Across industries we are seeing consumers become more demanding of personalised products and services that meet their needs, and this is now expected. While some industries are quicker to respond to this, research by SAP, the Manufacturing Success report, found that manufacturers are falling behind, with 80% agreeing they could be more customer-centric with their approach and product development.
Traditionally, most supply chains were designed from the factory outwards and focused on optimising supplier operations, particularly in terms of cost and efficiency. The rules of competition are changing though – customers are more demanding, products are more easily copied and markets are commoditised.
UK manufacturers are still grappling with this increasing customer complexity and changing competition. In order to truly succeed and grow therefore, embracing customer demands, and putting them at the heart of everything manufacturers do is key.
Here are three things which manufacturers must do in order to succeed in the customer driven economy.
Better understanding of customer base
If manufacturers are to effectively serve customers beyond core products they offer, they must look to build a better understanding of their customer base.
It’s not just about understanding the customer themselves – what they do, and the challenges they face – but it’s also about having deep knowledge of the industry in which they operate.
This will not only help to solve short time crises but through a consultative and integrated approach, this will also mean they can better support in the long term, planning for growth and strategic change. At Invenio Solutions for example, we have extensive knowledge of SAP solutions which enables us to provide tailored SAP support.
The SAP research highlights one of the biggest shifts that manufacturers expect to see in customers over the next two years is demand for added-value services (67%).
Can you quickly adapt products to meet customer needs? Do you have the expertise and knowledge to make recommendations? Are you available to support 24/7? These are all worth considering when taking a customer first approach – by being flexible, available and positioned as the expert, customers will feel that they are getting an added value experience.
Customers demand supply chain transparency according to the research which highlights that almost half of manufacturers are expecting this to be a number one priority as we move through this year.
By consolidating suppliers, and being more open and transparent, manufacturers will quickly build trust with customers. Fewer, better relationships mean a value-added consultancy service can be provided which shifts away from the commoditised, ‘race to the bottom’ model which fewer demand.
By creating whole new systems of value for customers that will help secure long term relationships and provide competitive differentiation, the lines between manufacturing and service industries are blurring.
If you would like more information about Invenio’s SAP solutions call us today on +44 (0)330 440 1800, or complete our online enquiry form for further information.
Invenio Business Solutions, a SAP Gold Partner in the UK, announced today, in conjunction with SAP USA, that Invenio Business Solutions is now officially an approved partner of SAP in the USA and part of the SAP PartnerEdge Programme, the USA.
The addition of Invenio Business Solution to the partner programme of SAP USA will enable customers in the USA to engage SAP’s solutions along with Invenio’s award winning business systems expertise in Media and Entertainment, the Public Sector and Manufacturing sectors. Invenio will also provide SAP support, value-added business solutions, upgrade, enhancement, and maintenance of SAP’s suite of solutions across SAP’s portfolio of business applications and analytics software; SAP HANA, SAP ERP, SAP Business Suite, SAP Business Intelligence; SAP Mobile Solutions, and SAP Hybris for Commerce.
Invenio Business Solution Inc. President Partho Bhattacharya said, “SAP customers in the USA, can now gain access to our delivery team of over 350 business consultants, with deep experience in the delivery of business solutions in our chosen industries. Our philosophy is to collaborate with our clients, in the delivery of customer-centric solutions, that address their ongoing business needs and objectives.
Our recent, re-certification, in Europe, as a SAP Partner Centre of Expertise (PCOE), for the third time in a row, is a demonstration of our commitment to the continuous enhancement our knowledge of the SAP portfolio. Our continued investment in the development of high-performance delivery teams, through the certification of our consultants and solutions managers, keep us at the leading edge of innovative solutions, especially in Media industry.”
About Invenio Business Solutions
Invenio Business Solutions is an award-winning Business System Provider, headquartered in Reading, UK. The company supports customers in the government, media, and manufacturing sectors, in areas that include industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) focussed on SAP tax and revenue management, IS-Media, SAP business intelligence & big data, SAP mobility, Hybris eCommerce, CRM and Enterprise integration services. Formed in 2006, the company has subsidiary offices in India, Germany, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the U.S.A. Throughout its history, Invenio has grown rapidly, organically and profitably. Invenio is a constituent of The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Invenio is a SAP Gold partner and recipient of numerous awards from SAP, including EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014 in the category “Database & Technology” for its work with SAP HANA®. The SAP consultancy is accredited for SAP’s global partner quality program and is certified for ISO 9001, a quality management system based on the principles of a customer focused, process approach and continuous improvement.
SAP SE, formerly AG, is a provider of application and analytics software for enterprises in mobile enterprise management. SAP is an enterprise cloud company. As of December 31, 2014, the Company has more than 282,000 customers in over 180 countries. The Company offers solutions-based on its SAP HANA platform combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory. It also provides capabilities, such as predictive text analytics, special processing, and data virtualisation. The Company offers application software to around 25 industries in six industry sectors and 12 business lines, including consumer, discrete manufacturing, energy and natural resources, financial services, public services and other services. Through Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Ventures invests in global capital funds, as well as early-stage venture capital funds in enterprise and consumer technology.
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UK manufacturers must take note of the focus on innovation following Sturgeon’s announcement
Following the news that Nicola Sturgeon has committed to a centre of excellence for manufacturing in Scotland, manufacturers in the UK as a whole should take note of the focus on technology and innovation to increase growth and narrow the current skills gap.
Partho Bhattacharya, MD and President of Invenio, has commented on the importance of addressing new technologies to get ahead in manufacturing:
“With recent data from the Office for National Statistics having shown that UK industrial output suffered its sharpest monthly drop in three years, manufacturers need to constantly evolve operations to achieve growth. Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to launching a manufacturing centre of excellence in Scotland is a great way to drive innovation and address the skills gap currently affecting the sector.
“In an increasingly volatile climate, manufacturing companies who do not utilise the advice and technology available to modernise operations will quickly fall behind. It is therefore reassuring to see that the Scottish Government is implementing a strategy for the manufacturing sector which focuses on working with companies to assess the benefits of new technologies, and encourage their take-up.
“Whilst this initiative is focussed on Scotland, manufacturers across the UK should always seek to achieve constant innovation, whether that’s driven internally or through partnering with third party experts. Whilst it’s not possible for centres of excellence to be launched everywhere in the UK, with the right knowledge and advice, expert partners can help manufacturers to utilise technology to drive efficiency and growth.”
To read the full article, please visit: http://www.manufacturingglobal.com/peopleskills/677/UK-manufacturers-must-take-note-of-the-focus-on-innovation-following-Sturgeons-announcement
Kofo Are, Head of Marketing
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According to data released by the Automotive Council and SMMT today, the success of the UK manufacturing industry is being threatened by a lack of skills. Partho Bhattacharya, MD and President of Invenio, comments on how technology and innovation can help manufacturers maintain productivity and growth during a skills crisis:
“The data released today by the Automotive Council and SMMT demonstrates that the current success of the UK car manufacturing industry is hinging on a serious lack of skills. While upskilling the workforce and ensuring the right education is key and needs to be addressed quickly, this is not going to help manufacturers who are struggling right now. To maintain productivity and growth during a crisis, businesses need to look for alternatives and lean on third-party experts for guidance. With the right know-how concerning technology and innovation, manufacturers can help minimise the impact of these kinds of pressures.
“Implementing the right technology to drive efficiency within manufacturing organisations regardless of the skills challenges experienced is essential. By putting the right technology in place to manage R&D spend, improve visibility and enhance customer service, manufacturers can better equip themselves against resource or skills shortages. Intelligent use of data and analytics is also integral to future-proofing businesses against unexpected changes in industry. By tackling these issues head-on and ensuring technology plays an important role in driving operational efficiency, car manufacturers will be able to meet demand and remain competitive as it continues on its journey to upskill the future workforce.”
+44(0)330 440 1800
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Team Invenio were called upon for help. The client first conducted an internal needs analysis and drew up a shortlist of potential mid-tier solutions to review. Included in that list was SAP, it was clear that the business required a tier-one system and it was decided that SAP would be the most appropriate choice for the business. As the parent company were an established user of SAP it would provide them with an additional support and expertise should it be needed.
Following a swift implementation of SAP, the manufacturer was soon working with complete transparency across the business, within the implementation process they also discovered that they could reduce headcount in both warehousing and order processing through improved processes which saved them £££.
As SAP is incredibly robust, it simply means the information it produces is right, first time, every time, giving confidence in the numbers and 100% clarity across the business.
After the initial SAP implementation the manufacturer decided to look for an external SAP Support Partner to help them maintain their system. Although the support had run ok in the past the manufacturer, had noticed deteriorating service levels. As they retain a very small SAP team they really needed access to the right experts fast! So ultimately felt there was a real risk to the business if they didn’t combine this with external support. So for a second time, the manufacturer leaned on Invenio’s shoulders and have stayed there ever since!
The client referred to Invenio as liking the honesty and openness of the Invenio team. The customer stated “The response times and service have been amazing and someone always gets on to any problems we raise straight away. In terms of the knowledge of the consultants we interact with, this is exceeding expectations, and the expertise available in the team is exceptional”.
But the benefits of working with Invenio don’t stop there! As there were some projects the manufacturer had placed on the back burner but with Invenio’s incredible cost structure, the manufacturer are revisiting these projects to look at what they can introduce.
This fantastic customer journey continues….
Whilst the recent economic downturn hit the service industries hard, for manufacturers here in the UK, recessionary pressures were hardly a new phenomenon. The rise of the emerging economies – rich in both labour and resource – combined with a strong pound, has seen manufacturing output in decline for many years.
Fortunately, the UK has seen positive trends from manufacturing. The manufacturing industry is growing and with it the industry is employing over 2.5 million staff in the UK alone and continues to see growth which suggests demand for British goods is still strong. EEF also states that exports are a major source of growth for many manufacturers; over 90% of EEF members are exporters with nearly 40% exporting more than half of their turnover.
Although a scary thought at first,globalisation has created significant opportunities for British manufacturing, and UK companies definitely are rising to the challenge. Growth in Asia and other emerging markets are providing significant new export potential; offsetting the more disappointing performance in some parts of the euro area. In China in 2012 saw sales of UK automobiles increase up by 60% and this figure continues to grow through 2014.
The UK boasts many successful, highly innovative and well-managed manufacturing companies. A big question is how can British manufacturers position themselves not only to capitalise on domestic market opportunity, but look ahead to priming operations to take advantage of demand in the emerging economies? Whether through sourcing raw material, shifting production plants or joining the growing trend toward the trade of British manufactured goods in the eastern economies – what can companies do to ensure a readiness for business on a global scale?
Find out how one of our long standing customers achieved this – read the SPP Pumps case study
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