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Customer experience: The X-factor in manufacturing

12 April, 2018
The X-factor in manufacturing

Find out how manufacturers are prioritizing customer experience as a key brand differentiator Manufacturing is no longer restricted to reducing downtime and ensuring efficient production. It has moved to being about creating a differentiated and unique customer experience (CX).

In fact, according to the “Customers 2020 Report” by Walker (a CX consulting firm), by 2020, CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Today, consumers are more empowered and connected than ever.  It has become increasingly important for manufacturers to understand their end-customers in order to grow their businesses. With the evolving customers’ demands, everyone involved in the sales and marketing process change. In this blog, we will explore how manufacturers adapt tactics and programs to improve CX.

Digital supply chain

Gone are the days of paper-based and regulated supply chains. Today manufacturers are striving for accurate and timely insight, which transforms a business from being reactive to be proactive to offer a more customer-centric experience.  Digital supply chains depend on many key technologies that not only enables a complete view of the supply chain from supply, to production, to distribution, and ultimately to the customer but also can predict any disruptions in the supply chain. To sum up, digital supply chains improve efficiencies, give way to new business models and revenue systems, and create competitive advantage.

Compliance with integrated traceability in the supply chain

Traceability is very important in the supply chain as it provides the ability to quickly recall products, track production, and match replacement parts. Traceability not only records data from all the processes but also records product properties such as potency, temperature, and other physical attributes. By using automated systems to collect and connect traceability data into a centralized system, leading manufacturing companies are able to better manage actual as well as mock recalls.  Many discrete manufacturers that have implemented robust traceability solutions reported improved efficiency and complete visibility in the supply chain. Accurate traceability brings in reliability and therefore a better brand experience to the customers.

Transparency and control throughout business processes

Manufacturers are beginning to understand that it is required for them to be completely transparent across all the business processes. For example, lack of transparency in the supply chain is an obvious risk for manufacturing businesses. Being able to track the origin of the products and services can create the ground for economic and regulatory violations in the supply organization’s supply chain. Transparency across business processes can have a positive effect on a business’s bottom line through better minimization of business risks and improve efficiencies. Gaining full control and visibility of operations can help in also avoiding recalls or handle them appropriately that in turn earns the trust of the customers.

Better demand forecasting

The manufacturing world is expected to deliver innovative products and service to customers consistently. For this to happen, manufacturers need to predict future customer buying habits while accounting for moving elements that impact business. Without demand forecasting, a business might run short of products that have high demand or overproduce than what the market will absorb. Manufacturers are accomplishing better demand forecasting with modern ERP systems complemented by business analytics and data processing capabilities. Many digitally empowered manufacturing businesses are also building a demand planning platform in the cloud, taking advantage of the cloud’s scalability to house endless volumes of data and incorporate business activities and supply chain contributors.

In order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition, manufacturers need to put customers in the center of their product development story and improve their experience. This that can happen through the quick adoption of digital technologies.  Columbus’s solutions leverage Big Data and analytics; mobility, cloud computing, machine learning, and the Internet of Things—to help manufacturing companies digitally transform their businesses and improve the value realization of their business application investments.

Categories: Manufacturing