Digital transformation

Approval Plan for
Schweitzer Fachinformationen

A case study on process control
The challenge
  • On average, about 13,000 new articles appear per day.

  • Customers have completely different preferences, so the question arises as to how to provide accurate individual purchase recommendations.

  • In the past, this work was carried out manually by skilled employees. Given the vast number of customers on an e-Business platform, however, this is no longer a viable option - neither in terms of quantity nor costs.


This is exactly where digital transformation can play out its strengths:

A process that used to be very time-consuming and resource-intensive is now being automated.

The solution
  • An interest profile is configured for each customer who wishes to receive purchase recommendations as part of the Approval Plan system. Individual preferences can be finely granularly taken into account. If desired, it is even possible to compare with articles that are already in the customer's inventory.

  • Recommendations are automatically determined at adjustable intervals and made available by email. The articles listed therein can then be selectively added to the shopping cart of the IconParc E-Procurement solution and purchased as part of the usual order acceptance and processing process.

  • In order for the Approval Plan mechanism to work for a very large number of customers, the underlying e-procurement solution meets numerous requirements. These include in particular the lightning-fast search in the total article stock of around 40 million titles. Each search process usually takes less than 200 milliseconds.

  • Another prerequisite is the extensive automation of article data management with up to 2 million title updates per day.

  • Optimum scalability as well as best performance and availability are guaranteed by the redundantly designed infrastructure with intelligent load distribution: FRONTEND, BACKEND and search systems are each served by a separate server pool (cluster). Growth is easy to manage by simply adding additional servers.

The effect
  • Customer loyalty is strengthened - especially in the important business with major customers

  • When it comes to winning new customers, digital services such as the Approval Plan Systematic presented here are important arguments and help to differentiate from competitors.

  • Employees are relieved of simple, repetitive tasks and can be deployed elsewhere.

  • Successful automation reduces customer service costs without compromising the quality of the purchase recommendations.