Unlocking new potential in the product line
Today’s customers expect highly specialized connected machinery that meets their unique needs. Manufacturers have begun shifting away from traditional product lines by adding technology to make their machinery smarter and offer a wider range of variations. This has had huge ramifications on everyone involved — from line workers through sales to dealers and finally end users.
The production of custom, smart, and configurable components for modern machinery requires highly agile manufacturing processes. And yet, today’s manufacturing remains line-based, lacking the agility needed to manage the demand on production. Teams on the factory floor who are used to the traditional production line are now having to learn new processes to deal with customization.
With customization spread throughout the product lines, sales teams — who are no longer selling just a single model straight from a catalog — must update their processes, too. Since this new breed of products can change and adapt based on add-ons and software configurations, sales needs new ways to stay in touch with their customer. They need to be able to respond in real time to requirements, look for additional opportunities, and make sure customers have access to customizations as they need them.
Dealers and leasing companies also need to adapt. They once handled straight-forward and static product offerings, but now must handle highly complex and customizable product lines to stay competitive. Selling and supporting these products effectively in their showrooms and catalogs requires specialized understanding of the hardware, software, and available customizations. With limited space and limited time to adapt, the learning and sales processes must be simple enough to prevent dealers from jumping to another source for the equipment their customers need.
“Our business is changing from solely bending iron into a software-enabled company and we don’t know how to navigate this fundamental disruptive change in our business. ”
The organization needed a flexible, secure, technology-enabled program engineered to address all of these problems. The new application provides business stakeholders throughout the manufacturing, sales, and support chain with the right information and tools. The most effective functionality at every stage of the buying chain is made available through purpose-built applications, allowing reliably delivery across this new business paradigm.
- Software and technology to augment the design and manufacturing processes, helping workers understand new components, configurations, and production needs.
- Real-time inventory management, three-way portals to internal systems, and operation centers.
- Subscription models for heavy equipment software, such as e-commerce and on-demand upgrades.
- Simplified and streamlined sales process and technology-based dealer training to provide needed technical understanding.
- Mechanisms for sending, receiving, and collecting data from the equipment.
- Remote connection to hardware in the field for over-the-air updates to software functionality.
- Simple and easy-to-use web and mobile front-end for accessing upgrade options and equipment data and pushing new information to customers.
Extended relationships with happier customers.
Faster and improved product development
- Faster speeds for turnaround from idea to production to market, due to improved manufacturing process.
- Continual equipment design improvements as equipment in the field is able to return relevant data from real use situations.
- Manufacturing is able to expand and explore a wider realm of possibilities, since they can now dream, realize, build, and manufacture more quickly.
Improved customer relationship
- Improved offerings and more interactive relationship between customers and company, connecting in a new way through the software packaged around the machine.
- The company is able to provide customers with holistic tools that focus on the larger problem instead of simply what each piece of equipment is doing.
- Customers extend the use of their machinery deriving more value over time by reconfiguring the software to change and adapt the way the equipment works.
Strengthened sales channels
- New revenue opportunities through software sales, rather than revenue tied only to the sale of the machine.
- Streamlined learning and training channels increase dealer and leasing company loyalty.
Modernization of staff skills
- Employees are able to take on more variation in their tasks without additional stress thanks to manufacturing software and process that feeds into itself.