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5 Ways Software Integration can Influence the Future of Manufacturing

Digital transformation has become one of the most important drivers of success in the modern business world, but in the increasingly competitive manufacturing industry, it can mean the difference between long-term success and a quick demise.

Manufacturing companies are either integrating smart software solutions, or they are falling behind the competition, it’s as simple as that – which is why your no.1 priority for 2020 should be to integrate the leading technologies in order to develop your competitive advantage. The reasons behind embracing digital transformation are numerous, of course, but all of them ultimately lead to business growth and company-wide efficiency.

This is achieved through enhanced customer service and a more efficient CRM system, improved logistics and smart inventory management, automation, data security, and more. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the key benefits that software integration brings to manufacturing, and how it can shape the future of the industry. 

Improving customer relationship management

Starting with CRM, every growth-oriented manufacturing business should have a customer relationship management system in place if it wants to generate quality leads and transform them into paying customers, and of course, in order to nurture a deeper relationship with their existing customers that’s driven by loyalty and trust. If you’ve been in the manufacturing game for any amount of time, then you know just how important it is to nurture your relationships with your customers in an industry that is becoming more competitive each year. One slip-up, and you could lose your long-standing clients for good.

That said, manual CRM has not only become a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, but it’s also a drain on your financial resources. To manage leads effectively and nurture your existing customers, you need to integrate feature-rich CRM software that will help you optimize your entire sales cycle and boost conversions while minimizing customer churn. 

Enhancing data security

When you choose to integrate cloud-based software into your manufacturing operation, you are effectively improving the efficiency of your entire IT department, enabling easy scalability and data center expansion, but most importantly, you are improving cybersecurity across the board. Data security and management are extremely important in a day and age of increased cyber threats, especially for a business that can’t afford to jeopardize its brand image at any cost. After all, it only takes a single data breach for a manufacturing business to lose its customers and suppliers, and for its brand authority to get ruined for good.

This is one of the reasons why cloud-based software solutions are so popular nowadays, as they bring the latest in cybersecurity to the company and ensure the safety of sensitive business and customer information. In turn, you are able to build a trustworthy image and a brand that attracts loyal customers. 

Inventory management and logistics

There are many advantages of modern software, of which logistics and inventory management might just be the most important one. Manufacturing businesses need to maintain an efficient and effective supply chain in order to preserve operational efficiency and productivity, but also keep their employees happy and avoid extraneous financial expenditure due to unforeseen asset downtime. 

For this and many other reasons, business leaders in the sector are increasingly integrating comprehensive MRP software into their operations that has all of the features necessary to keep a supply chain running smoothly across the board. Real-time inventory management, demand sensing and forecasting, easy management, the software needs to be able to handle all business requirements for a growth-oriented manufacturing company. 

Improving customer engagement and satisfaction

Customer relationship management is one thing, however, keeping customers engaged and satisfied can be a different challenge altogether. Faced with increased lead generation and more workload than their customer service teams can handle in a day, business leaders nowadays have to consider integrating innovative technology in order to improve the quality of their service.

This is how chatbots became popular in the manufacturing industry in recent years, as they allow businesses to run more efficient and effective customer service departments. The chatbot can take on menial and repetitive tasks, while the human representatives focus on resolving the more complex processes.

Leveraging software automation to enhance productivity

On a final note, keep in mind that software integration ultimately helps alleviate a lot of the pressure off of your employees and your infrastructure as a whole through automation. Using the right software, you can automate everything from the processes we discussed in this piece, all the way to social media and digital marketing in general, finance management and invoicing, and beyond. 

The key is to know what to automate and whether or not the cost of integrating that particular piece of software is worth the benefits it brings to your company. It’s important that you analyze all of the features that the software has to offer, and that you sign up for the free trial in order to see if it truly accommodates all of your needs. 

Wrapping up

The manufacturing industry is constantly changing and evolving with the market and consumer trends, which is why digital transformation should be at the forefront of your growth strategy. With these insights in mind, be sure to choose comprehensive software that will help you take your company forward.

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