Judith Benner Jessica Deuscher Kitchen Inspirator Posted on 09/20/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

International Collaboration Over 16,000km: The Story Behind The “Kitchen Inspirator”

Two colleagues, six months, a ten-hour time difference and a distance of 16,000km – here we tell the story of the international collaboration which brought the Kitchen Inspirator to Australia.

It’s 8am and Judith Benner is settling in at her desk, ready to start her working day in Munich. She hears the ping of her inbox – it’s an email from Jessica Deuscher, her co-worker currently launching their My Kitchen Inspirator project, 16,000km away, in Melbourne Australia!

International Collaboration at BSH

Judith Benner is a Digital Marketing Manager for Bosch and the project leader behind My Kitchen Inspirator – a new inspiring digital platform for dream-worthy kitchens and appliances. It’s a global concept that is currently available in Germany, Austria and Australia, and is set to be rolled out to a further 20 European countries, China and the USA in the future.

As such, the story behind the My Kitchen Inspirator project is one, of many, here at BSH, that is heavily reliant on international collaboration across both time zones and borders. For the past six months, the adaptation of the project for the Australian market has been steered by Judith Benner and Jessica Deuscher, based in Munich and Melbourne, respectively. This is their story.

My Kitchen Inspirator – the project

The My Kitchen Inspirator platform was designed to introduce consumers to products early on in the process of planning their kitchen. “The life of a kitchen is around 20 years” says Benner, “so we wanted to help our consumers really take their time in choosing the right kitchen for them. With so many of our consumers looking online for inspiration for their homes, the Kitchen Inspirator allows them to see what our appliances look like in real kitchens,” she says.

The consumer can filter photos of kitchens featuring our appliances, according to the size and shape of the kitchen they are planning. Each photo also offers useful product information, making it much easier for consumers to compare kitchen styles and appliances. The consumer can also “like” specific photos and save them to their notepad, and even print and take these photos to their nearest home appliance retailer for further consultation.

Going Global – one country at a time

“We realised that the process of planning and buying a kitchen is similar across the world and thus, with international collaboration between colleagues, the project could be rolled out around the world and adapted for local markets,” explains Benner. So, from October 2016 to April 2017, Benner worked alongside Jessica Deuscher, a Senior Brand and Communications Manager based in Melbourne, to launch the My Kitchen Inspirator for the Australian market.

Australia was chosen as a pilot country for the My Kitchen Inspirator, as it was a great fit for the Australian market. Deuscher says: “30% of consumers look for inspiration whilst planning their kitchen, and 67% compare products online.” She was tasked with adapting the platform for Australian consumers, taking into account local trends such as, “most Australian kitchens are open-plan and part of the living or dining room, and consumers like to integrate an island bench into their kitchen.” “It was my job to ensure that the Australian Kitchen Inspirator reflects these trends and features our country-specific product portfolio,” says Deuscher.

  • Judith Benner Jessica Deuscher Kitchen Inspirator

Working on opposite sides of the world

So, what was the international collaboration like between Benner and Deuscher, considering the fact that they worked on opposite sides of the world to each other, with a distance of 16,000 km and 10 hours’ time difference between them?

“The teamwork between us was great,” says Deuscher, “we communicated mostly through email and Skype.” And Benner adds: “Due to the 10-hour time difference, most of our emails were answered overnight, especially those regarding the bigger questions or action points.” But, there was also a small window every day, when both women were in the office during which they could address any urgent questions. “To be honest, it didn’t feel any different to working on a project with colleagues based here in Australia,” says Deuscher.

From Digital to Real-Life

Benner and Deuscher had the chance to meet each other, in real life, at an international meeting held by BSH in April. “It was so great to finally meet in person,” says Deuscher, but, they didn’t have much time to themselves. As she explains: “On the Monday we had to finish our presentation and by Tuesday morning we were up on stage together presenting our project.” Benner says: “We both had so much passion for the project, and worked really well together so we were really motivated.” Overall, Deuscher concludes, “it was a great experience and it really showed that distance is no obstacle for a successful project!”

The success of this project is testament to the international collaboration that is the driving force behind so much of what BSH does. The Australian My Kitchen Inspirator will now be used as a master-template for the other English speaking countries set to roll out their own versions. Everything that the two women have learned from working together, will now be shared with the other roll-out countries. We can’t wait to see Kitchen Inspirators popping up across the world!

Find out more about the Australian Kitchen Inspirator!

For a first impression of the tool “Kitchen Inspirator” watch the video below!

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