Material Access – Thyssenkrupp Materials Services is advancing rapidly with its digital transformation. The Thyssenkrupp Group’s material experts are digitising their entire range, consolidating it to become one of the globe's biggest virtual warehouse.
With over 3.5 million m2 of storage space at 271 operating sites around the world, Thyssenkrupp Materials Services now offers its customers round-the-clock access to more than 150,000 products and services through its new omnichannel structure, enabled by a powerful, self-developed AI (Artificial Intelligence) solution.
Customers today want customised access to the entire range, from plastics, steel products and nonferrous metals to diverse materials and supply chain management services. Providing all required channels is key to the success of an omnichannel approach, Thyssenkrupp says. Here, customers can place orders via individual customer portals, EDI interfaces, online shops and, in future, also through external platforms.
“Due to our holistic approach in the digital transformation of our business model, we have consistently and comprehensively created the important prerequisites over the last few years to enable the launch of innovative solutions. By digitally connecting our global inventories of roughly 150,000 products we can offer our customers the widest possible selection of our various materials and services and optimum availability 24/7,” says Hans-Josef Hoss from the Board of Thyssenkrupp Materials Services.
Positive experience with first customers has already been noted at a practical trial. A new B2B portal as part of the omnichannel approach is already in use, the company adds and says that the omnichannel will go live in summer 2018. “After the official launch we will of course continue to make further optimisations and integrate customer feedback,” Axel Berger, Head of Digital Transformation, Thyssenkrupp Materials Services notes. He also says that along the new digital channels, the human factor – personal customer support from the company's sales staff – will always be a key success factor for Thysssenkrupp's business.
“To profit sustainably from the advantages of digitalisation, it’s important to take a holistic approach,” Hoss says. He noted that apart from the company's new cloud-based purchasing platform and its sales, which is now served via its omnichannel strategy and the virtual warehouse, intelligent digitalisation of operating processes are of key importance. Thyssenkrupp's IoT (Internet of Things) platform toii is an in-house development that allows machines of different types and ages to communicate with each other globally. Together with the omnichannel, this would lead to significantly faster, simpler coordination and planning processes.