Is your operation looking for ways to deliver greater levels of personalization and user customization in your product and service offerings? As this excellent AEM article notes, "It's all about becoming Netflix, and not Blockbuster." Monolithic offerings that provide little in the way of customer customization are falling further and further behind. The companies that succeed are the ones who are finding new and creative ways to let their customers "do it your way."
Switching from a top-down perspective to more customer-driven offerings can be difficult, and requires a substantial paradigm shift in operational thinking, but it is increasingly becoming necessary to compete in a global market.
Why Customers Want More Customization Options
There are multiple reasons why this trend is continuing to grow. One is that businesses today are, themselves, becoming increasingly individualized or idiosyncratic. Even within the same industry, two businesses might have radically different needs for equipment or systems. With Industry 4.0 measures growing in uptake, this will only become more true in years to come. Companies will be experimenting with different workflows and different combinations of 'smart' management systems, each resulting in radically different purchasing priorities and needs.
Then combine that with the nature of the global market, and how easy it's become for anyone to order anything from pretty much anywhere. If a potential buyer feels like they can't get what they need from your group, they probably won't be willing to compromise on their goals. They'll just keep searching until they find a vendor which can meet those needs.
Plus, of course, consumer trends bleed into the B2B space. In particular, younger managers and decision-makers who grew up in the Internet age are coming to expect Amazon-style purchasing experiences from any vendor, even in B2B or B2G markets. Such an approach may not work for every industrial vendor, but nevertheless, industry should be looking for ways to make their products as streamlined and customizable as possible.
Overcoming Internal Barriers To Broader Customization
In general, most industries can have the capability to offer personalization and customization options to their customers. After all, the automotive industry has been offering 'options' for nearly a century. Few solutions are ever "one size fits all" and that should be recognized.
In our experience, most of the barriers to embracing customer-focused customization are internal, rather than external. A lot of operations haven't changed their core business practices in decades, and that creates a lot of inertia which is difficult to overcome. Future-focused executives will need to clearly communicate their vision for change, and seek buy-in from as many key players as possible, to help make those changes happen.
It's also important to listen to your own team members. There are almost certainly other voices within your operation who see these trends, and likely have keen insights into what types of customization options your buyers want. These insights will be incredibly valuable, and you should seek them out. Likewise, look to leverage data and AI analysis to find more patterns and trends within your customers' buying habits.
Implementing Large-Scale Changes
Finding ways to keep everyone on your team engaged and on the same page can be difficult when you're implementing large-scale changes to your business practices and philosophies. We offer tools, services, and platforms specifically designed to connect a diverse distributed workforce and partner network, turning them into a single cohesive ecosystem. To learn more about how LogicBay can help make operational changes easier, contact us!