4. December 2017 ǀ Munich Ismaning
Witte Digital: Use cloud software to boost sales
In the future, Witte Digital will be expanding its core business at automotive supplier Witte Automotive with apps and digital products. Cloud software will be used to support sales.
Opening the car digitally: That is the idea with which auto parts supplier Witte Automotive wants to enrich its classic business portfolio in the future. The digital unit of the specialist for vehicle locking and interlocking technology, Witte Digital, has therefore relocated the car key, which previously unlocked the car by finger pressure, into a small black box. This box is located in the car and contains the key that can be pressed from the outside via a mechanism remotely via smartphone app, Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC). Andreas Bunderla sees a great need on the market for this solution. According to calculations by the Witte Automotive CIO, 23 million cars could be equipped with it in Germany alone. However, Witte Digital is particularly focusing on the B-to-B market. Bunderla sees potential areas of application “wherever keys are physically being handed over,” in other words, at car rental companies, maintenance service providers, taxis or repair services of household appliances whose vans could be supplied at night with the necessary spare parts.
Enter the digital services business with Witte Digital
The classic business with OEMs, including VW, Daimler, and BMW, still dominate the sales statistics for medium-sized companies located in Velbert, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. About 65,000 come off the line every day just for VW. However, Bunderla, who is also responsible for the strategic business area Industry 4.0 and digitization, hopes that the new digital business will reach its first millions in sales in the coming years. The differences between the classic and the new digital business could hardly be greater. While the OEM business gets ready years before market entry of, for example, the outside handle for the Golf 9, announced to arrive in 2019, the digital trade is a typical “aftermarket business.” The service, and not the product, is at the focus of attention. At Witte Digital, this is a digital service with which a car rental company such as Sixt or Europcar will be able to hand over their cars to customers more easily than before, for example. Anyone needing to rent a vehicle will only have to log in to a portal, enter their preferences and desired travel times. If the customer has selected a car online, the app will guide the driver via Google Maps to the vehicle, which the customer can then unlock there using an app. The car rental company no longer needs to be contacted directly. The customer gets to his vehicle faster and the car rental company has less work.
It makes no sense to offer a very innovative digital product, but to lag behind the latest developments in sales.
Sales from the cloud: Equip sales with tablets and smartphones
At first, however, Witte Digital is concerned with winning customers. “Ten pilots are already running,” said Bunderla. The first contract conclusions are apparently imminent. But up until the start of the year there was still no suitable system to support sales. “The former cloud system was less flexible when it came to integration and had limited online capability,” recalled Bunderla, who wanted to provide his colleagues in sales with an innovative system. Can be operated via smartphone or tablet, completely digital: these were his core requirements. “It makes no sense to offer a very innovative digital product, but to lag behind the latest developments in sales,” commented Bunderla. The conditions for an innovative solution were not bad. The business area was new and a completely new system for the sales processes could be set up – in other words, the greenfield approach.
Web access: Transparency about the development in sales
“This has the huge advantage of allowing you to limit yourself to one standard,” explained Bunderla, who ultimately chose SAP Hybris Sales over Microsoft Sales, not least because he was more familiar with the connection to the company’s SAP back-end. In addition, the cloud software covered the two most important processes for Witte Digital: opportunity management and the creation of offers. “The sales representatives take the tablets and estimate, based on various questions, how likely it is that a business transaction with a potential new customer will come about,” said Bunderla. In addition, the cloud system also gives management transparency about business development via web access at any time. “This is very important especially in a new branch of business,” said Bunderla.
SAP Hybris Sales Cloud: Implementation in 10 weeks
In addition to the long-term projectable business, in the traditional business area Witte Digital will henceforth deliver services that are created, changed, expanded, and disappear again within a short period of time. That’s why only software which supports this agility is worth considering for CIO Bunderla. This also means that its implementation should not pose any delays. The Witte Digital team met for the workshop with the IT service provider maihiro for the first time at the end of February. Six weeks later the catalog of requirements was issued, and soon afterwards the cloud solution SAP Hybris Sales was decided on. The implementation then took just under 10 weeks, to no small extent because of maihiro’s approach, called ‘CRM to Go’. “We use predefined packages, which we compare against the existing functionalities based on the requirements,” explained Kerstin Schoch, who managed the project for maihiro. The aim is also to train the users to be able to make future configuration adjustments to the system themselves. “It is important to us to gain flexibility and to be able to detach ourselves, at Witte Digital, from the set organizational processes,” said Bunderla. “That’s why we need this speed.”
Since mid-July 2017, “up to six employees” of the Witte Digital’s digital unit, currently consisting of 12 employees, have been using the solution, the functional scope of which is to be gradually expanded. Once further potential customers are gained and initial contracts are concluded, completely different functionalities will be needed as a priority. Then it will be important to look a bit into the future and be able to estimate, based on the probabilities of the “opportunities,” how likely contracts will be concluded and how this affects the development of the Witte Digital business. It’s always a good start when a potential customer orders the little black box for testing with no obligation. The next step is then not far away – and the opportunity becomes a “real” customer.
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Autor: Andreas Schmitz ǀ 4. December 2017 ǀ München Ismaning
About the Author
Journalist Corporate Media in Munich, many years of experience with publishing houses and agencies. Focus on storytelling and content marketing in the field of corporate media. Special affinity with technical and scientific subjects. Member of the founding editorial department of the management magazine CIO, former chief editor of the corporate portal SAP.info, development of various electronic magazines and online media