Posted at Thursday, 15 July, 2021

How we’re building an industrial-strength customer experience

Paul Skade
By Richard Ludlam
Marketing Manager

Intrigued by all things engineering, as a youngster I originally looked to understand how things work then, how to make them work better.

After time in eng...

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We live in a world where goods and services are rapidly becoming commoditised. From mobile phones, computer software and banking to industrial equipment nand components, it's increasingly difficult for consumers to identify clear points of differentiation between products from different suppliers.

FCE Customer Experience - Digital Fulfilment
FCE Customer Experience - Digital Fulfilment

 

Many business experts believe the answer is to create compelling customer experiences (CX) as a means of rebuilding clear market differentiation. Although this approach can be relatively simple to enact in consumer markets, where much of the interaction is online and purchases tend to be straightforward, in the industrial segment it can be far more challenging.

Most business purchasing processes are complex, frequently involving multiple stakeholders that engage at different stages in what are often extended buying cycles; this is especially true for high value capital projects or long-term supply agreements.

 

Quote for FCE Customer Experience - increase revenue by improved customer experience

Nonetheless, the importance if creating a great CX in industrial markets cannot be overlooked. Research carried out by KPMG found that 75% of B2B (Business to Business) companies consider the customer experience to be a major factor in their choice of supplier, while Forbes reported in 2020 that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable, with 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience recording corresponding increases in revenue.

For more industrial and manufacturing businesses the quality of the CX has always depended on the strength of the relationships that are built between individuals in supplier and customer organisations. Although this remains true today, things are changing fast.

Prior to the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, we were already seeing a growth in the use of e-commerce and digital interactions; this trend has accelerated rapidly in the last year and has created a fresh dimension to the way in which companies work together.

Building business value along the supply chain

In tandem with the drive towards creating outstanding customer experiences, we’ve seen an increase in the number of companies that are outsourcing many of their non-core functions. Traditionally, these might have been IT, HR and logistics. Today, outsourcing is likely to include a range of specialised manufacturing or assembly operations, together with greater collaboration and shared ownership of IP in product development, plus more robust business process alignment and integration.

 

Quote for FCE Customer Experience - advanced technologies enable customer product predictions

This integration between customer and supplier depends for its success of mutual respect and understanding, sharing of goals and risks, communication, and a clear definition of expectations. With this knowledge it becomes possible for the supplier to develop the tools and processes to engineer a great customer experience.

At ERIKS, we already work closely with many of our customers and have developed a range of fulfilment, engineering, technical and commercial support services to help customers derive significant value from our relationship.  With the opening of our new Fulfilment Centre of Expertise and UK headquarters in Oldbury we’ll be able to strengthen this offering, while building the foundations that will help us offer an evolving customer experience that we believe will set new standards for our sector in the future.

The key to this process will be our investment in advanced technologies to enable us to predict and stock exactly the products each customer needs, and to deliver the right products every time.  We’ll be able to do this faster and, crucially, with complete end-to-end visibility, where each customer can see the exact status of their order at any stage of the process.

Quote for FCE Customer Experience - end to end visability

We’ll be using sophisticated I4.0 technologies, interconnecting our warehouse and business process systems with those of customers and suppliers along our entire supply chain.  

 

Quote for FCE Customer Experience - evolve customer experience

Additionally, the use of intelligent warehouse automation and fulfilment technology will enable us to create a dynamic real-time stock control and management solution, which in turn will allow more of our team across the UK and Ireland to focus on the vital areas of customer communication and collaboration – ultimately building what we anticipate will be an industry-leading, industrial-strength customer experience to help them work better.

 

#FCE #Fulfilment #FulfilmentCentreofExpertise #engineering #technical #warehouse #automation #iot #smart #digital #technology

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