In today’s highly dynamic and competitive marketplace, it’s crucial for manufacturers to be agile and adaptable in order to succeed. Manufacturing organizations need to be able to respond quickly to new market demands, adjust their business processes, and optimize their operations to stay ahead of the competition. However, when it comes to introducing new products or features that require some form of IT involvement, traditional software development processes can be slow and expensive, making it difficult for companies to keep up with the pace of change and efficiently enhance digital customer experience in manufacturing – before the purchase and in aftersales. This is where Low Code capabilities can play a significant role in empowering business users in manufacturing companies.
Develop Your Own Custom Applications
State of the art software solutions like digital experience platforms (DXPs) offer Low Code functionalities that enable business users to build, deliver, and manage their own applications without the need for specialized IT resources. Thanks to pre-built components and templates users can create custom applications with drag-and-drop interfaces and visual workflows, reducing or even removing the need for coding skills. This empowers them to take control of their own processes and make changes as needed, without calling up their IT department.
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To help business users create engaging digital experiences without relying on their IT teams, Liferay DXP comes with many out-of-the-box low-code capabilities. For example, manufacturers can leverage Liferay Objects to customize DXP, allowing users to create and manage objects, adding fields, object layouts, relationships, and define the scope for each custom object. Liferay Objects are fully integrated with existing Liferay DXP frameworks, such as Workflows, Headless and permissions.
Check out this two minute video summary that highlights how Liferay helps manufacturers empower business users with Low Code capabilities to enhance their customer experience and aftersales strategy.
The Benefits of Low Code
The benefits of empowering business users with Low Code capabilities are numerous. And many IT leaders have already recognized the advantages: In a survey conducted by Gartner, 42% of IT leaders reported that their organizations were using low code development platforms, and 19% planned to adopt the technology in the next 12 months.
Removing the reliance on specialized IT resources and building stand-alone applications independently not only saves time and resources. In manufacturing, it allows companies to focus on core competencies. This, in turn, can drive innovation, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
Let’s take a detailed look at three of these benefits – and how they relate to the manufacturing sector.
Build, Deliver, and Manage Your Own Applications
One of the primary benefits of Low Code for manufacturing companies is that it enables business users to easily adapt their business processes to existing and future needs in a timely manner. Traditional software development processes can take weeks or months to deliver a new application because they typically require extensive coding, testing, and deployment. However, low-code-enabled DXPs like Liferay can deliver new applications much faster. This is the result of a visual approach to application development that is more accessible and user-friendly than traditional coding methods.
In the manufacturing space, this rapid application development capability enables organizations to respond quickly to new market demands, changing business requirements, and emerging technologies. For instance, a manufacturer may need to quickly develop a new application to support a new product launch, or to respond to a change in customer behavior. With low code capabilities, they can easily and independently create and deploy this new application in a matter of days or even hours.
With regard to post-purchase, Low Code could enhance the aftersales space by enabling business users to create and manage custom applications for customer support, such as a self-service portal or a chatbot. Additionally, Low Code could be used to create applications for monitoring equipment performance and detecting issues, allowing manufacturers to proactively address problems and provide maintenance services.
The examples above underscore how Low Code reduces the overall time-to-market for new products or services, enables manufacturers to stay competitive in a highly dynamic marketplace. But Low Code can also help to improve product quality, reduce downtime, and increase customer trust in the manufacturer.
Moreover, with the ability to create and deploy applications quickly, manufacturers can experiment with different approaches to business problems, and iterate on solutions until they find the one that best enhances digital customer experience for manufacturing clients. This empowers business users to take ownership of their processes and make data-driven decisions on how to optimize them, without needing to wait for IT support.
Thanks to Low Code capabilities manufacturers are also better equipped to keep pace with emerging technologies. As new technologies surface, manufacturers need to quickly adapt their business processes to take advantage of them. Being able to quickly develop new applications and integrate them with existing systems makes it easier to leverage new technologies to drive business growth and increase customer engagement in manufacturing.
Streamline Business Processes with Seamless Integration
When it comes to manufacturing, there are many different systems and processes involved, from production to logistics to sales and customer support. In order to ensure efficient and effective operations all of these processes need to work together seamlessly.
This is where the traditional approach to software development often results in disconnected systems, as different departments or teams may use different software that doesn't integrate well with each other. This can lead to a lack of visibility into critical data, delays in decision-making, and other inefficiencies.
Low Code platforms can help to overcome these challenges by enabling business users to build applications that integrate seamlessly with existing systems. With Low Code, it's possible to connect to different data sources and systems through pre-built connectors and APIs, which can be easily customized by business users to meet their specific needs.
This creates additional value because the integration of existing systems is crucial to provide a unified experience across the platform. Making all relevant data available in one place, makes it easier for users to access the information they need to do their job. It also reduces complexity and improves productivity by streamlining business processes and automating manual tasks.
For example, a manufacturer may use one software system for production planning, another for inventory management, and yet another for shipping and logistics. With Low Code, it's possible to create an application that pulls data from all of these systems and presents it in one place, making it easier for users to manage the entire process from start to finish.
The seamless integration of business applications also helps to improve communication and collaboration across departments and teams. With all relevant data available in one place, it's easier for different teams to work together towards common goals. For example, the production team can collaborate with the sales team to ensure that production schedules align with sales forecasts, while the logistics team can work with the warehouse team to ensure that inventory levels are optimized for shipping.
Reduce Cost and Speed up Time to Market for Complex Business Models
The benefit of speeding up development of business applications and thereby reducing the time to market has been mentioned above several times. It’s underscored in a survey conducted by OutSystems, where 74% of IT leaders reported that their organizations were able to deliver new applications faster with low code, and 69% said that they were able to reduce their backlog of application development projects.
Essentially, speeding processes up and making them less expensive is one of the most significant benefits of Low Code for manufacturing companies – especially when it comes to more complex business models.
Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) subscriptions, for example, require custom applications to manage customer subscriptions, track usage, monitor maintenance and provide personalized recommendations. Developing these applications from scratch can take months, and they can be expensive to maintain and update. With Low Code, business users can quickly build custom applications that meet their specific needs. This enables manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition and seize new opportunities as they arise.
Additionally, by empowering business users to build and manage their own applications, manufacturers can reduce their reliance on IT departments and third-party vendors. This can lead to significant cost savings, as businesses no longer need to spend money on expensive customizations or software development. With Low Code, business users can quickly create and deploy custom applications, reducing the need for expensive external resources.
Personalization and Self-Service Made Easy
Low Code platforms also offer additional benefits for manufacturers. For example, they can improve customer engagement and satisfaction before purchase and in aftersales by providing personalized experiences and self-service options. They can also improve data quality and accuracy by automating data capture and validation processes, reducing errors and improving efficiency.
In addition, a survey by KPMG found that 77% of respondents said that their organizations were experiencing improved productivity and efficiency through the use of low code platforms, and 73% said that they were able to reduce their reliance on third-party developers.
The empowerment of Business Users in manufacturing companies with Low Code Capabilities can be a game changer for your customer experience strategy in today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace. By reducing the reliance on specialized IT resources, Low Code platforms enable business users to build and adapt their own applications, reducing costs, improving efficiency, and driving innovation. With Low Code, manufacturers can respond quickly to changing business requirements, optimize their operations, and stay ahead of the competition.