It pays to learn from clients

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FIEGE is defining new product development processes to spot market niches sooner and fulfil its customers’ needs more purposefully by drawing on the power of information.

Successful production development is a pivotal factor in scaling business models and advancing new markets and target groups. “That is always somewhat based on experience and intuition. However, we wish to become even more professional in this field”, Julius Wegmann, Head of Omnichannel Development at FIEGE stresses. He is in charge of this topic within the Omnichannel Retail business unit.

The declared goal is to learn from and with customers. “The impetus for new product ideas tends to come from the decentralised business unit, practically directly from within the market”, Wegmann explains. After all, account managers and sales staff know their customers and their respective needs best. Yet the journey from genuine idea to mature production ready for market launch is a long one. “To better use synergies here and design a more efficient and faster production development, we are currently working on a Fiege-wide framework”, Wegmann adds.

Easy access to portfolio

The team under Wegmann recently devised a standard solution for eCommerce fulfilment. “The market’s demand has been growing which means that Fiege, too, has been growing strongly. We sought a way to give easy and fast access to our existing services to new target groups”, Wegmann tells us.

FIEGE expects a singular product approach to do away with limiting factors like specific resources required for implementation and time exposure, both typical of customised solutions. “Not everybody needs bespoke clothes. For some, the standard size is the perfect fit. The same often applies to logistics for online stores – especially if companies are new to direct sales”, the expert explains.

Learning from each other

Standardised logistics paired with individual services sold separately is an approach also conceivable for other fields. The portfolio will therefore grow gradually. “We are currently working on marketing our digital services for eCommerce away from large-scale projects”, the product developer says.

This opens a relatively unknowncustomer segment for FIEGE. The goal is to learn with and from new customers and build valuable knowhow which the core business is also expected to benefit from in the long run. “We are enabling efficient growth and can switch to a customized solution any time as soon as this adds value for the customer in terms of efficiency or new requirements. The decisive advantage is that at that point, we will already be familiar with the client”, Wegmann points out.

Central strategy in the making

Strategic support comes from the head office. According to Lena Bohnenkamp, product development is to be even more strongly data-driven in the future: “With FIEGE NOW we have taken a first step towards a standardised logistics product and want to develop services in the future that are based not only on experience alone, but which can be predicted by tapping data. Fiege is on a journey to becoming a data-driven organization – and this is naturally to bear fruit in the field of product development.” Bohnenkamp’s primary focus is on Customer Intelligence (CI).

FIEGE understands this as a focus on customers within whose limits the behaviour and the needs of customers are examined more closely and systemically analysed. In the long run this is to improve decision-making by providers and build an even more intensive rapport with business partners. Currently, the Product Development division is still in the process of expanding. “This is yet another piece of the puzzle that will help us to launch the right product at the right time for just the right target group”, Bohnenkamp explains.