Seventy-eight percent of small- to mid-sized industrial machinery companies believe their customers' expectations for after-sales service are rising, but just 12 percent of those manufacturers say replacement parts and service are top differentiators for their business.
The rise of the social web provides an abundance of opportunities to reach and engage with potential customers, but these added touch points muddy the waters when it comes to effectively tracking and monitoring your company's interactions with individual prospects.
Spend any amount of time working with supply chains, and one thing becomes clear: The traditional environment of the supply chain is mostly one of competition. That's because, in an effort to earn a customer's business and meet their demands, suppliers are often pitted one against the other to offer the lowest cost possible. But when it comes to overall success of the supplier/client relationship, this short-term competitive approach leaves untapped opportunities in terms of improved quality, cost and lead time, as each along the chain pursues what's best for themselves as opposed to what's best for the whole.
Analyst Insight: Best-in-class companies are evolving to meet their customers' needs by reverse engineering their supply chains to align with overall sales strategies and customer desires. This process involves integrating and working various verticals within a company in order to achieve the desired outcome. Supply chain professionals are taking a different look at their companies' operations through the lens of customers' perspectives and expectations, and organizing the supply chains around those focal points. - Rodrigo Cambiaghi, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP and EY US Leader for E2E Supply Chain practice; and Dieter BÃ¶lzing, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP and EY Supply Chain Strategy & Planning, EMEIA
Privacy policies, if written well, explain to customers exactly what data you are going to collect, and what you are going to do with it. Problem is, most retailers have no idea what data they are collecting, or what they are going to do with it. As a result, retailers end up writing privacy policies that are either false or misleading, and this can lead to big legal problems. In fact, it may be better to have a policy that says either "we have no idea what we are collecting and what we will do with it" or "we will collect everything we can and use it in any way we want." But that's not good public relations.
Is the term "demand responsiveness" a true call to action on the part of manufacturers, or is it just another buzz phrase? Rakesh Sharma, president and founder of Zyom Inc., believes it can have real value. He defines the term as an approach whereby companies with physical products work closely with an "ecosystem" of partners on the sales side, communicating through multi-tiered channels. Finding out in a timely fashion what has changed in those channels is no simple task anymore, given the expanding network of partners in outsourced relationships.