Recognising digital trends quickly and implementing them with maximum benefit for customers is becoming increasingly important for business success. Festo, a global player in automation and technical education, has opened its new Digital Sales Hub in one of the trend hotspots, Barcelona. With its dynamic environment, the start-up metropolis offers best conditions for this.
Three quarters of B2B buyers in Europe already buy online and would like to use this channel much more. Purchasing decisions are based primarily on the quality of the online presence. With a new, younger generation of buyers, the so-called millenials under 35 years, this trend towards online buying in B2B will intensify.
Festo has identified the Digital Customer Journey as a central action field in its corporate strategy. By 2025, almost forty percent of turnover is to be generated and processed digitally.
“90 percent of all purchasing decisions begin also in B2B with a digital search in a search engine. With our Digital Customer Journey, we consistently focus on the needs of our customers. In doing so, we support our customers throughout their entire digital customer journey: from findability in search engines, to intuitive product selection, to the efficient ordering and sales process,” said Dr. Ansgar Kriwet, Member of the Management Board Sales, at the official inauguration of the Digital Sales Hub in Barcelona.
Already a quarter of turnover generated online
Today, Festo already generates a quarter of its turnover online. In addition to its own e-business platforms, it is also a question of integration into the ordering portals of customers and distributors. Suppliers like Festo must guarantee smooth electronic integration and high data quality here. Such solutions are also part of Festo’s global digitalisation strategy.
“We are oriented towards the leading B2C platforms and are constantly developing in digital techniques. The digital environment is extremely dynamic and strongly characterised by start-ups. In addition to San Francisco, which is still the leading tech location, London, Berlin and Barcelona have established themselves in Europe as innovative and dynamic metropolises for digital trends,” said Heiko Landsberg, Head of Global Digital Sales.
Start-up metropolis Barcelona
As Managing Director of Festo’s Spanish sales company based in Barcelona, Xavier Segura recognised the opportunities offered by the metropolis at an early stage:
“I was a fan of this idea right from the start. At Festo Spain, we have been very successfully exploiting the potential of the universities in Barcelona and the existing tech environment there for several years now. Barcelona is a highly attractive location for international talent as well as tech companies bringing many advantages for our project.”
Digital opportunities are changing rapidly. In addition to the headquarters in Germany, the hub is another base in the area of digital sales with a strong focus on analytics and innovation. This allows Festo to pick up on new trends very quickly with developers on site and test them in pilot projects together with the Spanish national company and its customers.
“We had the opportunity to locate the Digital Sales Hub in the same building as our Spanish subsidiary. This allows us to take advantage of the proximity to the operating business of an innovative national company and its customers. With the support of Festo Spain, we are also recruiting the right specialists locally,” explains Viktor Nordstrom, Head of the Digital Sales Hub Barcelona.
AI and Design Thinking
Today, 20 professionals are already working in the Digital Sales Hub in the areas of data analytics, programming, innovation and customer care. The interdisciplinary teams use creative spaces. State-of-the-art technologies such as AI-supported data analytics and agile working methods such as design thinking are used.
“We support our customers in saving time and becoming more productive in all processes. Our digital engineering tools play a very decisive role here. From product selection to configuration, evaluation of energy consumption to downloading drawings and technical data, we offer our customers an easy-to-use Festo ecosystem with lots of added value,” summarises Dr. Ansgar Kriwet.