Posted: May 25th, 2022
Branding and Promotion
Wincor-Nixdorf Branding and Promotion Analysis
Wincor-Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and resellers of electronic Point of Sale (POS) systems for banking and retail globally. At the close of their latest fiscal year the company operated subsidiaries in 41 countries and is represented by partners in 60 countries. As of the close of their latest fiscal year, Wincor-Nixdorf generated 2.25B in Group Sales, 718M of which was generated by the Retail group and 1.5B from the Banking Group. Figure 1, Sales Analysis by Division (2005 — 2008) illustrates how the Banking Group has grown in Net Sales despite a global recession. The Retail Group continues to struggle to gain positive growth during this same time period.
Figure 1: Sales Analysis by Division (2005 — 2008)
(Source: Wincor-Nixdorf Annual Reports Online)
Wincor Nixdorf generates 58% of revenues form hardware and 42% from software, as of the close of their latest fiscal year. The company is well-known for its engineering and speed of product development yet has consistently struggled to be successful as a system integrator of its technologies into the more complex process areas of banking and retail.
Wincor Nixdorf came into existence in 1999 when the Siemens Group was acquired by investment bankers and venture capitalists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs, Capital Partners Group. By May 19, 2004 the investors were ready to take Wincor Nixdorf public again and began offering Prime Standard securities on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. This enabled Wincor Nixdorf to invest in new technologies and accelerate their product lifecycle strategies for electronic POS systems for banking and retail. As of the close of 2009 Wincor Nixdorf had been successful in winning 23 out of the top 25 banks in Europe with their automated POS systems and 20 of the top 25 retailers in Europe with their retail systems. Globally Wincor Nixdorf had won 19 of the top 25 banks in the world and 14 of the top 25 retailers worldwide. Wincor Siemens was able to accomplish this by concentrating on a very rapid product development cycle where terminals and cash products were put in the fast track for development in their Banking Group. The Retail Group also received investments in their product lines and the retail hardware and POS systems were drastically improved from 2004 to present. Wincor Nixdorf is considered an industry leader in technology yet struggles to deliver end-to-end solutions that are strategic in nature to their customers. As a result they are often seen as exceptionally strong in technology areas yet lacking in the areas of how to create system-wide process-based solutions that can revolutionize their customers’ businesses. An analysis of the factors that this specific Group can rely on to gain greater sales growth is provided in this analysis.
Wincor Nixdorf has a corporate culture that is heavily influenced by engineering-based values and mindsets, including a high degree of technology ethnocentrism. All of these factors combined have led to Wincor Nixdorf to a myopic or short-sighted nature of viewing how their automated POS systems work as part of the broader enterprise systems and platforms of the markets they serve. As a result there is a high degree of organizational status associated with hardware engineering, electromechanical engineering, and mechanical engineering yet the key engineering disciplines for creating new, highly integrated products that can lead to a more solution-oriented sale are lacking. The lack of expertise in complex software engineering, software development and software quality assurance are all contributing to a lack of expertise in system integration. As a result of prospects and customers both seeing the large variation in expertise between hardware and software systems design and development, Wincor Nixdorf is trusted in the former but not in the latter. They are not attaining the level of expertise in system integration as a result. For Wincor Nixdorf to overcome this perception they will need to first change their culture to become more balanced in their perception of software engineering and integration expertise being critical for growth while at the same time embracing advanced software development technologies and applications to fuel solution-based systems development. Customers have complained that the banking and Retail Systems do not communicate with one another, further evidence of how lacking in system integration the company is. Further still, the company lacked a consistency of standards for data transmission and validation of transactions between the banking and retail business units, which was a strategic weakness given each are part of the same value chain for many customers (Bushrod, 2003). The hardware engineering-centric nature of the company was leading to a balkanized state of the systems that were critical for the existing and future needs of enterprise accounts globally (Bushrod, 2003). While partnering with system integration companies including SHL Systemhouse, Accenture, IBM Global Services and Indian companies Infosys, HCL or Satyam could have solved this problem and allowed Wincor-Nixdorf to continue to be purely hardware-centric it was clear their future would be a limited one. To transform their company, its culture, products, processes, salesforce and services to be more services-based was the greatest challenge the company faced in its history (Bushrod, 2003).
Wincor-Nixdorf was formed in 1999 and entered the 21st century with mindset dominated by hardware development, engineering, marketing, sales and service strategies. Competing on product generation to product generation purely from a hardware standpoint had become engrained in their culture and was their comfort zone (Bushrod, 2003). The entire organization had become lulled into a sense of complacency due to the stable, predictable product strategies making each year very comparable to the last as ATM technologies were not going through any revolutionary transformations during the 1990s.
The early years of the 21st century found the Wincor-Nixdorf customer base shifting radically away from the standard replacement schedule of ATM and banking machines however. The Internet had become more prevalent and trusted as a transaction platform (Bruno-Britz, 2008), the banking industry was going through a fundamental consolidation of its own (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005) and as a result global customers Wincor-Nixdorf had were looking to drive down operations costs by closing branches in favor of more automated channels of service and support (Meyer, Wolf, 2002).
These three strategic influences would force Wincor-Nixdorf to question the fundamental assumptions about their business model, structure, purposes of their alliances, distribution channels and product programs. Further, the product centricity and the organizational ethnocetricism it had fostered for decades was about to go through a fundamental and very drastic shift (Bushrod, 2003). Any organization that has made products the center of their business model eventually drifts into a strong ethnocentric mindset they can engineer their way out of economic disaster with the next product generation. This would not be the case for Wincor-Nixdorf as the fundamental reasons why their customers bought were shifting fast underneath them. In conjunction with the mindset that the next product generation would get them there was also the mindset that the more difficult areas of innovation, those areas that defy measurement including software, could be procrastinated about for the next product generation that never actually arrived — it was a convenient away for not taking responsibility for changing (Bushrod, 2003). Due to all these factors lulling them into complacency, Wincor-Nixdorf was about to get a drastic and very loud wake-up call.
While the Internet had been available through the HTTP protocol and web browsers for nearly a decade by 1999, it was the infusion of venture capital in start-ups that offering e-commerce application, security protocols and online banking applications. Taken together all these developments turned what was a network of computers into a scalable, global platform that would eventually force Wincor-Nixdorf out of their hardware-centric mentality to a more system-based one (Bushrod, 2003). The Internet as a platform for global banking networks including the proliferation of ATM networks and the en masse adoption of online banking by many of the world’s banks and financial institutions (Bruno-Britz, 2008) would force Wincor-Nixdorf to revise its hardware-centric mentality to be more system-focused. The exponential growth of online banking (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005) turned into a revolution that further pushed the urgency of Wincor-Nixdorf becoming all the more focused on systems and software over mechanical engineering. The second factor of the consolidation of the banking industry and it continual implosion in certain sectors as of this writing in 2010 (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005) also underscored how critically important the aspects of system integration and device interdependencies on networks, security of Internet Protocol (IP), interdomain trust relationships between servers and providers (Ho, Mallick, 2010). The widespread adoption of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Internet Protocol (IP) solidified development of the Internet as a platform for banking growth and forever changed the future of all banking and financial services hardware providers including Wincor-Nixdorf.
The emergence of a new global banking platform that could handle secured transactions in real-time also contributed to the second significant strategy factor that would eventually force Wincor-Nixdorf to completely redefine their business model away from product-centric to serviced-based. The consolidation of the banking industry forced higher levels of trusted interbank trading and exchanges (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005) fueled the rapid growth of multichannel banking, thin client technologies including AJAX, JAVA (J2EE) and XML, and led eventually to mobile devices including PDAs and smart phones being able to manage financial queries and transactions (Ho, Mallick, 2010). All of these technologies had taken on immediate and urgent priority by Wincor-Nixdorf’s customer base as many are finding a 67% reduction in costs of service when they transition form branches to self-service machines, and nearly a 99% reduction in costs from branches to Internet banking (Ho, Mallick, 2010). In other words the Wincor-Nixdorf customer base was learning very quickly how to translate the advanced technologies mentioned into massive cost reductions very quickly as they capitalized on their customers’ needs for more convenient access to the Internet. Figure 2, Index of Banking Services Costs provides a relative ranking of the costs of delivering banking services. With Branch costs being the index of 100% compared to self-service machines at a 67% reduction in costs and Internet banking at a 99% reduction in costs, it is evident that the technologies are having a significant and rapid effect on banking costs.
Figure 2: Index of Banking Services Costs, 2003-2006
Sources: (Ho, Mallick, 2010) (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005)
This aggressive level of cost reduction occurring in the banking industry is forcing a higher level of intrabank and interbank integration than has ever been the case in the past. This is putting software and systems integration engineering at the center of customer’s priorities and leading to the commoditization of hardware alone (Ho, Mallick, 2010).
Wincor-Nixdorf must transition from a hardware-centric mindset that seeks to find differentiation purely from one product generation to the next and must embrace a more solution-oriented mindset if they are going to survive these fundamental shifts in their customer base and the industry. Wincor-Nixdorf’s hardware ethnocetricism makes the transition form a product feature-based development and selling strategy to a solution mindset extremely difficult (Bushrod, 2003). The cost reductions their customers expect that are attainable only through the development of real-time system integration to make self-service and Internet banking cost reductions possible force Wincor-Nixdorf to abandon the purely product-driven strategy and begin to evaluate software-based and network-based technologies (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005).
Wincor-Nixdorf over time begins to see how the initial efforts to integrate their POS systems and platforms into banking systems begins to show positive Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) and Return on Investment (ROI) for global customers including Duetshe Bank and HSBC (Meyer, Wolf, 2002). In 2002 the global economy was in a recession, and the investments in Wincor-Nixdorf POS terminals that could integrate into a network helped these customers to attain profitability even in the midst of challenging economic times. Internally within Wincor-Nixdorf there had been debates relative to the strengths and weaknesses of selling more of a network-based POS solution vs. staying with the product strategy-based approach. The political faction within Wincor-Nixdorf that had concentrated on the solution selling imperative won the debate (Bushrod, 2003). As a result a proliferation of POS systems for vertical markets including retailing (Pepe, 2003) was put on a fast track for development. In conjunction with the acceleration of more solution-oriented product lines the senior management teams at Wincor-Nixdorf began to re-architect their messaging to be more service-dominant and less reliant just on products alone (O’Shaughnessy, O’Shaughnessy, 2009). To overcome the limitations in integration between banking and retail divisions, Wincor Nixdorf also started a professional services organization that would work with customers on their business process reengineering requirements (Bushrod, 2003). The development of the professional services organization then became the catalyst for Wincor Nixdorf to shift their internal mindset away from being so centered on products towards being more focused on integrated systems and solutions.
Customer relationships shifted from being focused purely on hardware sales to gaining a better understanding of the business problems customers faced. The shift from being inwardly focused on products and more on the business goals and objectives of their customers shifted the priorities internally within Wincor Nixdorf to valuing integration skill sets and intelligence (Damiano, 2008). Managing solutions became more critical than speeding through the next product generation and attempting to leapfrog competitors on features alone (Amato-McCoy, 2008). The focus had become how well the professional services organization could coordinate with the banking and retail product divisions to attain a suite of enterprise solutions for clients.
Wincor Nixdorf took years to make the transition from being product-centered to being solution-focused. The myriad of decisions that had to shift the company’s product, services, selling and deployment models to being focused on streamlining and strengthening customers’ strategic processes over time were successful. Literally betting the company on the shift from product-centric mindsets of a solution mindset, the company emerged after its transition period more trusted based on its depth of process expertise. The essence of being a trusted advisor is the ability of an organization being able to internalize the problems of its customers and transform them into solutions through intelligence, insight and innate strengths of their organization (Dawson, 2001). Nearly every services-based company will eventually attempt to create a trusted advisor market position for themselves in the it banking and services industry (Ho, Mallick, 2010). Trust is only attained when an organization creates an organizational structure that is highly coordinated all around the customers’ needs (Storbacka, Ryals, Davies, Nenonen, 2009). This requires any organization to become agile and capable of scaling their internal departments, experts, systems and expertise to the unmet needs of customers. Only when this is done can a company hope to attain the role of trusted advisor and be a meaningful brand (Rahman, Areni, Mcdonald, 2009). As a result of the success Wincor Nixdorf had with this transition to being more focused on customers’ business processes and not just on their hardware requirements, they were able to create global alliances (Bruno-Britz, 2008) including FedEx and Kinko’s and several focused on solutions management including world-class system integration partners (Amato-McCoy, 2008).
The transition Wincor-Nixdorf experienced, transitioning from being a box mover to concentrating on services and solutions to eventually become a system integrator required the subordinating of technologies to customer needs. The focus had to completely change from having products at the core of their business to being solution focused. To aspire and attain the role of trusted advisor (Dawson, 2001) technologies need to be subordinates to serv8ices and solutions for the customers first. This is the transition that Wincor-Siemens has attained and today uses advanced POS technologies including RFID to better manage the larger process areas for their client first, not just to sell more terminals and hardware (Resatsch, Sandner, Leimeister, Krcmar, 2008). Figure 3, it Services and Business Process Services illustrates in depth the transition that Wincor-Siemens has had to accomplish to move away from being a product-centric to solution-focused and attain the role of trusted advisor.
Figure 3: IT Services and Business Process Services
Sources: (Ho, Mallick, 2010) (Lin, Hu, Sung, 2005) (Amato-McCoy, 2008) (Bruno-Britz, 2008) (Bushrod, 2003)
Amato-McCoy, D.. 2008. Building a Better Solutions-Management Mousetrap. Chain Store Age, January 1, 55.
Maria Bruno-Britz. 2008. ATM Servicing — Johnny on the Spot — Wincor-Nixdorf expands FedEx/Kinkos relationship with courier service. Bank Systems & Technology, February 1, 14.
Lisa Bushrod. 2003. Wincor Nixdorf. European Venture Capital & Private Equity Journal, September 1, 1.
Paula Damiano. 2008. More Than a Cash Machine — Banks are upgrading their ATMs to provide more functionality and help build customer relationships. Bank Systems & Technology, June 1, 18.
Ross Dawson. 2001. The Trusted Advisor. Review of Consulting to Management 12, no. 3, (September 1): 57-58.
Feng, Shaw C., et al. “Software agents-enabled systems coalition for integrated manufacturing processes and supply chain management.” International Journal of Manufacturing Technology & Management 11, no. 2 (May 2007): 157-173
Ho, S., and S. Mallick. 2010. The impact of information technology on the banking industry. The Journal of the Operational Research Society 61, no. 2, (February 1): 211-221.
Jui-Chu Lin, Jin-Li Hu, and Kang-Liang Sung. 2005. The Effect of Electronic Banking on the Cost Efficiency of Commercial Banks: An Empirical Study. International Journal of Management 22, no. 4, (December 1): 605-611.
Tedra Meyer, and Alan Wolf. 2002. Retail systems playing greater role in tough times. TWICE, October 14, 16,20.
Modi, Meena. 1987. POS Microcosm. American Bankers Association. ABA Banking Journal 79, no. 10, (October 1): 68. ).
Resatsch, F., U. Sandner, J. Leimeister, and H. Krcmar. 2008. Do Point of Sale RFID-Based Information Services Make a Difference? Analyzing Consumer Perceptions for Designing Smart Product Information Services in Retail Business. Electronic Markets 18, no. 3, (August 1): 216.
John O’Shaughnessy, and Nicholas Jackson O’Shaughnessy. 2009. The service-dominant perspective: a backward step? European Journal of Marketing 43, no. 5/6, (May 1): 784-793.
Celik Parkan. 2003. Measuring the effect of a new point of sale system on the performance of drugstore operations. Computers & Operations Research 30, no. 5, (April 1): 729-744.
Michele Pepe. 2003. Wincor adds two VARs to partner menu. CRN, November 17, 123.
Rahman, K., C. Areni, and P. Mcdonald. 2009. Is the company the only meaningful brand for services? Journal of Brand Management 17, no. 3, (December 1): 197-206.
Kaj Storbacka, Lynette Ryals, Iain a. Davies, and Suvi Nenonen. 2009. The changing role of sales: viewing sales as a strategic, cross-functional process. European Journal of Marketing 43, no. 7/8, (July 1): 890-906.
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