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RS Group

How RS Group Is Transforming Work for Industrial Engineers

Creating new digital capabilities in a complex B2B ecosystem.

RS Group aims to disrupt industrial distribution with a digital experience designed for engineers. They engaged Publicis Sapient to generate deep insight into engineers’ challenges and identify new business opportunities for RS Group. Embracing our agile ways of working, RS Group was able to bring the idea to life in only ten months. Together, we created a knowledge platform that not only saves engineers time, but also builds deeper, data-fueled connections with the RS brand and drives bottom-line impact for the business.

The Imperative for Change

RS Group operates in a complex B2B ecosystem as a global omnichannel provider of industrial and electronic solutions. They wanted to better know the engineers who select and use the products they sell, and use this data more efficiently. They partnered with us not only to understand what challenges these engineers face and what kind of data exchange would be most meaningful to them and to the suppliers, but also to ideate, prioritize, test and build a transformative experience that addresses their needs.

The Transformative Solution

Our initial approach included three-stream primary research to get first-hand insight into the needs of engineers, RS suppliers and the RS business—and raise confidence with stakeholders.
We identified major customer pain points around getting access to relevant technical information in a simple and timely manner. These resonated with suppliers and RS Group, who aim to better understand the product selection process and optimize costs to serve small and midsize clients.
Informed by these insights, we identified and prioritized desirable and viable value propositions and enabled incremental next-phase investment decisions. This process had the added benefit of serving as a training ground for RS to embrace the value of agile delivery practices.
Less than a year after creating the partnership, we launched the RS Think Hub, a one-stop destination for technical information from different brands where engineers can select the right product for their needs and get expert advice within 48 hours. At the same time, RS and its suppliers gather valuable data to enable better targeting, more relevant products and offers, and closer connections with their customers at adequate cost-to-serve.

“Working with the Publicis Sapient team is always customer-first, value-driven, efficient and even fun. I’ve enjoyed our collaboration and have been impressed with their commitment and professionalism.”
Kristian Olsson, Vice President, Automation & Control Category at RS Components

The Impact

In just two months post-launch, we have already made an impact on engineers’ everyday working life, hit our launch goals and built confidence in upcoming value propositions.

Engineers can now select the right product for their needs in minutes, not hours, paving the way for deeper loyalty and connection with RS—with more than 90% of those surveyed reporting that the tool would increase their trust in the brand. We’ve also helped suppliers better understand their customers’ decision-making processes and obtain valuable intent data. By facilitating this value exchange with a new digital proposition, RS has bolstered the entire sales cycle: engaging customers earlier in the sales cycle, generating data for better customer targeting and accelerated business growth, expanding the addressable market with services that span the entire product and customer lifecycle, and decreasing cost-to-serve.

10 months
from idea to live
cadence for feature launches
time saving for engineers
found the tool “useful”

What the Engineers Say:

“It’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into creating this platform. Definitely helps choosing the correct sensors for your application. Well done.”

“Very useful platform.”

“Clear and concise and worked very well indeed.”

“RS Think Hub has been designed to address all of these pain points that are regularly experienced by engineers working across a variety of industrial applications. Our mission is to make their lives easier by providing an advanced digital platform that delivers fast and easy access to a huge amount of accurate information, all in one place.”
Subhas Patel, Senior Director Research and Development, Digital Innovation at RS Components
Julian Skelly
Julian Skelly
Head of Retail, EMEA + APAC