Trends and technologies of digitalization cause a fundamental change in production. This also has an impact on sales. Which one? Michael Otto, Chief Regional Officer Germany of KUKA, explains this in an interview.
What are the current challenges facing sales at KUKA?
We are in the great position of being able to profit from the trends of automation and digitization. Since many customers do not yet have so much experience in these areas, we are increasingly supporting them as consultants. One example is human-robot collaboration, or HRC for short, in which humans and robots work hand in hand. This is new territory for many companies, but we are registering great curiosity.
The sales department acts as a consultant?
Consulting is actually an increasing task in sales. According to the motto Consultative Selling, we look where and how we can provide targeted advice. This can go as far as automation audits. End customers, for example, ask us to walk through their production facilities to see where MRK makes sense. This is how medium-sized companies as well as large companies approach us.
What role does digitization play in sales?
According to studies, only 20 percent of companies in Germany have so far begun to digitize their processes. We, too, are currently in this process. We have developed our own platform that customers can use to order spare parts. On the digital marketplace, anyone can choose the robot with the right payload and range. But here, too, we are active in a consulting function. The interface question is becoming more and more important: How do I integrate robots into my production? This is an issue that is decisive in sales discussions with customers and system partners. It is essential how I can integrate the product and the entire software and process topic into the customer’s system configuration.