In order to meet modern customer demands, manufacturers of complex products need to break out of the dark ages by rapidly digitizing themselves and moving to a customer-centric online sales model.
Why e-commerce models will be crucial in 2021
Those who don’t will be unable to survive this coming year let alone compete in the future. There is a key technology that will make it possible to sell complex manufactured products online: configure-price-quote technology. Without it, no major manufacturer will be able to sell their products across all channels, and competitors will rush to them.
Here’s why: Buyers of complex or heavy products – think huge farm equipment or complex medical machinery – don’t look for standard products.
They need highly customized and highly configured machines. Manufacturers need to make these adjustments result in all the ripple effects of customizations, then negotiate and buy (engineering, suppliers, pricing, manufacturing). The process has traditionally required a Herculean effort full of manual processes, in-person meetings, paper spreadsheets, outdated catalogs, and costly redesigns, all of them rife with the potential for human error. But that sales model has collapsed in the past year. First, shoppers began to demand a consumer-like ease and came to expect automated online interactions and real-time price adjustments. Second, Covid-19 has swept away and amplified this demand for online interactions, forcing buyers and sellers to step away from virtually all in-person interactions.
There is no turning back and manufacturers around the world will continue to revamp their sales processes to remove all of the complexities of traditional methods. Those who move slowly, or not at all, will not survive.
Bo Gyldenvang, CEO, Tacton
Prior to joining Tacton as CEO, Bo Gyldenvang was COO at Software AG Americas, an enterprise integration and IoT software platform. Prior to that, he held senior positions in software companies such as BMC Software and HP Software.
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