In manufacturing, partner relationships are everything. While the outward appearance of a discrete manufacturer may seem simple, the back-end processes that keep every nut, bolt, part, and widget flowing through the manufacturing floor to the distributor/partner are very complex. For discrete manufacturing, it’s not just partners ordering a single product; it’s complicated quotes, orders, and contracts that include large quantities, complicated bundles, bills of materials, and more. And streamlining the processes that oversee and nurture those partner relationships has long been a challenge for the industry.
Discrete manufacturers are increasingly turning towards cloud solutions and digital channels to enhance their partner sales process and, hopefully, realize more revenue in the process. High- and moderate-growth manufacturing organizations are prioritizing data availability, higher productivity, and increased collaboration with suppliers in their technology investments. Having a dedicated partner relationship management (PRM) engagement layer is critical to this strategy.
To get your discrete manufacturing organization ready for a new or modernized PRM setup, it’s crucial everyone from the top-down understands the why, what, and how of servitization and self-service for partners in manufacturing. Let’s get started.
Why manufacturers need to take PRM up a notch
Discrete manufacturing, more so than other subsectors of the manufacturing space, is very relationship-based and distributor dependent. This means fostering a corporate culture that prioritizes partner loyalty is integral to success. To encourage this stickiness between discrete manufacturers and their many partners, PRMs provide the solution: easy information sharing, negotiation, pricing, and more. With a solid PRM in place, manufacturers can trust that their organization won’t just be a one-off deal with partners but the default they keep coming back to.
Additionally, PRMs help manufacturing companies recognize more revenue by providing the means for greater visibility into and ownership over the sales cycle. By creating a seamless experience that connects back-end processes with front-end promises, a PRM implementation prioritizes partner relationships like never before.
Channel or account managers will have all the details they need to remain customer-centric and senior leaders will have access to data to inform the best decisions for business expansion. On top of all that, some discrete manufacturers are expanding into the software-as-a-service arena to expand their relevance. Self-service portals are the name of the game for this kind of expanded product base. Servitization, the shift to that Amazon experience for overt outward company engagement, is a trend that’s not going anywhere—it’s the new expectation. PRM lets manufacturers not just meet that expectation, but exceed it.
What a modern manufacturing PRM looks like
However your organization decides to shape your PRM, it should include at least three crucial…
Want to keep reading? Learn more about getting started with PRM in the complete ebook: Premium Partner Experiences in Manufacturing.