For businesses in various manufacturing sectors, particularly those in discrete manufacturing that fall into automotive, aerospace, and other adjacent industries, there’s a pressing need to leverage modern tech solutions to streamline processes, empower sales, partners, and vendors, and explore the opportunities presented by today’s B2B ecommerce solutions.
For business leaders and Application Development and Delivery (AD&D) professionals in IT, sales, and other departments, identifying, vetting, procuring, and implementing tech solutions in a crowded vendor marketplace can be incredibly taxing.
The following are five technologies AD&D pros in Discrete Manufacturing and related industries should consider to modernize processes, empower sales and delivery channels, and keep pace with competitors as ecommerce initiatives become increasingly common as buyers move online.
5 Emerging Technologies to Consider
Here are five not new, but proven and emerging technologies to consider in the era of Digital Transformation.
1. Get smarter with predictive analytics.
According to Forbes, “Predictive analytics, smart, connected products (IoT) and advanced materials are the three most important advanced manufacturing technologies to US manufacturing executives.”
The importance and impact of these technologies cannot be understated. As these technologies continue to move from “emerging” to fully realized, manufacturers and others will rely on data and analytics to inform product innovations, pricing, promotions, customer targeting, and myriad other strategies to drive revenue. Furthermore, IoT and Smart Factories are beginning to gain traction in Asia-Pacific and European markets.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning shapes the shop floor and the sales call.
All that data mentioned above will inform advanced AI and machine learning capabilities that will have an impact on all aspects of the quote-to-order and engineer-to-order processes spanning manufacturing. According to Forbes:
Applying cognitive computing to the complex challenges of multi-site manufacturing, multi-tier distribution, product configuration, distributed order management, and aftermarket service also has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing with greater accuracy, customer responsiveness, and speed.
3. Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D printing are more than just fun tech toys.
While VR and 3D printing may not initially lend themselves to practical implementations in manufacturing sectors, the truth is that these tools present opportunities to improve product quality, avoid errors and drive efficiency.
Consider the possibilities for sales as they allow buyers to navigate a configured tractor, fleet vehicle or an exam room full of medical devices being sold. When it comes to 3D printing, sellers could model parts and other products while engineers and manufacturers on the back end could observe a configured solution from the field before development.
4. Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just for B2C.
We noted IoT above, but it’s worth mentioning again. IoT, as it pertains to manufacturing, shows a lot of promise. According to a report featured in Forbes, examples of future IoT applications include:
- Use in precision manufacturing to improve supply management
- Machine to machine (M2M) communications could result in smarter manufacturing automation across the value chain
- Use in vehicles could improve safety, control, and diagnosis
5. Modern CRM, ERP, and CPQ have a significant role to play.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ), CRM, ERP, and other “seasoned” technologies are often already part of the manufacturer’s playbook. However, these solutions still have a lot to offer and can complement and extend the power and capabilities of other solutions that may be added to the tech stack.
For example, modern CPQ solutions can integrate with a B2B ecommerce platform to scale complex product, pricing, and service catalogues into a viable user and customer experience. With a powerful CPQ engine driving updates and managing millions of complex rules and logic in one place, sellers can confidently deliver offerings across traditional as well as digital channels.
FPX Helps B2B Companies Succeed in a Changing Tech World
With well over 30 years of experience helping companies in transportation, aerospace, and others, we have witnessed firsthand the countless changes that have occurred in the manufacturing world.
With our CPQ application and unmatched domain expertise, we are confident we can guide your business through a successful digital transformation strategy to realize greater revenues through a better user and customer experience. Learn more about us by completing our digital contact form.