The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit manufacturers particularly hard—and forced many to critically reexamine whether they have the right business model. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, at the start of the pandemic nearly 80 percent of manufacturers predicted a financial impact on their business. How are manufacturers making up for those financial losses? Many have fast-tracked their plans to expand or pivot to a B2B2C model.
As you likely already know, the motivating factors driving manufacturers to B2B2C have always been present, and the pandemic has only served to magnify the shortcomings of more traditional manufacturing models. Traditional B2B models are limiting to manufacturers because they don’t have a complete view of the customer lifecycle. Lack of visibility to the end customer, product usage, and demand insights leaves manufacturers unable to offer the proactive and personalized experiences that customers are now asking for and expecting. Additionally, this lack of visibility leads to less than optimized supply chains, as manufacturing inventory is based on the data available, instead of ALL of the data. Being removed from the end customer removes pricing power from the manufacturer, as well as increasing the risk of brand perception challenges, as it isn’t the manufacturers themselves who are working firsthand with their end customers, but instead their partners. As you might imagine, manufacturers that adopt a B2B2C sales model take on a more integrated—and integral—role in cultivating and maintaining customer relationships.
Manufacturers aren’t the only parties benefiting from a pivot to B2B2C. Opening the lines of communication and visibility across the supply chain and through order fulfillment means that everyone has a more complete view of the data and the customer needs. The combined data stream enables both manufacturers and partners alike to generate powerful sales and marketing insights. And let’s not forget the end-customer, who stands to gain the “Amazon-like” experience that they want.
While there are clear advantages for manufacturers that move to a B2B2C model, the right preparation is key. In this blog post, we’re going to explore four key considerations manufacturers should weigh before moving to a B2B2C model:
How prepared am I to connect with customers?
Manufacturers have a unique opportunity to connect meaningfully with customers via a B2B2C model. To optimize the effectiveness of these interactions, it’s critical that manufacturers understand who their customers are (be it dealers, distributors, integrators, or end customers), so they’re prepared to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with them. Ideally, the manufacturer should have in place the infrastructure necessary to cultivate…
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