Right customer, right product, right time

Essentra Components is using AI to optimize performance of its transactional websites.

Who are you?

Made up of three global divisions, Essentra is a FTSE 250-listed provider of essential components, packaging, and filters. Every day we produce and distribute millions of small but essential products. Our international network extends to 34 countries and includes over 50 principal manufacturing facilities, 32 sales and distribution operations, and three research and development centres across the globe.

Our Essentra Components division is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of a comprehensive range of components, used in diverse industrial applications and end-markets.

Essentra is a data-rich business, and we were looking for a suitable partner to help us use this data to enhance our decision making. Peak’s AI platform is enabling us to optimize the way we make commercial decisions, with a view to helping us achieve divisional KPIs and improve the overall performance of our Components division.

Sam Edwards

Digital & Marketing Director at Essentra Components

What was your challenge?

Our Components division has been reviewing how our wealth of data can be used more effectively to drive optimal commercial decision making, in order for us to deliver on divisional KPIs. Essentra as a business is incredibly data-rich, and we were looking for a more efficient way to utilize this data to drive great decision making in a number of functions.

Although this has historically been managed across a number of teams with a variety of tools, early in 2020 the business identified an opportunity to rapidly deploy artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled applications to drive decision making across a range of functions and activities.

What did Peak do?

Essentra’s purpose is to responsibly help our customers succeed. To truly do this, we needed to drive innovation. Developments in technology, changing consumer behavior, and the uncertainty of the world around us mean that the pace of digital change is increasing, and we had to take action.

We partnered with Peak in order to improve business performance with AI. Through the second half of the year, our team worked closely with Peak to identify and develop a number of exciting use cases.

This has started with the development of an AI-powered product recommendations tool that is initially being deployed via the division’s transactional websites. It leverages the power of our customer data to inform smarter product recommendations and target the right customers with the right product, at the right time.

What’s next?

In 2021, we plan to expand the partnership with Peak into developing further commercial programmes – starting with an AI-driven customer segmentation tool, before exploring the ways AI can optimize our lead scoring. These will both involve looking at past customers’ profiles and buying habits, using our internal data augmented with external data, to help drive our commercial efforts to increase return on investment.

Peak’s AI platform will generate predictive insights about our customers, supporting the broader application of our strategy and forming the basis of actions and optimizations.

Under the hood: How Amazon Web Services (AWS) technology underpins this solution

Peak is teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as an Advanced Technology, ISV Accelerate Partner. Holding both Retail Competency and Machine Learning Competency statuses, Peak’s AI platform is powered by several AWS services. In this instance, a custom data connection has been built from Essentra’s Alteryx solution into Amazon S3, which ensures data is securely and automatically integrated into Peak. The recommendation model is trained on Amazon EKS, and then served back to Essentra via an Amazon SageMaker endpoint. All development work in this use case was carried out on AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

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