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Digitalizing Customer Experience
"Digitalization for us is not the kind of “Digitalization Heroism” that is talked about in high-level conferences and seen on slideshows. Instead, we concentrate on daily problems that necessarily aren’t anything fancy - such as newest AI engines”, says Niko Korte, steel company SSAB’s Digital Business Development Director.
A couple of years ago SSAB had awaken to the fact that the company’s digitalization was behind its competitors. The world had changed over the years and customers demanded more. SSAB started to look for a strategic partner that would possess both the skills of delivering quality projects and also views on how to organize enormous amounts of data.
The partner SSAB chose for itself was Siili, and as a result of a couple years of cooperation, SSAB has reached its competitors.
“Digitalization is about our business strategy, and looking for tools for it within the business model. For customers this appears as saving time and getting one message and messenger from our side”, says Korte.
From the very start, we were looking for a more strategic partner who has skills in delivering a project, but also has shared views on future. It’s not about building applications, anyone can do those, but it’s about who can help the customer on their digital path of change. This was the criteria to choose Siili to work with us.
Digital Business Development Director
SSAB has been building the digital customer experience in many ways.
“We had to better communicate the customer e.g. if products are late, when do they arrive, what supply do we have and deliver documents in a digital format”, Korte lists.
After setting up the basic functions and services, SSAB shifted to a bigger gear and started to develop services that have never been seen on the field before.
“For example, we developed a service with Kemp where we send documentation directly to welding machines and the cloud service of a welding machine provider. This way we automate the customer’s work in their own workshop. The service delivers steel faster and with less errors through the workshop of the customer, which again saves the customer’s time and improves quality and work safety with data”, Korte tells.
Another example of a functioning digital service is the collaboration of SSAB and their client HT Laser, where the accounting and sign-offs of consignment stocks were fully automatized.
“Before, the products and their stock owned by SSAB but stored in customer’s premises where maintained manually with paper lists and Excel reports. Now the products are being scanned and invoices are triggered automatically when the customer takes a product to their use”, Korte explains.
SSAB’s hard work with digitalization have brought in direct customer feedback and transparency towards customers, but also confidence in internal operations.
“Now we can be sure that the information we share is correct. We have had to internally develop shared sources of information which has increased transparency inside the house. We have also been able to remove a lot of unnecessary Excel reports and daily lists, and instead developed internal reports while developing them to the customers”, Korte tells.
The direction of the future is also clear.
“We hope that while the services are being developed, we can be a lot more proactive towards customers. If for example there’s a delay in delivering a product, we can react before it becomes a problem for the customer”, Korte says.
Additionally, the digital strategy of SSAB aims at improving the customer experience and the internal operations.
“In great strategies there are always a few boxes, we have four of them. The first one is the functions of customer service aka how do we improve our communications and enable digital business."
"The second one is production aka how do we utilize our enormous amounts of data to improve security and quality when deploying new tools."
"The third one is digital work space aka how do we minimize unnecessary bureaucracy and shift the use of time to collaboration, e.g. by harmonizing service processes or deploying robotic process automation. And then there’s the fourth one aka new business, aka could we find completely new business innovations based on e.g. the data regarding steel”, Korte contemplates the future with a smile on his face.
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What We Did And How
“When two companies work together, of course there will be all kinds of things coming on your way, but we’ve had a good communication. We have been able to solve all problems and the projects have stayed approximately on schedule and budget”, Korte touts.
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Business Unit Director
VP, Strategic Domains
Business Unit Director, Public Sector
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