A ‘Hard as Steel’ Collaboration: Industry and JKU Support Customer Relations of the Future

Heading into the future: Fronius Perfect Welding, a division of voestalpine Steel, and the JKU will intensify their collaboration.

[Translate to Englisch:] v.l.: Prof. Thomas Werani (JKU), Bernhard Freiseisen (Fronius), Elisabeth Engelbrechtsmüller-Strauß (Geschäftsführerin Fronius), Werner Dressler (voestalpine), Prof. Gerhard Wührer (JKU)

The focus is on the digitization of customer relationships in the global automotive industry and its impact on the marketing and distribution of supplier industries. The core of the collaboration will run to 2022 and is a four-year research project. The required research assistant position at the Department of Business-to-Business Marketing (JKU) is being jointly financed by two industrial companies, thus broadening the cooperation they have had between the partners since 2005.

As part of a dissertation, a doctoral candidate will conduct a study that by 2022 will explore the impact of digitization on customer relations and customer benefit. Bernhard Freiseisen, Senior Manager Strategic Marketing at Fronius Perfect Welding, explained the project’s potential, "This cooperation will not only allow us to focus on and drive customer proximity and digitized customer relationships in practice, but also further develop them based on sound research results."

The joint, marketing-oriented analysis of the target automotive sector from the perspective of different supplier sectors makes it possible to highlight the potential of cross-sector networking and supplement it in terms of content. The collaboration with industrial partners also contributes to more intensive application-oriented research at the JKU.