tk Schulte sets standards in digital transformation

by Hans Diederichs

B2B portal continuing its positive development

Since the start of its e-commerce activities, thyssenkrupp Schulte (tk Schulte) has been systematically continuing the success story along its omnichannel approach. Digital solutions are continuously being developed to meet individual customer needs. Access to the broad range of materials is provided via a wide variety of distribution channels. The best example is the B2B portal launched for existing customers.

B2B portal with positive development

At the click of a mouse the B2B portal allows orders to be placed with Germany's biggest materials distributor and service provider of thyssenkrupp Materials Services. Around a year after its launch, the platform can now be regarded as having achieved a positive interim result. In the past six months only, the number of registered customers has almost tripled. Sales growth via the B2B portal also showed a positive increase, reaching new monthly peaks. The materials experts at thyssenkrupp Schulte want to build on this success – with numerous customer dialogues already held and further planned on the possibilities and advantages of using the purchasing web shop. These have already been successful with around half of all customers and have resulted in registration with the B2B portal. "The intensive exchange allows us to individually identify the right channel with the maximum customer benefit. In this way we can support our customers specifically in their digital transformation and drive digital innovations together with them," says Michael Bäuerlein, Head of Digitalization and E-Commerce at thyssenkrupp Schulte.

The advantages of online shopping at a glance

Regardless of which sales channel is used – the advantages of the B2B portal are obvious: Registered customers can access the complete product range of the materials distributor and service provider around the clock and seven days a week. Detailed product information on availability, price and delivery time, up to and including material data sheets, can be requested at the click of a mouse. This allows fast and convenient access to a number of approximately 15,000 products. In addition, registered customers receive attractive special offers or discounts via the portal. Additional comfort functions, such as retrieving or managing various documents themselves – from delivery notes to certificates – will be possible in the future. In the long term, new customers will also be able to access the platform.

Digital transformation holistically and integrated

The B2B portal is one of many innovative solutions with which thyssenkrupp Materials Services is systematically continuing its digitalization offensive – holistically and integrated. Whether by app, phone, fax, e-mail or web shop – the aim is to meet customer needs with tailored offers and services across all channels. The biggest materials distributor and service provider in the western world is systematically pursuing its omnichannel strategy, as Martin Stillger, CEO of thyssenkrupp Materials Services explains: "We must be present exactly where our customers are searching for us. This requires not only rapid and dynamic adjustment to individual needs. We are also required to drive digital innovations with our customers holistically. And we are continuing to work at full strength on this.“ This is also demonstrated by the use of more and more technical innovations based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). In the automation of quotations and orders, for example, a self-learning system helps to increase the speed of processing while at the same time reducing the error rate. Step by step, these and other AI-based technologies make an important contribution to further increasing customer benefits in the future. thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH is the materials partner for steel, stainless steel and nonferrous metals. The company provides tailor-made services for more than 70,000 customers from industry, trade and construction. The basis for this is a wide range of flat products, sections and tubes for all requirements and tailored to the individual wishes of customers. Another decisive competitive advantage is customer proximity. With over 40 locations, thyssenkrupp Schulte is always close to its customers and can deliver quickly and reliably anywhere in Germany. The diverse product range, competent technical advice and comprehensive services round off the portfolio of Germany's largest materials dealer.

Source and photo: tk Schulte

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