New rental business models in industrial markets: a case study of partnering with intermediaries for renting industrial robots in Japan
Paper in proceedings, 2019
In industrial markets, buying and leasing production equipment are common business models. This research reports on a new phenomenon, the business model of renting industrial robots. The paper investigates how a manufacturer of industrial robots invests in a new partnership with an intermediary in a new business model (renting) to reach new customers. A case study has been conducted, where representatives from the manufacturing firm and the intermediary has been interviewed. The study points to challenges related to interacting with the new partner while also trying out the new business model. Findings also relate to the discussion about the sharing economy. The firms in the study believe that renting is a step towards the sharing of robots between customers. However, in order for customers to be able to share industrial robots between them, there are still some obstacles to overcome.