Steel distribution group Klöckner & Co, which in the first quarter benefited massively from strong demand and prices, attributes its good performance also to progress with digitalisation. Digital sales share in overall sales increased by ten percentage points year-on-year to over 45%, compared with 35% in the first quarter of 2020, Kallanish hears.
Kloeckner Assistant, an AI-driven software application for automated processing of quote requests and orders, has in just one year automatically processed around half a billion euros ($605 million) in sales. About €200m was in the first quarter of 2021 alone. Together with the Klöckner & Co online shops, which now have over 65,000 registered customers and over half a million annual log-ins, the tools have digitalised large sections of Klöckner’s sales processes.
Xom Materials, the independent online steel market platform initiated by Klöckner, made progress especially with its eProcurement solution, which it rolled out in the USA and Latin America during Q1. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the value of all products sold on the platform – came to around €150m in Q1, Klöckner states.
The Surtsey project launched by the company last year to accelerate its digital transformation generated restructuring effects to the value of around €20m in Q1. It is expected to contribute over €100m to earnings in the full year. “This allows us to benefit even more strongly from the positive market environment,” says outgoing ceo Gisbert Rühl.
Christian Koehl Germany