For years, manufacturers have relied on disconnected systems for ordering and accessing information — such as product, price, orders, and specs. That means they are historically difficult to work with from a partner, customer, and even employee perspective. Think about how these activities should make it easy for employees and your partners to better serve your end customer. Every interaction is an experience. Audit each interaction and evaluate how it grows or diminishes your business. Consider these metrics:
- Salespeople — once focused on channel and revenue performance — are now including both channel and end customer satisfaction metrics
- Planning decisions made in real time based on demand and consumption reap rewards, including a 15–25% reduction in lead time
- Customer service improves 2–5% with successful sales and operations processes
Speak to your partners and your customers. They’ll surely give you an example of an inconvenient or disconnected experience. Bring teams together to explore how you might fix it and gain consensus on what to prioritize in the journey. The key is to start with a single touchpoint so that your teams have the bandwidth and time to address it. Did a customer recently call with an issue with your products? Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they need, when, and why. With the right data, your sales and operations processes can accurately reflect the customer and market demand. Every team uses the same data to make decisions. For example, you could flag the product as at-risk of breaking before it actually does and proactively troubleshoot the issue. Once you find ways to improve one experience, move on to the next. Continue to repeat this exercise.