Vaillant and trade partners harness potential of digitalisation
Sparking innovation in the HVAC industry: start-ups present their business ideas at the StartupCon in Cologne
Vaillant specifically seeks out cutting-edge concepts from external providers
Heating technology specialist Vaillant invited young company founders to present their ideas and business models focused around the continued digitalisation of the HVAC industry. The StartupCon in Cologne provided the perfect setting: with around 5,000 visitors, 600 exhibitors and 300 investors, the conference is one of the largest events geared towards Germany’s start-up scene. The StartupCon sets out to facilitate the mutual exchange of knowledge and to promote collaborations and synergies between established companies that are leading in their industries and start-ups. The Remscheid-based family business supported the StartupCon as main sponsor for the first time this year.
New momentum for the heating technology sector
As part of the StartupCon, Vaillant came together with a number of trade partners to hold a pitching event which gave participating start-ups the opportunity to present their project ideas and to showcase what they have to offer in terms of cooperations. By hosting the event, the involved installer companies and Vaillant called specifically for solutions that would simplify everyday tasks performed by heating installers or that could offer end customers novel services enhancing the convenience of heating solutions. Pitching at the event were, for instance, start-ups that have developed staff sharing platforms to optimise the allocation and use of personnel in phases of high demand or GPS solutions for improved navigation for installers and service technicians. Additional focus areas came in the form of applications that allow end customers to arrange appointments with their installer or service company over the Internet or the use of chat bots that engage in an automated dialogue with end customers, answering questions on service matters. Digital tools were also sought that are able to measure construction areas while at the same time process data in real time, enabling quotations to be drawn up quickly and efficiently.
“Digitalisation is changing our entire industry and the way in which we communicate with our customers. Rather than simply reacting to this development, we want to actively drive it forward,” stressed Dr Andree Groos, Vaillant Group Managing Director for Sales, Marketing and Service, during the key podium discussion at the conference. “Our relationship with the start-up scene is something we greatly appreciate and are actively strengthening. We share knowledge, are quick to implement ideas that go beyond traditional corporate structures and receive valuable impetus that has a positive impact on the entire company.”
With its digitalisation strategy, Vaillant is strengthening the company’s cooperation with external innovators, as reflected, for example, in the company’s technology partnerships and its involvement in corporate and institutional networks, besides its activities in the start-up scene. The overall goal is to successfully and quickly implement technological developments, Internet-based services and data-driven business models that are tailored towards the needs of customers across all markets in which the company is active.