Digitalization has become ubiquitous over the last few years and is now reaching those sectors that were previously lagging behind, such as the construction industry. Back in 2016, the construction industry was rated as one of the least digitized sectors by the McKinsey Global Institute’s Digitization Index, but much has changed since then. According to more recent research by global market intelligence firm IDC, digital transformation is a priority for 72% of construction firms worldwide.

It's not surprising that the construction industry is committed to catching up - by taking advantage of digital capabilities such as collaboration tools, IoT, and AI, construction firms can automate admin tasks, improve communication, and enable data-driven decision-making. As a partner to the construction industry since 1941, Hilti Group is now leading the way in helping firms go digital. From equipment and fleet management solutions to design and engineering software, Hilti Group offers a wide range of digital services and solutions tailored to the industry

To find out more, we spoke to Michael Tschirky, Brand Manager, Global Brand & Marketing Communications at Hilti Group about how the company is helping its customers digitalize, and why it’s using Sitecore Content Hub to manage its own digital assets.

Q: Tell me a bit about Hilti Group.

A: Hilti Group is headquartered in Liechtenstein, which is one of the smallest countries in the world, nestled in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Despite its diminutive homeland, Hilti Group now has 30,000 employees across 100 countries. We’re probably best known for our tools, but we also develop software solutions and professional services for the construction industry. One of our key differentiators is our direct sales model, which means that the customer experience is always top of our agenda. We are also taking our sustainability efforts to the next level in close cooperation with the Hilti Foundation by operating our business with less of a burden on the environment, to greater health and safety in construction, and to a fairer society.

Q: Why is digitalization important for your customers in the construction industry?

A: It’s got a reputation for being a laggard, but the construction industry is now keen to catch up when it comes to digital technologies. Digitalization offers huge potential for construction companies to become more secure, efficient, and flexible - it’s a game-changer for the whole industry.

Q: How is Hilti Group helping customers achieve their digital ambitions?

A: Over the last few years, we’ve shifted our business focus to expand our service offerings, which include engineering, training and advice, tool services, logistics and administration, and quality and testing. These services all include a digital element and can help customers manage their resources and time more efficiently. We even offer Equipment-as-a-Service, which can help customers improve construction firms’ sustainability credentials.

Q: What role do your digital assets play in delivering these services and solutions?

A: Our digital assets are essential to our ability to offer a great customer experience, both directly and indirectly. From product information sheets to safety videos, employees access them to keep up to date on the latest solutions and products so they can provide the right advice, and we share them with customers for their own use. As a value-added service, we also offer customers access to a vast archive of technical data and documentation. But if documents are outdated or unavailable, it could hurt our brand image.

Q: How do you ensure these assets are always up to date and available?

A: With Sitecore Content Hub! We rolled out the solution April to December 2021, and now we can provide employees and customers with seamless access to the digital assets that they need on a day-to-day basis. We’ve centralized our assets across all 100 countries with Sitecore and have a rigorous approvals process in place, so we can ensure materials are brand-compliant and that everyone’s using the latest version.

Q: Why did you choose Sitecore Content Hub?

A: We selected Sitecore Content Hub for three main reasons:

  1. It’s a Software-as-a-Service solution, which means it’s fully future-proof and we don’t have to worry about infrastructure, availability, or updates.
  2. The user interface and searchability is really good, so users can always find what they’re looking for.
  3. The solution was easy to configure to meet our needs without requiring costly and time-consuming custom development.

Q: How does it fit in with your wider IT ecosystem?

A: Sitecore Content Hub integrates seamlessly with other solutions, which helps prevent us having to manually enter information or duplicate effort. For example, it automatically populates our Product Information System and Content Management System to keep our web shop updated. It also integrates with our Active Directory implementation to ensure that only authorized users can access restricted or legal content.

Q: What are your favorite Sitecore Content Hub features?

A: Definitely, the user-friendly interface and searchability – it’s a real time saver as it prevents duplication and reduces the number of emails that go back and forth requesting content. We had issues with adoption and data quality with our previous solution, but people love using Sitecore Content Hub - we’ve had great feedback from both head office and local teams.

Q: How does Sitecore Content Hub boost Hilti Group’s competitive advantage?

A: Since using Sitecore, we’ve improved employee productivity and the customer experience with easier and more secure access to assets. Plus, we can get more from our digital materials as they can be re-used across countries. The solution is going to be key as we expand our capabilities and offer more services to help our customers digitalize.

My name is Michael and I have been with Hilti for almost 18 years, working in finance, product marketing, sales, and brand & marketing communications. As a global Brand Manager at Hilti, I manage and coordinate the global roll-out of the defined Brand Strategy, develop, steer, and implement brand activities in the organization, as well as consult and train the markets on brand management. Find me on LinkedIn.