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What it Means to be a Digital First Manufacturer

Companies are beginning to become digital-first manufacturers 

Digitalization has become increasingly important to companies across manufacturing. Just this year 87% of manufacturers we surveyed said digital transformation was on their agenda for 2021. Many industries are nearing a fully digital, and online buying and selling journey, but manufacturing has lagged. With more buyers moving to a fully online buying it’s critical for manufacturers to get on the same page as them and offer their products online.   

What does digital-first for manufacturing mean?  

A digital-first strategy places importance on a broad approach to buying, selling, marketing and everything in between that emphasize digitalizing the process whenever possible. Let’s look at a popular digital-first adopter.  

Ikeas shift from in-person to digital-first 

Many companies have shifted to digital-first in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one that has got a lot of press is Ikea. During the pandemic, Ikea leveraged digital solutions such as Google Cloud to manage the increase in web traffic and scale their business to work in an online environment. While Ikea shifted to better utilizing Google Cloud, many manufacturers have shifted to Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software to help them become a digital-first company. Let’s see how CPQ is helping companies reach their digital-first goals. 

Breaking down organizational silos  

Your organization is unique for a variety of reasons, but you face many of the same issues as your competitors. One major problem many manufacturing companies face is dealing with organizational silos built up over time and with inefficient processes. Breaking down the silos can be an integral part of your company’s digital-first transformation. 

Being able to collaborate quickly and easily is a must for selling quickly. CPQ enables your sales team to have a centralized tool to sell products accurately and fast, from anywhere. Integrating directly with the tools other teams in your organization use such as CAD, ERP, and CRM makes it easier to ensure speed, without sacrificing accuracy. These seamless connections help everyone focus on their specific role in helping the customer buy your products.  

Connecting your teams through the data can allow for real-time insights into what is working and what isn’t working. Allowing the data to shape how your teams work together and make smarter decisions. Having the right tools can be half the battle when it comes to creating a collaborative and innovative company culture. 

Creating customer experience and consistency  

With CPQ your internal teams have finally found the consistency they have been looking for, the administrative process that used to slow down sales is gone. Now for a digital-first experience to work even better, it’s integral to provide consistency to your customer. Offering an online configurator complete with visualizations for prospects that enable them to see the products they want, fast and in their real-time environments is just a small part of creating an industry-leading customer experience.  

Adding customer self-service to the mix for returning customers is a necessity for online sales helps keep the process consistent. Creating a digital journey that’s optimized for what the customer wants, whether that’s buying, or scheduling services can help keep every process in one place, online.  

One solution to become a digital-first manufacturer 

Becoming a digital leader takes time, and selecting the right solution is the first step in that process. Breaking down silos to create a harmonious internal process, while also valuing the customers’ need for speed and accuracy is an outcome many manufacturers have been searching for.  

With Tacton CPQ it’s easier than ever to increase your customers’ time to value. The day of long quoting times are gone, ask Siemens, we helped them reduce their sales process from months to minutes. Digital leaders in manufacturing must take drastic steps in order to keep up with customer demand and increase competition. Find out how Tacton is helping manufacturers take that next step in your personalized demo 

Author: Michael Brassea