Manufacturers lacking customer engagement
An new survey reveals the importance of a customer-oriented strategy for successful manufacturers.
The survey by IDC Manufacturing Insights and sponsored by Epicor Software also discovers how crucial enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are in helping all manufacturers ranging from those just starting out to those that already have a deep customer-oriented culture in place, improve their customer experience.
For the brand new white paper for manufacturers, ‘Get Customers Inspired: How Modern ERP Can Support Greater Customer Experience’, IDC Manufacturing Insights surveyed over 460 enterprises across multiple sectors including industrial machinery and equipment, high-tech and metal fabrication, covering 13 countries worldwide.
According to Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights research practice in Europe, Middle East & Africa, the research revealed that many manufacturers have an immature understanding of how a customer-oriented strategy can be implemented within an organisation. He adds that manufacturers need to move along the spectrum for maturity in order to continue to stay competitive, especially in more mature or developed markets where relationships and service levels have now become crucial differentiators.
Manenti explains that many companies continue to describe good customer experience in terms of products or service features and functions rather than the service level they deliver at any touch point during the entire relationship. An enhanced customer experience paves the way for customer loyalty and longer lasting relationships between supplier and purchasers.
ERP as a key tool in delivering good customer experience
The research also reveals that manufacturers can improve customer experience by investing in a modern, fully integrated, flexible and easy-to-use ERP system that streamlines operational processes and connects back office with front office by offering integrated CRM, warranty and aftermarket functionality.
ERP software is proven to help organisations significantly reduce costs and improve profitability. John Hiraoka, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Epicor observes that the survey confirms the critical role played by ERP in improving overall customer experience, as it shows the clear link between successful manufacturers and their understanding and use of ERP as a strategic tool for delivering a superior customer experience.
New levels of agility, flexibility and ease of use in modern ERP systems make it possible for businesses to transition without having to reinvest heavily to meet changing needs and growth.
Hiraoka adds that manufacturers over the next three years have to prioritise initiatives aimed at improving the customer experience as it evolves, or face the consequences. Competing by lowering costs and increasing product functionality doesn’t hold in the long term. Modern businesses have to combine technology and processes with an embedded customer-oriented culture at all levels of the organisation to ensure they stay ahead of the shift.
An open and flexible ERP solution is an essential tool to achieve consistently inspiring customer experiences over time that will help the business flourish and grow both now, and well into the future.