First things first, we are big fans of the Novus CPQ Podcast. Frank Sohn, CEO of Novus CPQ established this format to bring valuable knowledge and industry insights about all things Configure-Price-Quote related to his audience.
As Industry 4.0 solutions have taken over the market, employees of manufacturing companies have started getting anxious about job security. The number of articles that proclaim ‘Robots/Automation will destroy our jobs!’, boosted by publishers such as The Guardian, BBC, and Wired, number in the millions (2 million results on Google and counting!).
While it is true that innovation will bring many changes to the work landscape and many roles will need to be up-skilled to stay relevant, it is also important to keep in mind that Industry 4.0 solutions will affect every role differently.
Contract Manufacturers are vital in the supply chain of manufacturing. While many in the manufacturing industry treat it as just an outsourcing entity, churning out goods for others, contract manufacturers have been busy adapting to the rapidly-changing landscape that Industry 4.0 has brought on.
Have you ever walked into a grocery store to buy something, saw the number of options available, and then spent an hour comparing every single one until you were sure you were getting the best product? Or refused to buy a product in-store until you had done a detailed comparison online?
In this data-driven age, this isn’t uncommon. This can be seen through the power of review sites; various research conducted has put online trust in review sites at a 80-90% range. Everyone is bombarded with information, and trying to find more information that will tell them which information is best.
Industrial B2B sales have been going through a transformation in the past century, with user data rapidly moving online and expanding immensely in scope. When longer buying cycles on the buyer side are combined with advanced prospect targeting on the sales end, we can deduce this: buyers will expect more.
We hear this often: over 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years. According to The Economist, 'Data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change.' An IDC Paper talks about 163 zettabytes of data a year by 2025. Even in Industrial B2B sales, data has shown its impact.
The business world has changed remarkably over the last 20 years. From the times where there was a dominance of large corporations, to lean start-ups littering the landscape, to the current digitisation of business units; the world is dealing with unprecedented levels of competitiveness and upheaval.
When it comes to the competitive world of manufacturing sales, there are two factors that can affect your quote-to-close rates: speed of response, and accuracy of quote. Let us look at the first point, one that can plague many manufacturers with complex configurations and calculations.
Sales is a tough job. They need to chase prospects or handle accounts, pitch products and solutions against competitors, and then negotiate prices to make the right person sign on the dotted line. This process itself can take weeks and often months.
Now imagine that your product isn’t one single item, but is millions of tiny pieces that make up one product. Or that your offered product doesn't even exist yet and you have to figure out how to best serve your customer whilst keeping profitability in mind.
In the manufacturing sector, an abundance of challenges are constantly on the horizon and forcing businesses to find solutions. No matter the country or the different stages of the business journey, manufacturing firms share almost identical pain points and most importantly, the need to retain their revenue. What are these pain points you may wonder and how can you alleviate them? I could list them all out for you but let’s stick to three.