The digital revolution has swept multiple markets over the last decade — encouraging organizations to implement innovative and adaptable solutions to digitize documents and processes. Many industries are just now beginning to see the positive impact these technologies have on today’s digital workplace. While the manufacturing industry was among early adopters to implement tools to automate production processes, it faces the same data challenge as all industries do currently — to turn customer data into personalized service.
Online retailers have set the pace for personalized services, and manufacturers should take note. Just look at the evolution of internet shopping, which has dramatically changed from an online catalogue system to a business that now harnesses vast quantities of data and adapts to customers’ needs. The increasing amount of available consumer information creates the opportunity to use that data to offer unprecedented levels of personalized service.
Personalization is not only relevant to consumer-facing industries, the concept applies to business customers as well who also expect their specific demands to be met. Many organizations are following the personalization strategies taken by online retailers like Amazon, which has mastered building an effective personalized customer experience. Amazon’s strategy uses data about individual customers to suggest products and services popular among people of similar social and regional demographics, tailoring offers to customers’ spending habits.
This approach is influencing customer expectations and putting pressure on manufacturers to reevaluate their business strategies. While this process is bit more complicated for manufacturers, it is essential to deliver the service customers expect in order to outpace competitors.
Many manufacturers are utilizing enterprise information platforms to help executives gain more transparency into processes and eliminate service bottlenecks. For example, many of the elite car manufactures are integrating features that connect mobile devices to vehicles, helping customers stay connected. When purchasing a car from one of these companies you can now work directly with sales to ensure the car you want has all the new features and customizations you need.
In order to deliver this level of personalization, manufacturers need to drive processes by utilizing customer data. They can do this by following three simple steps:
No. 1 - Eliminate paper
Keeping paper records is inefficient, ineffective and increases risk. The risk of missing or damaged documents can lead to costly errors if critical order information is lost or inaccurately entered into the order processing application or other line-of-business system. By digitizing information manufacturers can drive electronic processes to eliminate the risks that come with paper and become more efficient.
No. 2 - Connect systems
Storing information in a central location not only makes it easier to access, it also enables more informed decision making by providing a view of all relevant information together. Integrations between enterprise information systems and line-of-business platforms connect data to ensure the most updated information is available, regardless of where users go to access it, providing greater data transparency into processes.
No. 3 - Evaluate processes
Once an organization’s paper content is digitized, manufacturers can start evaluating processes to explore how they too can digitally evolve. True innovation comes from this evolution, rather than just recreating paper processes in digital form. Selecting an agile solution with the flexibility to meet the needs of other departments will fully connect the enterprise with the essential information and a holistic view of customers, cases and processes.
Organizations that have total control of their information are able to better identify trends and deliver personalized service to their customers. Leveraging an enterprise information platform allows manufactures to link existing information to processes and utilize important data to offer better service.
Danielle Simer is global marketing portfolio manager at Hyland, creator of OnBase.