“We are transitioning from manufacturer to supplier of complete solutions”
The course is set: as a global market leader for professional automatic coffee machines, the WMF Group has set itself the objective of spearheading the digital movement in the coffee machine sector. The company has been working on the digitalisation of automatic coffee machines since the 1990s – and now, following the launch of the digital solutions WMF CoffeeConnect and Schaerer Coffee Link, the Internet of Things is a reality. In an interview with Johan Van Riet, President of the Professional Coffee Machines global business unit, the WMF Group reveals what visitors to Internorga 2018 can expect – and how WMF CoffeeConnect and Schaerer Coffee Link are taking the coffee business to the next level.
What is the vision behind the development of digital solutions?
Johan Van Riet: As a global market leader for professional automatic coffee machines, we aim to provide our customers with first-class products and services for top-quality coffee. We also work in partnership with our customers to ensure they have all the tools they need for a lucrative and, above all, future-proof business model. Digitalisation offers enormous potential here. That's why, as pioneers in the sector, we are expanding our portfolio with the game-changing digital solutions WMF CoffeeConnect and Schaerer Coffee Link so all our machines are on the network as standard. This lets our customers keep track of all coffee machines at all their locations in real time.
How does this give rise to sustainable economic effects for the user?
Johan Van Riet: WMF CoffeeConnect and Schaerer Coffee Link accelerate and optimise all processes that are relevant to value creation. This begins with the purchase and setup of the machine, and encompasses management of the entire fleet of coffee machines, right through to delegation of tasks. Even handling machine and performance data in the right way has a sustainable impact on increasing sales. By analysing unit sales of coffee and coffee quality, it is possible to react to losses in sales in real time – through targeted use of promotional offers, for example, which are shown directly on the display of individual machines. And it is no longer necessary to call out a service technician to change recipes, prices or to perform a software update. In the long term, any downtimes will also be minimised by means of intelligent algorithms, which identify correlations between use and wear and predict failures in good time. All these functions ensure the machine is available for a greater proportion of the time, thereby increasing the profitability of the coffee business.
How do you recommend introducing the use of digital features?
Johan Van Riet: When thinking about a gradual integration into day-to-day business, a good place to start is to focus on daily tasks: using the digital platform, the employee in charge can use his mobile device to find out directly what the condition of all coffee machines in the building is before his day starts and plan his work accordingly. Facility managers or food chain managers, for example, have different access rights within the system depending in their remit, and can access the exact data that they need for their working day in a clearly presented format. The facility manager can therefore ensure everything is running smoothly in the coffee business, while the food chain manager concentrates on the evaluation of the trading results and specific measures to increase sales.
Can small businesses, such as a trendy café or a star-rated restaurant, benefit from the digital solutions too? Or is it just for the “big players”?
Johan Van Riet: Yes, there are lots of benefits for users with just one machine too – such as the attractive, free of charge functions included with the Freemium variant. Here you can view the maintenance status of the machine, for example. What’s more, the operator is on top of sales and the operating condition of his coffee machine at all times, wherever he is. Finally, for relatively minor problems, a smart Know-how Center has tips on how to resolve issues yourself.
How do you actively support operators in improving their business model?
Johan Van Riet: Digitalisation should never be done for its own sake; the objective must be to make processes more efficient. That’s why we don't just provide the technology and analysis dashboards, but offer concrete assistance with implementation. Using the collected data, our business analysts get to grips with the starting position of our customers, working together with them in one-to-one consultation to define the economic potential in relation to service, sales or procurement processes. This is where our years of coffee expertise and the insights from the data join together, allowing us to give our customers practical recommendations for actions to make their business even more profitable. Following this principle, we furthermore develop additional functions together with our customers – tailored to their particular requirements.
What impact is the digital transformation having on the company itself?
Johan Van Riet: As a result of the digital solutions, the WMF Group is transitioning from coffee machine manufacturer to provider of complete solutions and service. The principle of customer centricity remains at the heart of what we do. By developing use cases, we delve into the world of our customers and work out which functions and services are required, from their perspective, to make this easier. And the analogue and digital world continue to grow alongside one another for us, too: when developing new coffee machines, additional functions of digital solutions, such as the installation of extra sensors, are taken into consideration from the outset. In addition, we are growing closer to our national companies and partners internationally by involving them globally in the digital solutions and giving them access to functions such as the Online Shop and Know-how Center.
What can customers expect in the coming years?
Johan Van Riet: In the contest of the logical further development of our digital solutions, we offer the opportunity of connecting these gradually to our customers’ other systems, as well as opening them up to external data sources to achieve even greater leverage from the digital transformation. An example: in future, embedded traffic reports or weather forecasts can support the operator in adjusting to increased customer footfall in good time. We are the first in the sector to offer both such a broad variety of functions and also depth of advice – and in the future, we will continue to work to align our digital solutions to the needs of our customers, always.
Head of Marketing & Coffee Competence Centre
Allmendweg 8, 4528 Zuchwil
Tel.: +41 32 681 64 02
Press and PR work:
Schaerer Deutschland Press Office
c/o Press'n'Relations GmbH, Natasa Forstner
Magirusstraße 33, D-89077 Ulm, Germany
Tel.: +49 731 96 287-17
Fax: +49 731 96 287-97
About the WMF Group
For more than 160 years, the WMF Group brands have been synonymous with the best cooking, drinking and eating culture. Every day, several hundred million people worldwide use WMF, Silit and Kaiser products to prepare, cook, eat, drink and bake at home. Or they enjoy specialty coffees and dishes made with WMF, Schaerer and HEPP products in the gastronomy or hotel industry. Our employees are passionate about bringing people together – be it at home, on the road or in upscale restaurants – and providing them with precious and delicious moments to share. And they can do this with products that produce the best culinary experiences thanks to an excellent design, perfect functionality and best quality. Our traditional company was founded in 1853 in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany and has been a part of the French Groupe SEB consortium since the end of 2016.
Our press contact
No results found.