Manufacturing companies often use some kind of process water in their production. The water treatment systems used in the production industry contain pumps and Grundfos is producing some of the best pump solutions in the world for that. The water treatment market is big and rapidly growing especially in China the world’s largest manufacturing country. In the fall of 2013 the Water Treatment business segment in Grundfos was challenged since they wanted to take market shares in China - a relatively new market for this business segment. The business segment lacked fundamental knowledge about the Chinese market, but wanted to position itself stronger on the market. To get ideas of how to approach the Chinese Water Treatment market Grundfos contacted MADE.


An in-depth ethnographic study was conducted in Shanghai and Shenzhen where 8 existing and 8 new, potential OEM customers were visited. More than 20 people were interviewed and shadowed throughout a working day. This method gave deep knowledge about the customers needs when building water treatment systems. An interesting insight from the study was how service seems to be much more important that product performance to the customers.


Based on the study a number of new concepts were developed to the Water Treatment team in Grundfos. One of these concepts was a reconstruction of the organisational set up in China.