Deliver next-gen customer-centric solution in discrete manufacturing – Vision to Reality

August 10, 2022
Next-gen customer centric solution in discrete manufacturing

In the continuously changing world of technology, manufacturers are striving to focus on and adopt product-centric efficiencies and standardization. While traditional value chains are being disrupted, where manufacturers are now living in the age of the customer-centric solution where the customer cares about the experiences, relationships, and personalization.

The below chart captures the differences between the product-centric and customer-centric approaches.

Product vs customer centric approaches

IDC said spending by discrete manufacturing in 2022 is around $220.00 billion speaks to the significance of the impending lean digital transformation that leaps forward in the discrete manufacturing industry.

Lean Digital Transformation supports companies in defining and implementing successful Lean digital agendas with initiatives both removing traditional and digital waste from their processes, organization, products, and services, to radically improve the experience of the customers.

The below diagram highlights the 360 degrees of the actions to get insight into lean digital transformation effectiveness.

Lean digital transformation effectiveness

Below are summarized areas of digital transformation that help businesses to adopt without much impacting current business processes: 

  • Accurate forecasting and predictive demands for better planning – Accurate forecasting and access to predictive demands based on the accounts, products, orders, and regions are important in terms of better planning.
  • Expand sales footprint and increase revenue generation via new channels – Easily set up a new storefront to expand the sales to new regions, enable brand awareness, and collaborate with other sales channels.
  • Equip sales team with visibility on inventory, order, and production schedules – Most of the time sales team has challenges access to the current inventory, order status, and production schedules; enabling the sales team with this information helps to set the right expectations for the customer.
  • Collaborate effectively with both internal and external partners via channel management – With changing dynamics, it is imperative to have a connected eco-system that seamlessly accesses the relevant data and collaborates effectively to get things done. Have the production team, procurement team, channel sales partners, and warehouse team be part of the process via the channel management solution.
  • Improve operational efficiency and reduce waste – Enable lean concept to measure, track, report, and find ways to reduce waste.  Adopting just-in-time vs. just-in-case concepts based on the market condition and business needs helps to induce operational efficiency.
  • Bring agility in support and field service to keep customers happy – Provide customer Omni channel access to support, react to customer issues on time, being responsive to customer needs. The latest solution has made customer support and field service easier and more efficient to manage while keeping customers happy.
  • Optimize Inventory and BOM Operations – As a discrete manufacturing operating inventory, optimal is a very important aspect. More inventory results in inventory holding costs and quality degradation if it is kept for a long time, while less inventory affects production. Access to inventory consumption and holding patterns, and current demands is important to provide the required balance in procurement. Effective BOM handling and allocations help in the reduction of cost.
  • Preventive Maintenance – One of the major advances in current trends is the preventive maintenance or digital twins’ solution, where you can track machine performances, predict issues and take action to avoid disruptions using Industrial IoT solutions.
  • Continuous Improvements – Lean digital transformation is a continuous improvement process where businesses should embrace transformation in a staged and pragmatic manner. Having rolled out new features, it is also important to track and measure progress and improvise as part of continuous improvement activities. Apply digital technologies to your Lean and other Continuous Improvement (CI) programs to drive greater, more sustained performance. Embracing digital for continuous improvement starts with automating the collection of more accurate data in real-time and then making it actionable.

Major reasons for the lack of adoption of Industry 4.0 implementation methodologies by manufacturers are fear of the unknown and resistance to change, whereas the use of lean digital transformation can mitigate them. The “why” you should transform, achieve higher customer advocacy, better experience, and increase productivity is no longer a key differentiator. Only the late majority of incumbent laggards are still asking this question. On the other hand, “what” you need to do, tends to suffer from over-generalization, so much so that the answers are very cliché, e.g., “hire the best,” “adopt the latest and greatest,” “get buy-in from the top,” etc., and mostly known to one and all.

The key to most transformations today is thus in the “how”; how do you design your experience and processes that delight customers before you digitalize or apply the right technology solutions? 

CRMIT Lean digital transformation and Sustainability (LDTS) tool provides informed insights into the “How” aspect of the transformation journey, helping customers to reap the benefits of the transformation. It all starts with identifying low-hanging fruits in terms of transformation with maximum impact on the business without affecting much of the current processes and later adopting continuous improvement to move to the next stage.

Low code cloud platform like Salesforce enables rapid build and deployment combined with its readily available product stacks such as Manufacturing cloud/Sales Cloud, Rebate Management, Service Cloud, Field Service, B2B/B2C commerce, AI/ML, BI  analytics, Net Zero cloud helps in the faster roll out and ease of maintenance.

CRMIT’s vast Salesforce implementation experience combined with in-house built solution extensions such as Inventory and Stock Management, Demand Planning, Channel management, BOM operations, and many others acts as a catalyst and helps the customer in the transformation journey leveraging our matured Lean digital transformation framework.

Sudhir Dakshinamurthy
Sudhir Dakshinamurthy is the VP & Sr Principal Architect for CRMIT Solutions with more than 23 years of experience having architected multiple enterprise applications. He has played an extensive role in evangelization, consulting, solution architect, and delivery in the tech industry.

Tags: B2B commerce, B2C commerce, Discrete manufacturing, field service, Lean Digital Transformation, Manufacturing, Net Zero cloud

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