Are you asserting your competitive advantage in a world of rapid change?
During a recent webinar, we discussed what’s changed in digital transformation in the last 12-16 months. That’s because, as we discussed in a recent post, we’ve experienced the equivalent of the next five years worth of annual compound growth in digital transformation initiatives in the last year alone. This was partially necessitated by the rapid shift to work-from-home policies and the adoption of more virtual tools.
This shift has affected everyone in the mechanical equipment manufacturing space—whether your company is large and on the cutting edge, or small and stepping slower into new technologies. And for those that aren’t moving as fast as the competition, this has created a digital divide.
While many companies have already been through many types of digital initiatives, as Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all-the-time thing.” And that’s how we have to approach improving customer experiences and driving topline opportunities while driving out costs.
With these goals in mind, during this panel we dove into:
- The keys and hacks to a more virtual, distributed, and accelerated playing field.
- The tried and true techniques that companies use to ensure their digital initiatives are successful.
- What role selecting, configuring, pricing, and quoting play—not just in the lead-to-order process—but in the way the customer is serviced and how the ecosystem works, particularly in fluid handling within the manufacturing equipment and distribution space.
Our panel included the following members of the FPX team: CEO Richard Hearn, General Manager and VP Trygve Dahl, VP of Product David Tress, and Chief Experience Officer Mark Bartlett. The panel was moderated by Chief Growth Officer Kyle Priest.
70% of all customer decision making starts with a digital interaction. (Gartner)
That number is double what it was 10 years ago, and is up 7% over the last year alone.
Therefore, given what we’ve seen in the accelerated pace of digital transformation, what implications does that have for companies, particularly in the manufacturing equipment space and their partner ecosystem?
As our CEO Richard Hearn put it:
Buying and selling has gone digital, and it’s gone digital in a non-linear fashion. Historically, these digital shifts haven’t taken off in the B2B space as they’ve taken off in the B2C space—until recently. The challenge that manufacturers in particular have right now is figuring out how to keep up with this pace of change and not get left behind. Virtually every manufacturing organization is thinking about how to transform their business and go more digital. I think the most important thing for a lot of manufacturers is just getting started.
Hearn continued by offering how manufacturers can get started: Don’t get caught up in the planning phase for too long; instead, operate by this motto: “Think big, start small, move fast, and get quick wins.” Thankfully, the numerous SaaS companies out there provide solutions that can be implemented very quickly.
Our Chief Experience Officer Mark Bartlett was up next, and here’s what he had to say on the subject:
As the experience guy, I think it really is all about experience. As B2B buyers and sellers, we’re also all users of these B2C digital technologies all day, every day. This means the expectations that we have for our digital experiences are rising, and we have to be able to deliver experiences that meet those rising expectations. Buying and selling sophisticated products is never going to be as easy and intuitively simple as many B2C processes are, but we have to get it close.
Bartlett bottom-lined his comments with this: This is not going to go away. As we’ve seen in the trends over the last few years—and especially at this particular moment right now—this is not a blip or aberration. The way that we have to interact and drive more of our experience to digital today is the new normal of our business going forward.
Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we’ll dive into what our panel had to say about where in the fluid handling space we’re seeing the most creative digital transformation activity and more.