Self-service – from now to 2025

Rhodium24 Self Service Portal
#Blog  |  2 May 2021

Digital self-service is almost as old as the internet itself and has had a huge impact on the business model of companies. Bank offices have largely disappeared as a result. Contact centers have shrunk to 25% in occupancy. The digital government and the digital municipality are now accessible from all over the world so that we no longer have to go to a physical location in the relevant country for simple information about ourselves and our children. Have we reached the most important period in self-service? No definitely not. On the contrary, it is only just the beginning. This is mainly because artificial intelligence (AI) and our mobile devices ensure that more complex applications can also run in an interactive way via self-service. The following video shows what awaits us in the coming years:

From self-service to Operational Excellence

Companies such as 247TailorSteel show that through smart applications (Sophia in this case) it is quite possible that customers can order products completely independently, even if those products become more complex and complex. Not only the self-service concept is a crucial success factor, but also the entire coordination/design of the production process so that promised quality and delivery time are actually fulfilled. Because that is what the customer will ultimately have to experience … deliver what is promised. Also referred to in professional literature as Operational Excellence.

The customer experience

With the Rhodium24 platform, we focus on the best possible customer experience (user experience) when applying self-service concepts. We use all conceivable contemporary technologies to create possibilities such as:

  • Minimal manual input. More and more information will be derived from the CAD model. Not only STEP but also all conceivable “native” CAD formats will be supported. 2D working drawings will no longer be necessary.
    Feasibility analysis and automatic correction. Modern CAD systems already provide a strong quality improvement of CAD models. But each factory has different capabilities.
  • Feasibility checks will help to prevent promises cannot be fulfilled during the quotation process. And the flow of products through the production process will increase as “surprises” are reduced.
  • Communicate easily through communication channels such as video, chat, WhatsApp. And clearly record this customer interaction.
  • Various ways of self-service. Depending on what a customer orders, the interaction will be tailored accordingly. If the customer only orders “picture – hole”, the ordering process can be much easier than if an extensive 3D assembly is the starting point. Rhodium24 will automatically choose the simplest usage scenario.
  • Both portal and electronic document interchanges. A portal will only be one of the forms in which the customer does business with the factory. Customers will increasingly want to interact with their suppliers from their own purchasing environment. They will increasingly want to log in to various portals. To make this possible, digital documents based on standards will play the leading role.

The multi-channel factory

The customer expects to be able to choose from multiple communication channels. Just telephone contact is not convenient and efficient enough anymore. Sometimes a video call is also required. Sometimes just a WhatsApp message. An email will even feel old-fashioned and clumsy in the long run. Questions will be answered immediately by smart “bots”. With the Rhodium24 platform, factories can utilize the diversity of possibilities and always design them in such a way that it suits their unique proposition. For example, the same bot will give different answers at factory X than at factory Y.

Accessibility and responsiveness

A well-implemented self-service concept will ensure that customers will experience an incredible improvement in the accessibility and responsiveness of metalworkers. Customer questions will be answered automatically with correct answers as much as possible because BOTS and artificial intelligence are always ready for the customer. Respond to quotation requests within minutes with quotations that are correct and always consistent because it no longer matters which sales employee/estimator makes the quotation. Also in the evening and during the weekends. Drawing guidelines and limited file formats only create barriers for the customer. These barriers will be a thing of the past because the Rhodium24 platform is smart enough to handle the diversity of drawing methods and CAD packages well.


We can already live up to a lot of what we describe in this blog. Curious? Contact us for a no-obligation conversation and a possible demo.