Industrial Sector

STIHL accelerates transformation into IoT service provider with Zühlke

Discover how agile co-creation is enabling the manufacturer to pioneer IoT services for the digital management of its engine-powered devices. 

  • STIHL enters the digital services space by IOT-enabling its machines.  

  • Co-creates value-add customer portal, with supporting cloud backend.  

  • Applies new data insights from the field to continuously optimise products. 

Stihl wants to add value with the launch of digital fleet management

Family-owned German company STIHL develops, manufactures, and sells power tools and engine-powered devices for use in garden landscaping, construction, forestry, and agriculture. A key customer group is its professional landscapers who manage large fleets of equipment.  

These customers need to co-ordinate their landscaping equipment, ensuring optimal usage and availability. Meanwhile, STIHL needs in-depth insight into the usage of these products to inform ongoing product innovation. 

To serve both these core needs, STIHL wanted to expand into digital fleet management. By IOT-enabling its devices and allowing landscapers to manage them through a cloud-based digital portal, the manufacturer realised it could improve life for its customers while gaining a comprehensive overview of product usage, availability, and maintenance status.

Co-creation enables rapid launch of cloud-based portal

Together with the Zühlke team, Stihl adopted an agile, collaborative process, co-creating a business model, digital strategy, and customer portal for its digital fleet management service, together with a powerful, cloud-based backend. 
Integrated seamlessly with STIHL’s existing IT systems, the solution records the operating hours and geographic coordinates of equipment, supplementing this data with additional information, such as the weather conditions.

Roman Locher Stihl
' Agile co-creation is what Zühlke does best. The team’s IoT, cloud, and software engineering expertise has been key to the success of our digital products '
Roman Locher
Digital Solutions Expert, ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG

Ecosystem innovation enables STIHL to break new ground

Together, we created a smart fleet management system that's cementing STIHL's position as an industry pioneer. ‘STIHL connected’ enables professional users to digitally manage machine fleets and work assignments.  

Customers have a complete overview of their equipment fleet and can optimally plan when equipment is in use, order repairs, and even integrate machines from other manufacturers. At the same time, STIHL gains invaluable data from the field. This is then used to further optimise its products.  

We continue to collaborate with STIHL in its bid to break new ground and develop pioneering digital services. 

The company’s focus on data-led collaboration with diverse partners has been key to its success. STIHL recognises the value in innovating beyond company and industry borders, and recently joined the Maschinenraum innovation ecosystem – a multi-lateral alliance of startups, mid-sized companies, university partners, and more. 

By opening itself up to the exchange of data, capabilities, experience, and services with its innovation ecosystem partners, STIHL is well positioned to drive ongoing value in a business environment that’s becoming ever more data-driven, fluid, and collaborative. 

As Tim Gegg, STIHL’s Head of Digitalisation, puts it: 

‘We’re in the middle of the process of transforming from a classic machine manufacturer to a digital mechatronics company. Digitisation not only offers potential for the further development of our products, it’s also changing our business model and us as an organisation, including our corporate culture.  

‘Many medium-sized and family-owned companies are currently going through this development. That is why we are very excited about the open exchange with our ecosystem partners. Whether it's topics like leadership, agile working, or innovation management, we don't have to reinvent everything ourselves, but can learn from each other'. 

Gernot Trautmann

Senior Business Solution Manager

Gernot Trautmann is a Business Solution Manager. He is part of the Solution Center ICP (ZDE) and is also member of the Market Team Consumer Goods.

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