P Wanted: Flow-How KONE turned to its customers to create the next wave of People Flow solutions for smart buildings Urbanization and digitalization are two trends which drive the real estate industry. The need to create improved buildings and better- functioning cities means exploring new technologies and services. With around 200 000 people moving into cities across the globe every day – what kind of business opportunities does this present? “D evelopers and building owners are under tremendous pressure to deliver living and working environments that meet increasing expec- tations of residents and tenants alike,” says Teppo Voutilainen, Head of New Services and Solutions at KONE. According to Voutilainen, failure to keep up with the rapid pace of change has significant implications for industry stake- holders, in terms of competitiveness and bot- tom line. In his opinion, a winning approach means starting from a service design per- spective, putting people first and creating a deeper understanding of their needs. With this in mind, KONE Residential Flow was created and launched in 2017. “From the beginning, we defined and prioritized solution concepts and we con- ducted several workshops in different coun- tries, met with potential partners, and studied 42 Nordicum our customers’ decision-making processes,” Voutilainen explains. Listen & Learn At every step, a critical factor was asking the right questions and listening to what cus- tomers and end users were telling KONE experts. “We knew right from the start that simply throwing everything we had at the project – in terms of engineering expertise and technological innovation – was not the right approach. Instead, our approach was based on listening, understanding, and inter- preting.” When developing KONE Residen- tial Flow, more than 200 developers, facil- ity managers, and building residents around the world were interviewed by the KONE team, in order to understand their challenges and needs related to people flow in residen- tial environments. “For example, we learned that many people face challenges with simple tasks like opening the front door when carrying groceries or receiving deliveries; we also learned that many people had missed out on deliveries completely because they were not at home to receive them.” Capitalizing on all these little discov- eries means that KONE Residential Flow can, indeed, take the stress out of every- day situations, making home life easier and more convenient. “The solution is availa- ble for both new and existing buildings,” adds Voutilainen. Perfecting People Flow KONE has a strong track record in providing the best possible ‘people flow’ experience. “Good people flow happens when peo- ple can move smoothly, safely, comfortably, and without waiting,” Voutilainen sums up. The people flow experience of a build- ing begins at the point of arrival. From there, the journey continues through the lobby and then to the final destination through multiple doors, spaces, halls and corridors. “For building users, there is a strong connection between the quality of people flow and the overall quality of the build- ing,” remarks Voutilainen.