LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (March 14th, 2023) – Over the past three years, supply chain disruptions and quickly-changing market dynamics have spurred IT leaders in the manufacturing industry to use digital solutions to drive profitability by optimizing key business areas and improving experiences. In fact, according to a study from The Manufacturer and IBM, 67% of manufacturers have accelerated digital projects since the advent of COVID-19, a push expected to intensify in 2023.
"Disruptions in supply chains will likely persist until the second half of 2023, impacting the economic outlook of the manufacturing industry decisively. Company leaders are scanning the horizon for challenges and opportunities that may arise in this scenario," said Jason Chang, Director of Industry Marketing at Liferay. Liferay develops a cloud-powered digital experience platform (DXP) used by manufacturing companies worldwide to build customer and partner portals, intranets, and websites.
Given the likelihood of continued disruption, Liferay experts, who track digitization processes and trends in manufacturing worldwide, predict the following five digital experience trends for CIOs to watch in 2023:
1. Delivering Effortless Digital Customer Experiences
- Highly-distributed workforce: employees worldwide have trouble finding the information they need because it resides in different documents that are located in separate and disconnected document repositories.
- Multiple disconnected channels: information comes to employees from too many channels and in different formats (email, communication apps, customer service, etc.), making it hard for them to keep up with it or find important information later.
- Building a one-stop shop to make information and intelligence accessible on any device, anywhere.
- Unifying systems to enhance decision-making processes with data.
- Making it easier for teams to visualize and draw actionable insights from data.
Now that industrial buyers have immediate access to information wherever they are, they're more self-sufficient. Manufacturers need to meet changing expectations and equip buyers to handle order or product issues themselves.
To address this challenge, CIOs should build solutions that provide customers instant access to detailed product and account information, so they can easily search and compare items and provide direct feedback. The final goal should be to deliver effortless digital experiences that keep customers coming back.
2. Improving the Aftersales Experience While Reducing Costs
The motto 'do more with less' will be a priority for leaders in manufacturing around the globe as profit margins are shrinking and the pressure to invest in digital solutions is growing. Making aftersales processes and services more efficient will become even more critical.
As an example, Deloitte estimates that aftersales service can generate 20% to 50% more profitability for manufacturers compared to new product sales. Consequently, by offering compelling, tailored experiences post-purchase, manufacturers can continue to deliver value.
In order to capitalize on aftersales possibilities, leading manufacturers are looking for solutions that minimize unplanned downtime for customers, streamline spare parts ordering, and reduce support costs with self-service.
3. Improving the Employee Experience
The challenges manufacturers are facing in a competitive and fast-paced environment are varied and complex:
To counter these challenges, CIOs in manufacturing should implement collaboration platforms that enable consistent enterprise-wide communication between employees, external partners, and other important stakeholders. These platforms will help their business run more efficiently, adequately address the needs of an evolving workforce, and drive consistency in service delivery for employees across the world.
4. Leveraging the Power of Low-Code to Decrease Time-to-Market
As manufacturers aim to deliver new, online service experiences for customers, they will have to look for ways to avoid high implementation costs and the longer times-to-market generally associated with solutions that are highly dependent on specialized IT resources. Low-code solutions, then, become a great ally for CIOs, as they can help non-IT users create and implement online experiences for customers in a timely manner.
5. Using Data for Better Decision-Making
Real-time visibility into the inner workings of an enterprise is key, as comprehensive business intelligence (BI) and data analysis allow for better decision-making. Companies that prioritize digitization will gain the upper hand, as they will be able to obtain more data from their processes.
To succeed in their digital transformation, Liferay experts recommend:
"Rising customer expectations, increased competition, and market disruptions caused by Big Data, Industry 4.0, and for the last three years – the pandemic – have forced the industry to shift their business models and refocus their IT investments. In 2023, manufacturers that focus on resilience, business continuity, and cost-saving will have a better chance of emerging as leaders in the future," said Jason Chang.