Deep Roots and a Field of Opportunity
KWS SAAT AG, an independent, family-owned German company that focuses on plant breeding, is the fifth largest seed producer worldwide based on sales, with activities in about 70 countries. Their product range includes seed varieties for sugar beet, corn, cereals, rapeseed and potatoes and the company has been breeding crops for the moderate climatic zone for more than 150 years. But with B2B markets evolving and expectations of transparency and service rising, KWS realized the company needed help to expand into the uncharted territory of digital technologies.
KWS approached Vivaldi to rethink their digital strategy and improve their digital customer communications. Over the years, they had introduced digital tools and services sporadically, but without clear customer focus or strategic alignment, KWS realized that they were missing out on an emerging field of opportunity for stronger customer relationships. The company wanted to develop a digital customer communication strategy that would expand KWS’s customer orientation, enable the company to collect customer data and have a more direct relationship with customers, while achieving synergies from the use of various communication channels, both offline and online.
Planting a Budding Digital Strategy
Vivaldi started by collecting information on the current state of digital preparedness of the organization. First, we developed a scorecard model to assess KWS’s existing initiatives. Some of the criteria of assessment included benefits for KWS and customers, channel integration potential, major pros and cons, improvement potential (quick wins and big wins). Based on this, we prioritized the existing initiatives. Second, we conducted extensive benchmarking against competitors and researched best practices outside of the industry. Competitive benchmarking allowed us to identify new features, tools and services to be included in KWS’s digital customer platform. Best practices research allowed us to identify new digital initiatives of high potential for the organization. The Vivaldi team then developed a digital roadmap for KWS that included the revamp of existing digital initiatives, the creation of new platform features and the launch of new digital initiatives. We worked collaboratively to pull together key activities and timing for the implementation and rollout.
Reaping the Benefits
As a result of our work, KWS has implemented some of the quick wins that we recommended. Additionally, our digital strategy serves as a reference guide to help make decisions in the digital field, especially in regard to the development of the digital customer platform. Most importantly, KWS has been able to focus its efforts on those digital initiatives, which add the most value both to clients and the company, thus increasing efficiencies, leveraging synergies and decreasing costs.
Meet The Expert
Dr. Markus Zinnbauer