Deloitte predicts that growth in industrial manufacturing in the US will be 3.7% this year and industry leaders’* optimism is at an all-time high.
However, industrial manufacturing is being reshaped by a variety of external forces including changes in tariffs and trade agreements affecting the cost of raw materials, skills shortages with job opening levels at more than 400,000 since January 2018, and supply chains that are under stress. The Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 is also making on-shore mergers and acquisitions an appealing prospect, leading to greater convergence and collaboration across industry sectors.
In this environment, digital and advanced technologies are transforming business models, operations and partnerships. Taking full advantage of new technologies is likely to be a decisive factor for US industrial manufacturing companies in the near future.
Online opportunities for industrial companies in the US
Many B2B companies in manufacturing and distribution are expanding their reach using ecommerce solutions. To do this successfully you need a platform specifically designed for the B2B market to streamline order fulfilment, provide fast and efficient quotes, track inventory, and generate more sales.
An integrated B2B ecommerce platform allows you to engage and manage existing suppliers, customers, and partners from a single hub. It also provides an efficient and reliable way to find and work with a wider network of suppliers, dealers, manufacturers, and other professions.
Efficiency and productivity
Skills shortages mean that the industrial sector must do more with the resources currently available. Streamlining processes is one way to achieve this.
‘Out of the box’ integrations with major business systems available from leading B2B ecommerce solution providers like Cloudfy allow you to reduce duplication and user errors, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Only one in five (20%) US manufacturers say they are ‘highly prepared’ to address the emerging business models created by the fourth industrial revolution. This year is expected to separate digital leaders from followers, and it could leave some businesses at a serious competitive disadvantage.
Is automation the answer?
Research shows that nearly half of manufacturers (49%) are already using automation in their businesses and have plans to use it for everything from production to supply chain and logistics management, maintenance, repair, and aftermarket services.
For customer service, sales and marketing, powerful personalisation options built in to your ecommerce platform can improve customer engagement and conversion rates. This is an area that is likely to see significant investment from strategically- minded industrial companies in the coming year.
Having a digital outlook
Focusing on customer experience (CX), delivering high quality content across all the channels and devices your buyers might want to use and round-the-clock availability can deliver competitive advantages in a challenging market.
Lengthy sales calls and extensive printed catalogues are being replaced by easy online research and purchasing. Ease of use, relevant search results that answer your buyers’ questions, rich content, and self-service for registered users are quickly becoming minimum requirements.
Even if your product is bespoke, you can offer online quote facilities with easy request forms to help your customers understand your solutions and to provide the right information.
Book a free Cloudfy demonstration to find out more about the power of B2B ecommerce to accelerate online growth.