUS) project, which started the collaboration with Aalto University, with the common goal of “using UX to make a difference in the industry and business”. We had the chance to work directly with Fastems as our client on a project that was eventually bought by the company.




“A clearer identity and identifiability of Fastems products: building brand DNA by means of industrial design”

After initial research, our team quickly realized that what Fastems needed was not just a redesign of the appearance of their products, but rather a complete re-thinking of the way their customers (other businesses) discover, approach, and deal with the company: a redesign of their Customer Experience. Fastems agreed on this analysis, and supported us in the design process.



In the B2B sector, the one who makes the decision of the purchase (i.e. the Customer) is often not the one who is going to use what is bought (i.e. the User). Therefore, a Business-to-business company should focus its branding efforts on the people that make the purchasing decision; our aim was to do so implementing the same attention to emotional and human aspects that Business-to-consumer companies use.






Storytelling and Testing


One of the main challenges of our project was to show the potential of Strategic Design methods to a company that hasn’t used them before. We decided to use illustrated Storytelling from the point of view of their Customers to do this, highlighting the touchpoints that contributed to reaching the Customer Experience targets.



The final presentation was part of the annual UXUS meeting. After presenting our outcome and customer journey, we distributed Holistic Evaluation Sheets using semantic differentials to the people present, getting feedback from Fastems itself, other design students but especially from other businesses in the metal industry, which are Fastems’ current or potential customers. We reached an overall positive response.