When I first entered the dark attic that once was the photo lab of Heidelberg’s old polyclinic I was less than impressed. I could not imagine how the darkroom could develop into a cosy living room, the center of our family life. A few months later, Danish engineering opened my eyes, and made us happy ever after: We opened the roof and inserted a set of 4 large roof windows. Since then we have been able to see the stars, enjoy the morning sun during breakfast and feel a little closer to the sky.

 

When I read John Ward’s blog on VELUX – in the spring morning sun – I realized that I was a very happy customer of VELUX, as a private home owner. And, like many other end-customers of building products companies, I never met any VELUX sales person directly. I spend a lot of time studying their product information & marketing material, read test & reviews all over the place, and tried to imagine what difference it would make. Revisiting their website, I am impressed with the VELUX daylight visualizer and the augmented reality apps and the many example projects.

 

Advanced product visualization, virtual showrooms, augmented reality to “test” a product in your own rooms – this is just one aspect of superior customer service in the building products industry.Other customers excel in advanced social selling, sentiment analysis, or advanced analytics for their sales reps.

 

VELUX has evolved their business warehouse step-by-step, adding in-memory acceleration, self-service BI & data discovery tools, moving now into predictive analysis. You may want to check their customer journey for more details.

 

Why does this matter for other building products companies?

a) Advanced analytics makes a big difference in sales – especially in a B2B2C kind of environment we have in building products

VELUX utilized their BI to help their sales reps plan better, and finally improve their customer service. Mohawk used their BI to help their sales rep sell smarter, and understand better their end-consumers & their sales channel.

 

b) New use cases for predictions enable new savings

VELUX is looking at using predictive analytics to save on warranty costs trying to understand which products have strong potential to fail, and clarify the financial impact to the company’s bottom line.
The most frequent use case for prediction I hear is predictive maintenance. Building products company should consider VELUX’ example to use predictions also into the domain of customer service & complaints. There is a lot of value to be found.

 

c) Not mentioned in this story, but in other publications: Industry 4.0 is a huge opportunity for building products companies.
Like the example of the smart home where the window’s rain sensor talks to the the solar panel and the heating. Even more in scenarios enabling new business models – there is a lot of value & differentiation in smart services.

 

Finally, never doubt the value of more roof windows and  more day light. It makes your days brighter.

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