04 Nov Industry 4.0 puts customers front and center with extraordinary precision
by Curtis Williams
More and more physical work is being automated on shop floors, with robots taking on repetitive tasks and workers moving into more creative roles. Similar automation is at work in the office and on the road, enabling sales and marketing teams to connect on a human level with customers, handing over what used to be laborious paperwork to the algorithms!
Artificial intelligence and the sensor-connected Internet of Things (IoT) are not only changing the way we work; they’re improving what we can offer customers.
It’s not so long ago that we were stuck with spreadsheets, trying to wrestle unwieldy and perhaps even inconsistent data into actionable information. I was reminded of the bad old days at the recent Federal election when I was wrestling with a ballot paper for the Australian Senate that was so big it could have doubled as a tablecloth for a banquet!
While transforming our electoral system would be a complex business, there’s simply no excuse for industry to allow legacy processes to persist, because the tools are ready and waiting – if you’re not using them already, you should be worried that your competitors are already deploying them.
Any manufacturer not taking advantage of the leaps and bounds in end-to-end productivity afforded by digital, data-fueled platforms is writing themselves a one-way ticket to oblivion.
If that sounds harsh, think about your own expectations as a customer. If a business or service isn’t able to meet your needs swiftly, accurately and hopefully with a pleasant surprise – perhaps a discount, faster-than-expected delivery or an improved product – aren’t you looking down the road to the one that does?
Customer demands are shifting away from products and towards services and experiences. These drivers are causing manufacturers to shift from a product-focused business model to a client-centric model. To better understand and meet the needs of their customers, we are seeing manufacturing companies taking greater control of operations further down the supply chain, getting closer to the customer. The common problem is the ‘old hat’ platforms just don’t enable it.
Industry 4.0 goes beyond manufacturing: it’s an inflection point for business growth.
More than ever, the physical product is just one part of your business. Service capabilities have improved across all industries with the spread of digitization, and I’d say that in most cases, customer expectations are now running ahead of the curve.
That’s OK because you can keep pace when you take hold of your customer data and use it in every corner of your operation, to serve them better, target them better, and ultimately delight them.
Modern manufacturers simply must deliver that outstanding customer experience at every touchpoint. Just as the robots are taking the load on the shop floor, constantly learning artificial intelligence tools are on hand to guide sales, marketing, and field service teams, allowing your people to focus on providing the personal touch for clients.
Using the Salesforce Platform, Simplus helps manufacturers transform into customer-centric businesses.
All the data in the world is only as good as the analysis and insights your system produce – that’s where you can gain competitive advantage and kick the pain points to the curb. The digital sidekicks give sales teams timely information to create bespoke and really powerful customer journeys.
Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce CRM are two of the systems that I see creating new levels of customer service for manufacturers, making life easier and frankly more interesting for sales and marketing teams at the same time. I hear from many customers who say it is near impossible to see the full cycle of engagement and interactions a customer has with them, or the significant amount of administration and manual steps in managing quotes, orders, and deliveries.
That’s where the Salesforce platforms blaze a new trail.
The Salesforce mobile app enables reps on the go to access all of their customers’ information, collaborate with teams back at HQ and even review customer specifications with the engineering division – it’s truly power in your pocket.
Guided selling processes make it simple to get the correct products, services, and discounts for quotes first time every time – the kind of smooth precision that customers love and ultimately drive better margins. Project management tools let you collaborate with partners in real time, and field service management tools give technicians clear visibility over warranties and work orders.
Talk to us about how we can help you use Salesforce platforms to turn your operation into an end-to-end connected customer powerhouse.