BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. In line with this corporate purpose, approximately 122,000 employees contribute to the success of customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Its highly skilled customer service teams are the customers’ key contacts for order progression, building lasting customer relationships for the BASF group.

As a thought leader for digital transformation in the chemical industry, BASF is in the process of transforming its business models and processes to become an Intelligent Enterprise. The company focuses on digital technologies and enhanced analytics capabilities to improve connectivity between BASF, its customers and suppliers, creating value along the entire customer engagement lifecycle. As a trusted innovation partner, SAP helps to build BASF’s digital future and plays a major role in the related Next Generation Business Architecture initiative.

Ensuring timely delivery and customer satisfaction in a highly distributed environment

Excellent customer service is a key success factor for every company. However, widely distributed production sites, operations and procurement processes in large organizations can turn customer service operations into a complex endeavor.

A prototype designed by end users for end users

The prototype helped visualize the proposed solution right from the start and fine-tune it to reflect business requirements. It also helped to gain a better understanding of all different process variants in use and to streamline the processes accordingly.

 
We used the combined approach of design thinking and agile development to ensure success. After each development cycle, we asked for feedback and made sure that all stakeholders were involved in the decisions that affected them directly. – Matthias Wagenbreth, IT project manager at BASF’s Customer Service EMEA project

As a final result, SAP created a comprehensive custom sales order management and monitoring solution for BASF, connecting their on-premise ERP system in a sidecar scenario to an SAP HANA database. SAP HANA manages BASF’s customer and sales order data in a single, extremely powerful in-memory platform and is capable of handling large data volumes in real-time. Itevaluates in real time whether the order can be delivered as promised and alerts the CSOs accordingly. Customer Service Cockpit, based on SAP Fiori, provides all relevant information on a single screen, including credit management information that wasn’t available before.The SAP HANA sidecar approach makes it possible to process huge data volumes and complex data structures without causing performance issues. As the sidecar is not tied to fixed release cycles, it also offers a high flexibility when it comes to implementing new features.

Meet Customer Service Officer Alex

The human-centered innovation approach also produced another surprising result: Alex was born. Using first-hand insights of the CSOs proved to be so successful that the project team decided to use Alex, a fictitious character developed during Design Thinking, for its rollout and training activities.

Best in Class Customer Service

 

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