How Sidem answers the question before it is asked

Sidem is a leading European developer and manufacturer of steering and suspension parts for the first assembly and replacement market in the automotive industry. They are the oldest brand in chassis components and are justly proud of that. Despite their blessed age innovation is not foreign to them. They use 3D technology for their reverse engineering and their state-of-the-art production facilities use the latest techniques and methods. Sidem turned to Trendskout to offer their distributors the right products at the right time. Thanks to Trendskout's AI platform, they are now pushing up-to-date data through in a scalable way and no longer lose time by running endless Excel tables.

The story of Sidem

Sidem products are available in more than 90 countries. From Central Europe, Sidem distributes all possible steering and suspension parts to their network. Well-organised, they manage this from a highly automated distribution centre. Distribution is only the last stop of a progressive production chain, led from Gullegem in West Flanders.

Because Sidem takes care of the complete vertical integration: from design to production. By realising as much as possible in-house, Sidem keeps the quality extremely high. From new technical innovations, to own forges to developing moulds ourselves. With extreme precision Sidem assembles every piece seamlessly. With a large stock of steering and suspension parts, they can serve customers relatively quickly.

Sidem's challenge: to put the customer's question before his

Internally, Sidem asked itself a simple question: how can we get customers to buy more and more suitable products? A larger purchase means more turnover. But this turnover is only recurrent if there is also added value for the customer. So in turn, those opportunities must be there for the end customer. Because without demand from the end market, they saddle their customer with a large stock and Sidem loses credibility. Which is absolutely to be avoided.

"In the beginning we started with Excel. We analysed what the customer was buying and what he was not yet buying. We then compared historical data, often segmented by country. This way, we knew which cars were driving around in which countries. However, the results were not satisfactory. We soon realised that Excel was not going to provide the solution. It was also an awful lot of work and hardly scalable," says Filip Huwaert, IT Manager at Sidem.

Why Sidem chose Trendskout

"We wanted to push the opportunity detection we were aiming for to the customer portal. Such automation was an absolute requirement. So we quickly drew a line under the Excel story. Then we thought again and we came to artificial intelligence"Filip continues.

"Then you have two options. Either you attract data scientists and mathematicians, but getting those profiles in house was not feasible for us. Or you are looking for a solution with a low setup cost. That is how we came across the Trendskout platform.

"Trendskout's proof of concept in particular made an immediate impression. In that first phase, the data was already at least as good as our Excel. We delivered data and they immediately provided a first GAP analysis. That wasn't 100% right yet, but then we knew that Trendskout's platform was the right solution for Sidem", says Filip from Sidem.

How Trendskout approached this case

"We initially had an introductory meeting. There we explained to Sidem how the Trendskout platform works," says Pauwel Grepdon, co-founder of Trendskout. "Such a introductory meeting enables us to present all the analyses to be used and to match them with the potential cases". "Around the selected cases we organise a very concrete demo. Then we show from A to Z how the applications can be set up on the platform".

Pauwel and the Trendskout team then prepared for the next step. "Setting up a proof of concept or a trail around a number of specific cases, started with an intake interview. In this way, we can focus the cases and map out the data architecture. Soon we can then present output for evaluation to the customer".

If this is followed by a positive evaluation, then the case in production be put in place. All systems are then seamlessly integrated. In this case, the ERP package on the one hand and the customer portals on the other. Once the Trendskout platform is active for one case, Trendskout will look, together with the client, for other cases in which the platform can offer added value. "That is the beauty of Trendskout. You pay for the use of the platform. It does not matter how many cases you use the platform for. You can experiment with it as much as you like."Pauwel concludes.

The results

The output of the platform for Sidem was constantly improving. Meanwhile, even more dimensions were added. Something that would have been impossible with Excel. Each quarter, data is now sent to the Trendskout platform and they then push the output to the customer portals. Now Sidem has a complete process that requires little work. In 8 weeks time this process was fully operational. That's 80% faster compared to an in-house team of data scientist and also much cheaper.

Also get started with Trendskout

See our platform at work with your own eyes? Looking for a solution like the one we built for Sidem? That's possible, we give personalised demos. All you need is a data set with your own data. Book a demo and we will explain it all to you.

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