The age of digital transformation is changing the way the manufacturing industry operates - and what it takes for manufacturers to stay profitable and competitive.
In this article, we will explore the top digital transformation trends of 2019, and show you how the right software can help you take advantage of them and avoid digital failure.
5 Digital Transformation Trends in Manufacturing
1. The Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT industry is at the center of digital transformation, offering companies innovative ways to streamline and simplify various manufacturing processes.
The trend of mass customization is at the core of the digital transformation associated with IoT, as is the rise of smart machinery.
Further incorporation of IoT technologies, or what’s known as Industry 4.0, represents a vision of a smart, interconnected factory with equipment capable of making its own decisions.
IoT is also changing post-sale interactions.
For example, immediate and constant online support is no longer just an ideal to aspire to. It is quickly becoming a requirement for manufacturers who want to remain competitive in the age of digital transformation.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI).
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been around for a while and is going to remain a powerful force of digital transformation in 2019 and beyond.
AI is changing the way the manufacturing industry collects information, organizes labor, and predicts consumer behavior.
Smart factories with AI systems can increase production capacity by as much as 20% and offer ways to achieve quicker turnarounds, lower costs, and increased efficiency in meeting customer demand.
Robots are no longer just used to perform tedious, repetitive tasks.
They are capable of mimicking human traits such as dexterity and memory.
Robots can also provide valuable feedback and data to identify mechanical problems quickly, allow companies to make the necessary adjustments, and increase manufacturing efficiency as a result.
Customers expect speed and efficiency, and new manufacturing technology is key to meeting these demands.
By integrating IT systems and optimizing workflows, manufacturing teams can now access their data anywhere, anytime, facilitating transparent communication and improving efficiency.
Moreover, an increase in predictive accuracy has allowed manufacturers to increase overall equipment effectiveness and reduce manufacturing costs as a result.
As a digitized manufacturer struggles to manage and update consumer information, big data analysis becomes increasingly difficult.
To remain competitive, manufacturers need to make information about supply, delivery, and customer support accessible anywhere.
That’s why cloud-based solutions are becoming the norm and changing the way businesses share product information across the entire enterprise, increasing production levels and decreasing costs.
How to Avoid Digital Failure in Manufacturing
In the age of digital transformation, every aspect of your manufacturing process demands re-examination and re-evaluation.
The personalization and customization trends are especially important for manufacturers looking to stay competitive and profitable in the long-run.
If you want to take advantage of these digital transformation trends, you need to find ways to bring digital transformation to every aspect of your manufacturing processes.
Where should you start?
By re-examining your quoting and ordering process - it's a must if you want to avoid losing customers to competitors already taking advantage of IoT and AI trends.
Endless lines of sales reps digging through product catalogs to find a suitable product configuration for the customer’s needs is no a longer viable way of doing business.
You must embrace the IoT of things - and custom, price, quote (CPQ) software is your best bet.
How CPQ Software Helps Manufacturers Avoid Digital Failure
CPQ software streamlines and simplifies every aspect of quoting and ordering to give your customers the fast, smooth shopping experience they have come to expect.
A visual, click-by-click product configurator replaces unproductive back-and-forth conversations between your sales reps and customers.
The innovative guided-selling technology available in CPQ software utilizes AI and machine learning to provide you with countless upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
The self-service capabilities of CPQ software take advantage of the IoT trends in customer support and allow users to track their orders, pay invoices, and even submit warranty claims without contacting a single sales representative.
Most importantly, the fully-automated quoting process eliminates the chance of costly quoting errors.
Since your sales reps no longer have to sift through thousands of product variations on their own, it also significantly reduces your sales training costs. New reps can start closing sales the second they walk through the door!
Finally, cloud-based CPQ solutions allow your employees to sell anytime, anywhere.
Management can review sales activity on the go, sales staff can confirm orders, and product managers can edit product data on the go.
In short, CPQ software is a must-have for manufacturers who are serious about embracing digital transformation trends and avoiding digital failure.
How Verenia Can Help
No manufacturer can make the switch to fully embracing digital transformation overnight.
But with the right partners and tools at your disposal, the challenges of digital transformation become much easier to resolve.
Verenia CPQ was built with manufacturers like you in mind.
Our software will help you avoid digital failure by giving you the tools you need to thrive in the age of digital transformation.
Want to see Verenia CPQ in action?