Understanding customer needs better – with networked household appliances

Digitization has now reached the household appliance industry. Manufacturing high-quality products is still important in this industry, but to stand out more prominently as a premium manufacturer in the future, businesses must understand what their customers really want. In his presentation at the BI Congress in Munich on May 3, 2018, Karsten Maduch from BSH Hausgeräte will explain how big data and machine learning can help manufacturers to do this.

Founded as a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart) and Siemens AG (Munich), BSH Hausgeräte GmbH has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group since 2015. In fiscal 2017, it increased its sales to EUR 13.8 billion and grew almost three times faster than the market average. At the same time, BSH boosted its investment in research and development, in part to advance the company's digital transformation.

Karsten Maduch has been project manager for analytics at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH since 2016, where he has specialized in IoT and big data in consumer markets. To better understand the needs of consumers, he is currently working with b.telligent to set up a big data center of competence. The Home Connect cross-brand digital ecosystem, which as well as dealing with networked home appliances also provides digital services, uses data mining methods to offer businesses new ways to better understand and predict customer behavior. Consumers benefit from the added value of networked household appliances by being able to access services tailored to their individual needs. In return for providing the necessary personal data, BSH guarantees the highest standards of security and maximum protection of their customers' data.

A recommendation engine helps customers make the most of their home appliance

Home Connect supplies an app that enables customers to control their household appliances – be it a washing machine, oven, coffee machine or vacuum cleaner – easily and simply. As a result, they can access all the information about their appliances they want at any time. Not only can they switch their devices on and off, but they can also select programs, adjust timers, put the devices into energy-saving mode, and much more – no matter where they are.

The Home Connect app represents an important new touchpoint via which BSH can maintain direct contact with consumers. "We can use the app to send consumers individual recommendations on how to get the most out of their household appliances and to point out functions that they have rarely or never used before," says Maduch, on the benefits of direct dialog. The Home Connect app also offers content such as recipe ideas. The company is currently working with b.telligent on the development of a recommendation logic for recipes.

Analyzing customer service processes with machine learning

Since most household appliances are sold through bricks-and-mortar retailers, the manufacturer's customer service department is an important point of contact with the consumer. And BSH is able to learn a lot about its consumers from their relationship with customer services. Customer feedback and sophisticated analytics help the company offer a better service to its customers.

BSH has already used business analytics in a number of different areas in the past. Karsten Maduch is now building a head office team that will cooperate with the individual departments in the use of big data analytics and data mining in order to gain insights that will benefit all parts of the company. "We see ourselves as a facilitator between the departments, helping them to do even better work." b.telligent is contributing its experience from other customer projects to help BSH implement specific use cases. BSH wishes to use practical examples to train its employees so that they can launch and take on their own projects in the future.

Combining different data to gain new insights

"Big data and business analytics are never an end in themselves. Our big data team will be created out of the project itself. The departments already work with different data, but now they also have access to the technical capabilities of a data scientist. We are currently enhancing BSH's capacity to gain new insights from this data. We meet with the departments and show them how to harness combinations of data that will provide them with information they didn't have before," says Maduch.

Collaborating strategically and tactically with the operational areas of a company

In his presentation "Building a big data center of competence and improving the customer's understanding of networked household appliances" at the BI Congress 2018 in Munich, Karsten Maduch will discuss this subject in greater detail and explain what types of expertise should be bought-in from external providers and how best to support the various areas within the company. "Often the biggest challenge is how to work strategically and tactically with the operational areas within a company. At the BI Congress I hope to be able to exchange ideas with b.telligent customers and partners who are working on similar projects, to expand my network of big data specialists and consequently discover some interesting use cases.


b.telligent BI Congress 2018

Thursday, 3rd May 2018

Hilton Munich Park Hotel
Am Tucherpark 7
80538 München

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About BSH Hausgeräte GmbH

With sales of approximately EUR 13.8 billion in 2017 and a workforce of over 61,800, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is one of the world's leading companies in the household appliance industry.
BSH manufactures in around 40 plants and is represented by some 80 companies in approximately 50 countries. BSH is a member of the Bosch Group.



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