The Berlin-based platform operator XOM Materials is participating as an exhibitor at Tube 2020. Dietrich Böntgen, Head of Sales Metal & Mining at XOM Materials explains in an interview how the start-up digitizes the steel trade beyond the marketplace.
Mr. Böntgen, where are the biggest challenges in the steel trade at the moment?
One of the biggest challenges is to try to assess the course of the markets correctly. Many influences and factors such as international politics, safeguards, oversupply, environmental factors etc. influence the business. The pressure on margins is getting higher and higher and the steel trade is forced to make its warehousing, logistics and distribution processes even more efficient, taking costs into account.
And in terms of digitalization?
The steel trade must not be afraid of digitalization. A good start would be to prepare ERP systems, data and other business processes for this topic and of course it is just as important to train employees accordingly. Here, XOM Materials can support with consulting and know-how.
What do you see as the biggest advantages for steel traders?
For steel traders, e-commerce is a good opportunity to optimize and thus also streamline standard processes in company sales. Through digitalization, there is a great opportunity to either save costs in sales or - even better - to gain more capacity for top customers and for strategic tasks. On the top of that, some buyers want to use digital tools to optimise their procurement process and it is important to provide them digital access. An eShop solution, for example is a great digital tool to offer an even better service. Generally, networking directly with customer and delivery partners is made really easy with online trading.
What makes XOM Materials stand out as a digitization partner?
XOM Materials is the ideal partner for the steel trade, because we have on the one hand the competence and expertise on the steel side and on the other hand the corresponding know-how on the IT and development level. That is what makes us unique in the steel industry. It is important to understand the industry with its processes and the people working there while pushing the issues of digitization on all levels. Another reason is that with XOM the financial outlay, i.e. the investment, for the steel trade remains manageable. An in-house development is not feasible for many companies simply because of the lack of internal capacities.
And XOM has the resources to handle all this?
Yes, a good two years after founding, we employ about 50 people and have a holistic portfolio. We can provide companies in the steel industry with products such as the digital marketplace, eShop solutions and eProcurement tools at all levels and build digital bridges, so to speak. We see ourselves in the role of providing long-term support for the digitalization process and, as a constant partner, also standing by our customers' side for continuous further development.
XOM Materials will be presenting the XOM Marketplace for suppliers of steel, metal and plastics in Hall 1, Booth 1A74-06. In addition, the Berlin startup will showcase eProcurement and eShop solutions that facilitate the step into digitalization and together represent an integrated platform solution.
Share the article on social networks