Manufacturing industry has had its share of impact from technological developments. Manufacturers are increasingly finding ways to leverage technology to cut costs and are adopting lean production techniques to keep up with competition. While these practices are becoming mainstream, manufacturers still find it challenging to bring in differentiation when it comes to product service and price.
Today, technology plays a pivotal role in bolstering relationships between enterprises and customers. Emergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies and its penetration have created multiple touch points for all enterprises across industries to reach and talk to their customers. Putting this through the lens of business, SMAC has certainly spurred momentum not just for enterprises but also for customers and have indeed given customers a much better bargaining power. While much can be done to strengthen customer-brand experience by capitalizing on these technologies, the fundamental question remains the same - How can enterprises leverage technological advancements to differentiate and create more value for their consumers?
Smart manufacturers know that there are ways to do so and one of them is by leveraging “data” to gather critical insights across the value chain.
Let’s examine a Spanish firm for example - a dominant player in heating control systems for homes and businesses and a worker-owned company in a rapidly changing industry that scaled up from simple thermostats production to digital climate control and solar heating systems. The firm, with the help of big data and analytics, has been able to analyze clients’ current and future needs and recommend the necessary cost-efficient technologies. By capitalizing on data and analytics and by sustaining costs, the firm has been able to grow into a world leader in its sector.
Another example is that of a leading a producer of subsea flexible pipes for the oil and gas industry, who have been able to find innovative ways to add value to customers. Though the company was a traditional service provider for installing, inspecting, maintaining and repairing pipes in global locations, the company has now been able to go much further by relying on data-driven analytics. The company today manufactures intelligent pipes that can monitor and regulate temperature throughout an oil pipeline that reduces complexity in sub-sea drilling layouts and shorten installation times for customers.
These examples underline the steps taken by some organizations to outpace challenges faced by customers in today’s dynamic market place. Manufacturers today leverage data not just to optimize their own processes but also to bring value to their customers Thus, data and analytics helps with revenue generation, customer satisfaction and also enhances “business intelligence” in the marketing, sales and financial processes. In addition to using analytics to bring in efficiencies, manufacturing organizations should also significantly look at a collaborative relationship with their stakeholders.
How do you think the manufacturing industry can leverage big data and analytics in other ways? What more can be done by companies to stay afloat and compete in today’s volatile marketplace?
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