Good partnerships boost business for both parties: Algol Chemicals helps develop Evonik’s digital distributor platform
The German specialty chemicals company is currently looking into building a new distributor portal and further improving the customer experience. Many companies are doing the same; the difference is that Evonik wants to start by involving their customers in the development process. Algol Chemicals is privileged to be one of five distributors that has been given the opportunity to influence what the platform should contain.
“We’ve already had four workshops with our distributors – two in Europe and two in Asia – and one is to be held in the US at the end of October,” says Kimberly Turck, Channel & Distribution Manager for Coatings Additives at Evonik.
“Our aim is to give our management a recommendation for how to proceed by the end of November. What I can say already is that we will recommend implementing the project. We want to offer our distributors a lean experiment – one platform to access all the materials they need. Currently we offer several different portals for different purposes. This, of course, is not efficient or desirable for our partners,” Turck continues.
If Evonik management approves the initiative, the implementation could start at the beginning of 2020 and be completed by the end of summer 2020 or at the latest by the end of Q3.
“Our ambitious goal is to introduce the portal across the entire company for all of Evonik’s business lines. This might be challenging, as the business lines are separate financial entities, but if we consider our customers, one portal would be the preferred way to go forward,” Turck adds.
The new portal will provide access to order management, training materials, business reviews, sales data and certifications, all from one access point.
“The workshops have confirmed our beliefs while also bringing some new ideas and perspectives. What has been interesting to find out is that our distributors have different priorities than we do, and that priorities also differ based on the location and the level of development of the company,” Turck says.
“For Algol Chemicals, it has been a privilege to be invited to participate to Evonik’s project. It is a sign of trust and shows that we’re doing the right things if a major player like Evonik is interested in our opinion and sees us as an innovative forerunner,” comments Jonas Fogelberg, Coatings and Polymers Business Unit Director at Algol Chemicals.
“We are constantly developing our own digital services and working on improving our customer experience, so it is interesting to understand what our suppliers are doing and how our customers can be involved in this development work”, Fogelberg adds.