following

Innovation for manufacturing is building a virtual following

Blame it on the Super Saver Shipping option that commandeered our shopping psyche` or the transformational, customer-centric shift of eCommerce in general. Still, the 24-hour online customer demands have reshaped the way industries do business, including manufacturing. 

“Lines have blurred completely in the digital era. Where there were once separate industries with distinct best practices, there are now hybrid businesses with intelligent processes borrowed straight from other industries,” says John Fisher, who writes about customer-centric manufacturing. “Startups straddle the line between manufacturer and fulfiller. Even long-standing manufacturing leaders have found success embracing as-a-service models and unprecedented levels of personalization.”

The manufacturing industry, which was once an exclusive, product-focused B2B model, is taking cues from retail to stay competitive. A whopping 86 percent of manufacturers agree that providing best-in-class customer experiences is a critical competitive differentiator in the industry today.

For manufacturers that embrace the B2B2C business model, the customer experience is even more intrinsic to the company’s success. “Even before the pandemic, the manufacturing industry recognized their role in acquiring and maintaining positive relationships with their customers, suppliers, even the community, explains John David King, CEO of Fishbowl Inventory.

“We’ve seen a shift from a product-based operation that relied solely on delivering a product on time and at a fair price to a delivery system that incorporates customer-centric pricing, automated inventory management, CRM, agile supply chains, and self-service portals that provide real-time data on shipments. It illustrates the manufacturing industry’s new focus on technology to provide their B2B customers with the efficiency and polish of a B2B2C experience,” said King. 

Studies show that 82 percent of service decision-makers say their company’s customer service must transform to stay competitive. In response, 84 percent of decision-makers prioritize improved or expanded mobile service as part of this transformation.

The manufacturing industry is making huge strides in digital transformation. One of the ways they are doing this is with events. Here is a review of the events that left the greatest impact on the industry this past season.

 

LIVE EVENTS 

Although most online events are available when it’s most convenient for viewers, live virtual events offer a unique opportunity to engage with participants with questions, particularly with those who are new to digital transformation. If you didn’t get the chance to attend this year, be sure to mark your calendars for 2022!

 

The Manufacturing and Technology Show

This hybrid event was live in Cleveland, OH, November 9 -11, 2021, and will broadcast virtually December 7-8, 2021. This was a must for manufacturers as it addressed efficiency-driven plant leadership, cutting-edge engineering breakthroughs, world-class safety practices from process to discrete industries. There were three educational conferences with tracks in-person and online covering best practices providing actionable intelligence to fuel process improvement and market dominance. 

 

Women in Manufacturing Summit, Theme: “Manufacturing Heroes” 

Cleveland, OH also played host for this hybrid event on October 4-6, 2021. Participants attended this three-day event either live or virtually for plant tours at leading manufacturing facilities, professional development sessions, roundtable discussions on important topics, and inspiring keynotes.  All while engaging and interacting with peers through social and networking events!

 

Manufacturing & Technology Series-Eastec

This face-to-face event was held on October 19-21, 2021, in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Among the numerous exhibits, an expert panel discussed what Smart Digital Technologies are accelerating results and outline practical solutions on how and why integrating operational technology using real-time data enables speed and agility to protect your customer and your bottom line.

 

ForbesLive

Because measurable change comes from the top, the ForbesLive virtual series talks with some of the most provocative emerging voices in leadership. Events are scheduled on an ongoing basis. 

 

VIRTUAL EVENTS 

 

Fishbowl Inventory Management + Growth Summit

Leaders in business management and the manufacturing industry took to the virtual arena with Fishbowl’s First Inventory Management + Growth Summit on Sept. 28, 2021.  During Fishbowl’s virtual event, leaders in today’s up-and-coming organizations paired with some of manufacturing’s most innovative minds to share ideas and solutions. 

“The fact that leading voices in manufacturing are reaching out to explore new ideas and share solutions that often incorporate other industries, interoperability, and customer-centered technologies is a stride toward redefining delivery systems and elevating customer service to new and profitable heights,” says Jake Goeckeritz, VP of marketing at Fishbowl Inventory.  

 

ON-DEMAND CONTENT

An unexpected benefit of working from home during the pandemic was a virtual (literally) explosion of on-demand and virtual webinar events. The vast selection of binge-worthy content offered by companies like Simplus hosts panels of leading experts who touch on strategic pain points within the industry with innovative and impactful solutions. 

 

MIT Industrial Liaison Program

Although they have a huge library of on-demand videos, their recent webinar, Built Infrastructure and Mobility, is right on the pulse of manufacturing innovation. 

Built Infrastructure is the foundation of economic and societal development. Economic recovery and future growth require sustainable infrastructure build-up. Join MIT faculty speakers and startups to explore the challenges and solutions in evolving built infrastructure to support mobility of the future by watching the recording of this incredible webinar. 

 

As Samuel L. Jackson would say, “Hold onto your butts, people!” This is a pivotal time for manufacturing as the industry moves to the virtual stage to have conversations about taking measurable steps toward high-level trends like customer-centric servitization and technology adoption.

 

 

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