Manufacturers that only use a B2B business model are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in an increasingly B2B2C marketplace. A recent survey of manufacturing executives found that 92 percent say they cannot innovate fast enough as a result of forces outside their control, including supply-chain disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to a manufacturer’s ability to innovate, B2B companies are at a significant disadvantage compared to their B2B2C counterparts. The inherent shortcoming is that B2B manufacturers are not directly engaging with the wide variety of partners that makes up their broader sales ecosystem, nor are they connecting directly with their end customers. B2B2C manufacturers, by contrast, view it as foundational to their mission to build relationships and foster connectivity across their entire business ecosystem.
Before manufacturers can transition from a B2B to a B2B2C model, they need to prepare by investing in understanding what it means to make this transition and what kinds of things they’ll need to do differently to sustain their B2B2C ecosystem. In a previous blog post, we addressed four key questions that every B2B manufacturer should ask themselves to help determine if they’re ready to make this transition. We also explained three key concepts every manufacturer should understand about a B2B2C model.
In this blog post, we’re going to introduce you to a manufacturer that successfully transformed its customer experience and partner ecosystem by fully leaning into a B2B2C mindset. It’s an inspiring story that reminds us that manufacturers can benefit immensely by proactively and directly engaging with their broader business ecosystem.
Case study: A quest to optimize the customer experience
A global manufacturer of fire, HVAC, and security equipment for buildings that employs 105,000 people across six continents reached out to Simplus for help. This company had traditionally viewed itself as a B2B manufacturer that supplied distributors with its products. These distributors, in turn, interact with dealers, and dealers interact with customers. The end result is that the company had little ability to influence or control the channel partner experience—and certainly was not in a position to grow its market share.
To develop a strategy for improving the channel partner experience and to operate as a B2B2C organization, the company first needed to understand what about it wasn’t working as well as it could. The client conducted multiple surveys of both staff and partners, and identified…
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