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Driving digitalization forward: A journey that Beiersdorfers take together

At Beiersdorf, digitalization means one thing above all: teamwork. Digital transformation only succeeds as a globally integrated approach across all brands, levels, and functions. With our leading global skin care brands, we change the lives of more than half a billion people every day. Driven by the goal of providing tomorrow’s skin care today for everyone, we are accelerating our digital transformation journey by, among other things, digitalizing and automating our central business processes. It is therefore the responsibility of all Beiersdorf employees to jointly initiate and drive this digitalization and automation of processes.

The development of our new tool packIT is an example of how team engagement drives digitalization in a company like Beiersdorf. It is a tool that today makes everyday work easier for many of Beiersdorf teams: Whereas the standard display stands used at a wide variety of sales outlets to present products during promotions in drugstores, for example, were previously assembled by hand and on site, this can now be achieved in a very short time with just a few clicks. The cloud-based and automated tool significantly pays into Beiersdorf’s corporate strategy C.A.R.E.+ as well as the strategic priority of accelerating the company-wide digital transformation. 

One goal of our digital transformation is to automate 20 percent of Beiersdorf’s main business processes by 2025 – and that’s exactly what we’re driving through packIT. The configuration of standard display stands is elementary, because these are the most expensive advertising measures
at the point of sale for the mass market. packIT now takes away
the complexity of this process.
Marc Lemburg, Head of Value Added Services and Product Owner of packIT
An example of the standard display stands, such as those found in drugstores.

packIT – time and effort saved in day-to-day operations

How it works: The first step is to select the desired products and the preferred display. Then packIT automatically creates a placement plan including various key figures, such as costs, number of products or weight, and various downloads, such as product master data or sales brochures. packIT was introduced on April 1st of this year and has since saved Beiersdorf employees in Shopper & Customer Marketing, Value Added Services, and Packaging Development time and resources. In addition, packIT can greatly reduce the so-called time-to-market, i.e. the time that elapses until an idea is developed to market maturity and placed on the market.

“Before packIT, we had to physically meet with our colleagues from Value Added Services to arrange the products in the standard displays. But that wasn’t the end of the job, because afterwards, calculations had to be made using various tools as well as manually, and corresponding documents had to be created by hand – the whole thing at least 100 times a year,” says Kira Schachne, Junior Shopper & Customer Marketing Manager and member of the project team. “packIT is an enormous relief for several Beiersdorf teams! And especially in times of COVID-19, we benefit from having developed a way to configure displays virtually but still together!”

The project team of packIT: Marc Lemburg, Stephan Abend, Kira Schachne, Frederik Schnoege, Rene Toutounji, Anja Nienaber (f. l. t. r.)

Beiersdorf’s digital transformation journey: Only possible with cross-functional collaboration

Our digital transformation journey reflects a holistic approach: in six strategic action areas, Beiersdorf is focusing on transforming both the Consumer Journey and the Company Journey. packIT is another small step on this journey and a result of cross-functional teamwork between employees from Beiersdorf and Beiersdorf Shared Services (BSS), Beiersdorf’s IT and accounting  affiliate.

BSS is currently expanding its Data & Analytics department in order to be able to offer data-driven software solutions for all areas of Beiersdorf AG with internal experts in data and artificial intelligence. The development process for such solutions is characterized by precisely this co-creation approach: For packIT, a virtual product team was put together from colleagues from the supply chain and BSS. This product team then developed packIT over a period of five months in several iterations according to Scrum.

“A key success factor for our team’s implementation of packIT was the trust of our supply chain colleagues in this product development method. By setting up product teams of domain and IT experts, we as Beiersdorf have the opportunity to create digital solutions that give us a competitive avantage in the market,” explains Stephan Abend, Head of Data Science Hub at Beiersdorf.

The team is currently examining which other locations are suitable in addition to the headquarters in Hamburg. Moreover, packIT is to be further developed. To this end, feedback loops are being conducted in the affected user groups and further process integrations are being planned.

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About the editor: Laura Bieler

After studying digital communications, writing her master’s thesis together with Beiersdorf, and gaining experience in journalism, marketing and corporate communications, Laura joined Beiersdorf’s Corporate Digital Communications team in March 2021, where she is responsible for a wide range of communications projects related to digitalization. As befits a digital communications strategist, however, areas such as social media and digital employee communications are not neglected.