The research, sponsored by Epicor Software and entitled Get Customers Inspired - A Call to Action for High-Tech Manufacturers, found that 45 percent of respondents find that the main barrier to creating customer experience is related to lack of back-office/front-office integration in the organization. With the inability to quickly adapt business processes and limitations to access and utilize the data"”these factors all point to ineffective or rigid IT systems identified as both critical barriers to creating a greater customer experience.
"Keeping up with the required pace of innovation is by far the main business challenge for high-tech manufacturers today along with rapid changes in market demand and aggressive competitors," said Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights research practice in Europe, Middle East & Africa. "More frugal consumer behaviors in developed countries and demand from unstable emerging economies are pushing high-tech manufacturers to launch initiatives aimed at achieving superior customer loyalty through technology innovation."
With the increased volatile consumer demand, manufacturers along the high-tech value chain need to gain better visibility with uncertainty in their markets, according to the survey results. "To prevent volatility and improve customer fulfillment, manufacturers need to find new ways of understanding future demand and utilize modern ERP platforms to its full capacity that can integrate business processes throughout the value chain," said Manenti.
"We believe it is imperative for high-tech manufacturers to create an agile and flexible supply chain by investing in technologies that enable faster decision making, collaboration across the organization and with business partners resulting in superior customer experience," said John Hiraoka, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Epicor.
Key points from the survey:
"¢ Nearly 35% of high-tech manufacturers believe their ERP is vital as the platform for customer experience that connects back-office and front-office; specifically 80% of large high-tech organizations with 5,000 employees or more indicated that their ERP is a vital platform
"¢ High-tech manufacturers will prioritize investments focused on adapting IT to react and serve customers better (35.9%)
"¢ Approximately 28% are dependent on ERP for everyday support of business operations, yet the impact on customer experience is still limited
"¢ About 26% of survey respondents already state that the single most critical factor driving new product purchases is how value-added services are delivered and supported, including custom repackaging and relabeling, logistics, repair and overhaul, and environmentally compliant recycling
"¢ Over the next three years, high-tech manufacturers will be looking for a flexible ERP system that includes or easily integrates more customer-facing functions in order to provide more timely information and ability to collaborate more within the organization Epicor Software Corporation is a provider of business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations.
Source: Epicor Software
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