Digital Transformation Spurs Omnichannel Focus
Mobile and other digital technologies help manufacturing firm outpace emerging competitors.
With the growth of digital technologies and penetration of new software-based players in the market, manufacturing organizations are being forced to re-evaluate their business processes. To help realize the strategic vision of bringing software and its management into the heart of its operation, one company recruited specialist staff and formed a Digital Department. This function works across the organization to leverage digital-based practices within sales, marketing and operational areas of the business.
The prevalence of mobile technologies has made it easier for the company to capture customer information through various mobile-based applications and websites. Online approaches have evolved into a core part of both sales and marketing activities. Engagement on social media platforms has proved to be an effective marketing tool and provides a comprehensive view of consumers’ changing demands.
Digital-based approaches help sales embrace an omni-channel model, incorporating online channels and an expanded distribution system. Digital marketing is being used to complement traditional methods, with social media used to not only increase brand presence, but also to interact and engage with customers. Customer communication has also been enhanced through the introduction of new mobile applications.
“The manufacturing industry is going though tremendous transformation with emerging technologies and there is an increasing opportunity for exponential growth. It has transformed our sales model and enabled us to build market presence and better serve our customers.”
— Digital Marketing Director
The main business drivers behind the company’s digital transformation journey have been the increasing competition amongst leading manufacturers, and the changing needs of the customers themselves.
Their Digital Marketing Director explains “The manufacturing industry is going though tremendous transformation with emerging technologies and there is an increasing opportunity for exponential growth. It has transformed our sales model and enabled us to build market presence and better serve our customers”.
The manufacturing industry is becoming more aggressive in pursuing digital transformation initiatives, such as using big data to better understand their customers and process technologies to drive new services and greater time and cost efficiencies. This company is far from alone in its digital transformation, resulting in the rapid pace of change seen within the industry.
A further impact of the digital economy has been the lowering entry barriers and the introduction of new and improved services by an increasing number of competitors. “Without utilizing digital technologies to increase productivity and efficiency, it is challenging for us to create customer advocacy, retain customers and acquire potential customers”, he points out.
Software such as 3D design, information collaboration platforms and automation tools all help streamline the manufacturing process, speeding up design and production times as well as creating added value services for customers.
“It is not enough for companies to accept digital transformation, rather companies need to be proactive in deploying technologies to set them apart.”
— Digital Marketing Director
The company has invested in cloud based solutions to underpin its digital transformation initiatives. This has not only been an enabling platform, but has also proven to be an extremely cost effective method for managing growing data volumes. Charges are based on actual usage, resulting in greater cost efficiency and fewer concerns over the resource wastage.
Digital design, customer insight and process management technologies play an important role in keeping the company’s customers competitive. However, the new processes can also increase cyber security risks. One example of this is the need to securely manage information collaboration both internally and with customers.
“Our aim is to share information with our employees and clients in the fastest possible way, but at the same time we need to make sure that the information reaches only the relevant person and in a secure way”, he said. The company has formed partnerships with solution providers to ensure implementation of security measures that are in keeping with evolving technologies and threats.
The emerging software-based players in the market and the simultaneous incorporation of digital technologies by existing competitors makes rapid integration of software an absolute necessity within the manufacturing industry.
“It is not enough for companies to accept digital transformation, rather companies need to be proactive in deploying technologies to set them apart”, he concludes.