In October 2018, the owner of Shanghai marketing ME—Jikun Li, has detected a latest trend, the consumer (user) needs in Shanghai have transformed from seeking for a whole set of home appliances to an upgraded version, a set of smart home scenario. In order to seize this trend, Jikun’s ME needs to focus on offering an overall smart home solution, integrating furniture and home decoration resources in an open way, and providing consumers with customized service solutions at the same time. In this way, the single user revenue will be multiplied several times, and the market will be expanded greatly at a sudden.
However, he also encountered a difficulty, Haier only got two brands—Carsate and Leader, which have got a complete set design, others haven’t. While there’s a need to integrate resources outside Haier to come up with a whole smart home solution, the current mechanism and resource platform cannot respond to this need immediately. Jikun hence reported this difficulty to CEO Zhang at the 7th Global Business School Dean's Forum at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This is the tipping point when Haier’s ecosystem model in the IoT era has been initiated. On the one hand, it reflected the effectiveness of the complete set sales policy and system that have been laid out in China. Since Haier can provide users with complete sets of home appliances, users could develop the need for further optimal experience. On the other hand, Jikun's problem forced an organizational leap in the exploration of Rendanheyi model. The EMC is hence ready to emerge.
As the market environment is constantly changing, the development of the form of MEs has faced new problems under the new background. In order to gain the competitive advantage, the connotation of the model has been further updated. In the past, it is ME as the basic unit of the organization that faces the market and meets the product needs of users. In the IoT era, users' demand for a single product has been transformed and upgraded to the demand for smart home solutions. Zhang Ruimin has been studying the self-organization. Zhang found the biggest problem is coordination between self-organizations.
After Jikun Li found this problem in practice, CEO Zhang formally proposed the concept of EMCs, providing methodologies at the group level to encourage collaboration between small and microenterprises. Therefore, on the basis of distributed organization with ME, Haier developed a new organizational form: EMC（Ecosystem Micro-community）.
The emergence of EMC is to better meet the user needs. On the basis of user interaction, they will generate more demands. Taking the refrigeration industry as an example, users no longer simply need are frigerator nowadays, but may need a whole range of healthy food ingredients, which cannot be met by the previous refrigeration ME based on their limited internal capabilities and resources. However, if the solution cannot be iterated and upgraded, the user interaction will stop there, which is certainly not conducive to the cultivation of lifelong users for any organization.
In this situation, the organization needs to be upgraded from MEs to EMCs. ME teams need to actively connect with other internal and external resources (eco-partners) to meet interactive user needs.
Through this interaction, EMC will gain enough orders from users, and in return to attract more partners in a broader market. EMCs are dynamic and open to the organization platform and outside partners, even to different industry if needed. The value-added sharing system is the key driver to attract partners to join EMCs and offer an advanced user solution together with a higher return. EMC is all about creating and sharing value together.
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