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How does a 100+ year old standards organization rethink their business model for the digital age? 


How does a 100+ year old standards organization rethink their business model for the digital age?

ASTM International is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. A consortium of 30,000+ scientists, researchers & academics volunteer their time to maintain over 12,000 standards across a number of industries. From cement and concrete to oil and plastics, ASTM manages standards across the products & materials that every single person in the world relies on a daily basis. 

Years Old

The Challenge

In 2017, ASTM International was a heavyweight in the standards industry. Respected by all other standards organizations and relied upon by millions of corporations in dozens of industries to define safety in manufacturing. But the model was being commoditized.

ASTM’s business model was strong and proven – the organization sold standards, training, certifications & events to engineers and companies across the world. However, the leadership saw a shifting landscape, one where their importance would dwindle through Industry 4.0. The immediate access to networking opportunities, more digital resources and tools would continue to commoditize their core product offering - slowly making their value obsolete.     Instead of waiting for the slow erosion, they took massive action and embarked on a journey to chart a future where they stopped being a product company and decided to become the SaaS solution for all standards industries, forever chaining their business model. 

The Solution

With the commodification of the standards industry and the erosion of their business model, ASTM needed to become the Standard for the Standards Industry.

In 2017, at the start of the relationship with Icreon, we began to uncover and co-discover many improvement opportunities both strategically and tactically. Critical to capitalizing on these opportunities was the introduction of new leadership at the company. A new CEO and CIO brought about an uncompromising vision for the organization – one in which the brand, which has typically been in the business of selling standards is now moving into selling managed services to hundreds of other standards companies. To accomplish this, technology was the way forward.

The Approach

Enterprise Architecture  Strategy 

We enabled the organization to think about technology more holistically and as a  critical investment into business opportunity. Tying the needs of the business today, while building a 10-year roadmap for long-term business strategy without tech debt.

Agile Coaching & Adoption 

We developed a culture within multiple groups in IT that embraces the principles of Agile, whereby initiatives, no matter how large and all encompassing, can show tangible, incremental and consistent progress.

Customer Experience 

We redesigned the UX for the over 30,000 ASTM customers. Heavily focused on the vision of personalization and adaptive design so that every individual customer experience is unique to the individual and their interactions with ASTM.

Product + Service Design 

We took a customer first approach to product and service design. Ensuring that each decision communicated the ASTM value while providing the ability to repurpose for the new SaaS Business Model.

The Data Pipeline Architecture