Rutronik Analytics is the new module of the Rutronik service portfolio. It's based on BIAaaS, an acronym that stands for "Business Intelligence & Analytics as a Service". Business intelligence describes a framework that can be used by businesses to acquire data, information and ultimately, knowledge. Rutronik uses a range of software technologies for this purpose and a multi-dimensional database in which data from various external sources can be aggregated and verified and supplemented with know-how from the product, application and market specialists. Using analytics methods based on machine learning, scoring methods and data mining processes, information can be extracted from the database that can make all the difference for the company in question. The result is that Rutronik Analytics users gain a transparent overview of their own market and that of their target customers. This allows them to make rational management decisions that actually help the company to progress. They can grow their customer base by strategically finding their target customers - including in places where they wouldn't even have expected to. Rutronik Analytics customers can also get to know their customers better, understand how they "tick", address them in their language, and know what each one needs right now, in the medium term, and in the long term. "As a service" refers to the fact that the software, including the hardware infrastructure, is operated by Rutronik, in accordance of course with all data protection standards as per the GDPR. The customer does not need to install any additional software - they can simply use the service precisely when and as much as they need it. With the Rutronik Analytics service, Rutronik is offering its customers not only a lead generation service but also insights into the structures and wishes of their newfound target customers. However, the service is not limited to finding new customers - it can also be used to selectively approach existing customers and make more efficient use of the portfolio.
Defining the objective
To ensure that the analysis actually satisfies the expectation of the Rutronik Analytics service customer, the first step is to jointly define the objective. The motivation behind the market analysis and the ultimate objective (e.g. finding new customers, identifying cross-selling potential) are discussed here. There are also other questions to be discussed: Which product, product group or service will be placed on the market? What is the precise function or purpose of the product when used by the customer? What benefits does it provide them with? And in which business/application field is it used exactly?This is determined at four levels. The first, top level is the focus market or focus industry, followed by an application segment, then an application, and finally the product or service of the target customer.This information allows the algorithms to be trained in such a way that they also provide the desired results. Here's an example - optical object recognition in relation to assistance systems for ADAS autonomous driving systems is subject to entirely different requirements and specifications than optical pattern detection in equipment such as assembly machines, even though the physical measurement principles might be similar or almost identical. It isn't a good idea to mix up these two applications during machine training, even though they're based on the same physical principles. This would essentially cause the system to make wrong assumptions when it is being trained.
Focus, not scatter - modern cherry picking
When it's about acquiring new customers, you need to narrow down your target customer group, because the point of the output of Rutronik Analytics is not to address as many businesses as possible, but to specifically find out which businesses offer the best chances of success and the greatest potential for Rutronik Analytics customers. To do this, successful existing customers or known prospects are pre-selected as reference customers, and selected properties are described, such as the business model, the position in the value chain, and the applications that have been developed or produced with the technological aspects. These form the basis for searching for a statistical twin.It also draws upon other exclusive data sources that have been generated on the basis of Rutronik's solid market knowledge. This includes knowledge from Rutronik's product managers and field application engineers from every division and country about components, technologies, applications and markets, as well as market data and other selected data sources.The websites of reference customers (referred to as "customer DNA") are also analyzed and a "tag cloud" is extracted from them. It offers multiple benefits - the Rutronik Analytics customer can in turn improve their communication with existing and new customers in their language, as the tag cloud represents the vocabulary that the target customer uses. The identified terms can also be used to directly derive demand structures to enable businesses to offer customized system solutions. For example, if "IP55" appears in the tag cloud, this indicates that one of the customer's needs would be for a connector protected against spray water in their systems.The system uses data mining methods and scoring models to compare the generated profile against millions of websites and evaluate the similarity. The higher this is, the more likely this company is to be a compelling prospect. Thanks to this analysis, the Rutronik Analytics customer already knows plenty about their target customer and can address the right point of contact in their professional language style and offer them exactly the solutions that they need.
Motivation to use Rutronik Analytics and Challenges
Three questions to Andreas Mangler, Director Strategic Marketing at Rutronik
Mr. Mangler, why is Rutronik taking such a big step into an entirely new segment with Rutronik Analytics?
The main purpose behind Rutronik Analytics BIAaaS is to facilitate Rutronik's own progress. Our main objective is to strengthen our core expertise - firstly, by means of our product portfolio and secondly, with a broader customer base and better penetration among customers and projects. Because 70% of our products require explanations, we need to be able to make optimum use of our limited resources, that is, our FAEs, product managers and BDMs. Rutronik Analytics and BIAaaS provide us with support in all of these aspects. We now want to open up these opportunities to our customers and help them to also grow.
Setting up such an entirely new, complex service must have entailed some challenges. What were they?
One of the biggest challenges was to structure the internal knowledge from the online business and IT division and the specialist knowledge of our product managers, BDMs and FAEs, and to make it usable. We also found that without extensive training of the software, pretty much nothing happened. Regarding the system itself, the challenges with VUCA are fairly well documented, namely volatility as a result of constantly changing data; uncertainty, as the data wasn't always available in a clear structure and was often subject to different interpretations; complexity as a result of complex market scenarios and different dependencies between the data sources; and finally ambiguity of the data and results.
How do you overcome these challenges?
By outlining and structuring the subject matter more clearly with each step. Defining various tools and reports was also very helpful. But of course, without the fantastic team of data mining specialists, IT colleagues and our market and product specialists, none of this would have been possible. This team has created a unique tool in Rutronik Analytics that uses modern technology to create a new dimension in sales efficiency in the electronics market.
To summarize, these new IT tools enable us to create market transparency that facilitates rational management decision-making. And this will be an important contribution in finding new target customers using web scoring and serving existing customers with our services in the best way possible.
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