The construction sector is still unjustifiably associated with the image of being somewhat outmoded. The sector is often seen as being not very innovative and technologically backward. Potentials such as digital technologies are apparently not yet sufficiently made use of. Example of this include hand-written orders for embedded parts, sent by fax to the supplier.
Philipp, with its new PHiadukt Internet service portal, is building a digital bridge between supplier and end customer. According to the supplier, the currently sole solution for digital order processing – including online order management in the delivery zone of suppliers for precasting plants – is providing the starting signal for digitization of standard business and work processes.
Everyone has been talking about the keyword digitization for a long time now, and this development is increasingly gaining momentum – and not only due to the Corona effect. But it is also a fact that other sectors, such as vehicle design, mechanical engineering and the transport sector have advanced a great deal further than has the construction industry. “Industrie 4.0” is in this connection the most frequently used term and in that way has made the Internet the focal point as the basic building block of digitization. Even though various studies provide impressive evidence that there still is much potential in the construction industry and that digitization per se is without alternative, digital workflows have already been developed. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has in this context already gained great relevance and is well underway to becoming a standard tool for all participants in construction.
By now, in many precast plants, both automation proceeds automatically and autonomously, as well digitization go hand-in-hand. However, this is for the most part taking place only internally, including integrating customers and business partners in the business processes. The Philipp Group, as established supplier of the construction sector for many years, focuses its activities here in the first step on the areas of sales and order processing. Digital tools can comprehensively help here to optimize processes and automate tasks.
Digital bridge between supplier and end customer
Philipp, as supplier, basically plays a highly defined role for its customers. The ordered products should, for one, be attractively priced and of high quality. In addition, delivery reliability and absolute orientation to the customer are prerequisites. If these prerequisites are not fulfilled, delivery by another supplier threatens. Important trends (here, digitization) are dealt with by proactive innovation, and in this way noticeable added value is generated. This results because digital innovation is not an option, but a necessity. This is exactly where the new PHiadukt comes into play.
Processing orders online and being able to request the processing status in detail at any time, has in the private sphere long been part of daily life. Why not in the B2B area as well? An early warning system of possible supply bottlenecks for specific products can help prevent disruptions in production and delays. Ordering suggestions by an artificial intelligence system (AI) that is capable of learning from ordering behavior, a simple user interface as well as autonomous user administration – the PHiadukt service portal offers all these and much more. And especially trained Philipp Stewards are ready to promptly answer any other questions about the system that may arise.
In addition, the wide open system offers great potential for incorporating customer wishes, which are explicitly encouraged: generating in this way a maximum of added value for all participants. Following the successful launch with pilot customers, there is nothing to stop further roll out of the service portal to all interested customers. PHiadukt, directly connected with the internal Philipp Merchandise Management System, is a service provided without charge for day-to-day business, with the objective of eliminating antiquated customs and of following a new digital route.
But the digital change takes place not only toward the outside. Inside the Philipp organization, too, numerous projects and digital technologies for changing and enhancing processes are currently being developed. Tools for project and data management as well as a modern Social Intranet are merely the first steps towards transforming the company to make it ready for meeting future requirements and challenges.
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