By founding “DigiB”, our Brenntag subsidiary based in Amsterdam, we have combined and accelerated our digital activities and launched the Brenntag Group on its digital journey.
Tim Lewandowski, a founding member of this Brenntag entity, talks about the very beginnings and the recent progress made with the team in Amsterdam.
“I had the luck to be with DigiB from the very beginning – from the first steps in Berlin through to the present day in Amsterdam with a team now numbering around 50 colleagues. At first, our challenge was to develop a structure that supports a close connection to our Brenntag ‘mothership’ while retaining the ability to act as a start-up to create digital traction.”
DigiB is just the start of Brenntag’s digital journey. In chemical distribution, digital services will be an additional channel to market for market participants. Therefore, the company has already enlarged its digital team by setting up satellite offices in the Brenntag regions Asia Pacific and North America, ensuring continuous transfer of knowledge and expertise as well as global interaction. DigiB strives to think and act out of the box and to tread new paths.
“DigiB went through various phases and we now focus on the motto LAUNCH & LEARN! We as a team professionalize the development of our digital tools which aim to support our teams across our business and strengthen existing and attract new business relationships. Just like a start-up, we focus on quick improvement and continuous steps forward.”
DigiB has been able to deploy a number of digital tools which improve business development and communication. On the one hand, we work on internal solutions which streamline processes and make our business quicker by reducing complexity. The team not only continuously develops and implements digital marketing projects with the goal of lead generation; it has also developed different technical tools to improve stock level management and optimize purchasing. One of these tools is our Internal Market Place, which will be launched across the Asia Pacific region in 2019. Externally, Brenntag Connect®, our customer portal, is very important.
Tim and his DigiB team members stay in close contact with Brenntag
colleagues at Group headquarters in Essen and all over the world.
Among other things, Brenntag Connect® provides order history, e-commerce functionality, quick and easy access to supporting documents such as safety data sheets and product specifications and opportunities for digital marketing. Step by step, it will enhance the service level we provide to our customers. After launching the tool within our life science business in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the platform will also go live in our regions North America and Asia Pacific as well as in other European countries in the course of the year.
Our vision is to create a “digital footprint” by providing new digital solutions built on existing and new expertise which are required both internally and by external business partners.
» We have to ensure that the importance of digitalization and the interest shown by Brenntag employees in recent years have a place to meet. «
Tim is proud to have been part of Brenntag’s digital family from the very beginning: “It is exciting to harvest the fruits of our efforts and to see how important thorough preparation and set-up are in order to be successful with digital solutions. From our very first steps in Berlin, I am now part of the deployment team for Brenntag Connect® and see our hard work starting to yield results!”
Tim not only focuses on optimal deployment and rollout of the different tools; he also stays in close contact with Brenntag colleagues at headquarters in Essen. “We have to ensure that the importance of digitalization and the interest shown by Brenntag employees in recent years have a place to meet. My colleagues and I will ensure that we continue to engage and cooperate with all Brenntag business partners, train colleagues, support our teams in the different countries during the new digital tools’ deployment phase and gather fresh ideas for digital solutions,” says Tim.
As part of this programme, the DigiB employees deliver regular training sessions, workshops, feedback loops and support during the deployment phase. They also aim to spot ideas for future digital solutions, which will be shared with our digital teams in Amsterdam, North America or Singapore.
The overall goal of Brenntag’s digital efforts is to simplify processes and make them faster while maintaining quality and safety at all times – for Brenntag and its partners!