Klöckner & Co Germany GmbH manufactures products and components made of steel and metal for customers all around the world. One of the leading steel traders in Europe, the company offers a wide range of products and logistic services. In fact, with hundreds of years of industry expertise and a distribution and service network of around 170 locations in 13 countries, Klöckner supplies around 120,000 customers.
A top priority for Klöckner is digitizing its business processes by improving internal workflows and increasing cooperation with suppliers and customers. Not only can businesses order their very own steel in the online shop, they can also check current contracts online, integrate with the Klöckner API for constant data exchange or visit the Klöckner Connect customer portal for any other customer service or supply chain needs.
With all of these services, Klöckner has built a strong customer base. In order to keep track of each and every customer and provide them with great service, the company turned to Aurea CRM. We had the chance to speak with Florian Müller, head of pricing & CRM at Klöckner & Co, about his professional and personal experiences with Aurea CRM. Florian is responsible for evolving the company’s use of the CRM system, including a Europe-wide rollout and serving as a “Scrum Master” with a small team that works on continuously developing sales support tools.
Aurea: How has Aurea helped Klöckner & Co disrupt the steel industry?
Florian: Klöckner is one of the big retailers when it comes to fabricated metal and steel. In this position, it is only natural that we want to lead the way into the future by digitizing the steel business. Aurea CRM helps us every day with this goal, because it helps us deliver better customer experiences and supports our day-to-day workload. Our salespeople can look into our customer database to view former and current contracts and deliveries, as well as contact details to help plan customer visits. We all know exactly what is going on: no matter where, no matter when.
As part of our “Klöckner & Co 2022” strategy, we set a quite ambitious target of generating 60% of our sales via digital channels by 2022. By using Aurea CRM and other digital tools that are necessary in today’s business environment, we’re confident we can achieve this goal.
Aurea: What is Klöckner’s history with Aurea CRM?
Florian: I joined Klöckner last August to manage Aurea CRM in-house, but our experience with Aurea CRM dates back to 2011. Back then, we compared the solution with a bunch of other competitors and chose Aurea CRM because it best suited our needs and our digital strategy.
Currently we are leveraging the CRM system in the UK, France and Belgium, and our sales department is so happy with it that we decided to roll it out to an additional 900 users across our offices in Germany and the Netherlands as well.
Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea CRM on a daily basis?
Florian: We use Aurea CRM for a variety of purposes. In total, 2,100 employees use Aurea for:
- Communications: All of our sales representatives use Aurea CRM to save and share their conversations. This helps teams stay up-to-date and keep tabs on what’s going on.
- Financial data: We have integrated all financial data from our SAP tool in Aurea CRM. If a customer has a question about a purchase or delivery, anyone on the team can look up the details. This is especially handy when they negotiate with clients or manage a special order. Before, we had to go back and forth between two software programs, but now all of our important information is available in one solution.
- Visit planning: Whenever one of our employees goes on a customer visit, they can use Aurea CRM to plan their route, ensure there are no overlaps with other colleagues and see who can visit which client(s) along the way. As a result of this helpful tool, our reps can streamline their business trips and make the most of their time while reducing Klöckner’s environmental footprint.
Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the solution?
Florian: Klöckner’s reps are always on the go. We really care about our customers and often spend the time to meet them in person rather than just having another call. Before we had Aurea CRM, in order to find customer details, our sales reps often had to log into several big, bulky systems that were made for desktop computers (which was especially inconvenient when travelling).
That’s why route planning is so important to us, and Aurea CRM’s mobile web version is where it really gets helpful. Our reps appreciate that they can simply look clients up in the database from any device, and find all the essential information they need to prepare for customer meetings. Furthermore, it is easy to use and very accessible. Overall, the best thing about Aurea CRM is that our staff wants to use it. I think that’s the best proof of success -- that the solution supports our people in their daily work.
Aurea: What are your plans for the future?
Florian: At Klöckner, our digital strategy is one of our top priorities. We’re working to achieve an open industry platform for the steel and metal industry in which information can circulate freely with the help of digital tools like Aurea CRM. We want to connect market participants in order to improve efficiency and speed the supply chain. As we align our business for the long term, we also see digitization as a key step forward in sustainability. Just think of all the paper and fuel we save through digital communication and smart planning!
Aurea is a great partner and we are excited to continue working with the company. As we roll out Aurea CRM to more of our global sales teams, it makes everyone’s work easier and unites us as a company across country borders.