The past focus of B2B transactions was primarily on efficiency, ensuring that customers receive their orders quickly and efficiently. But modern businesses have shifted their focus to a customer-driven approach that prioritizes delivering a personalized digital experience. But what does this mean for manufacturers?
For manufacturers, this means optimizing the customer experience based on their unique behavior and expectations, which can be achieved through digital transformation. By implementing a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) tool like Liferay DXP, manufacturers can streamline their operations and processes to deliver products faster and produce higher-quality products that exceed customer expectations. In fact, a Forrester Research study found that companies using a DXP experienced a 90% increase in customer retention, a 70% improvement in website conversion rates, and a 50% faster time-to-market.
These statistics make it clear that a DXP is a game-changer for manufacturers seeking long-term success.
4 Major Challenges of the Manufacturing Industry
The manufacturing industry faces unprecedented challenges as it adapts to digital transformation and changing technology trends. Despite these challenges, companies have seen significant improvements in customer engagement and revenue growth with the implementation of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). Here are some of the major challenges faced by the manufacturing industry.
1. Constant pressure from competitors to innovate and remain competitive:
The manufacturing industry is facing intense competition from new players such as startups and niche companies that are leveraging advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, and cloud computing to create innovative products and services. According to a survey by PwC, 72% of manufacturing CEOs believe that technology advancements are a key challenge to their industry. To stay competitive, manufacturers need to initiate digital transformation, create new business models, adopt agile manufacturing processes, and use data-driven insights to drive innovation.
2. Legacy systems that aren’t compatible with newer technologies and processes:
To meet the continuously changing customer expectations and demand, manufacturers need scalable systems. A report by Accenture found 73% of manufacturing executives said that legacy systems and technology were a significant barrier to digital transformation, making it difficult to pace up with competitors.
3. Complexities of delivering engaging customer experiences:
Manufacturing companies often struggle to create excellent customer experiences. In absence of that, they lose on various customer engagement opportunities. To address this challenge, manufacturers must adopt a customer-centric approach, leveraging data and analytics to understand customer needs and preferences, and using digital technologies to create personalized experiences.
4. Difficulty analyzing a huge amount of data to derive actionable insights:
The manufacturing industry generates vast amounts of data from sensors, machines, and other sources, which can be overwhelming to manage and analyze. To derive actionable insights from data, manufacturers must invest in data analytics tools and technologies, and build data-driven decision-making capabilities across their organization.
Why do manufacturers and distributors need a DXP?
A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) empowers manufacturers and distributors to effectively manage and deliver digital experiences to their customers across various touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, and social media channels. It also helps them with:
Increased engagement and conversion
Digital experience solutions for manufacturers and offer increased engagement and conversion by tailoring experiences based on a customer’s past purchases, browsing history, and demographic information. This personalized approach can result in increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Drive customer acquisition
By offering superior customer experiences, manufacturers and distributors can get ahead of their competition. With consistent experiences across all channels, they can drive new customer engagement and increase brand awareness.
A manufacturing company can use a DXP to streamline its supply chain management (SCM), thus, reducing costs associated with inventory management, logistics, and shipping. For a distributor, DXP helps in automating order processing and customer support, eliminating the need for manual intervention and increasing efficiency. These improvements can result in increased revenue and a higher ROI for the business.
5 Ways Liferay DXP Can Benefit Manufacturers
Despite the importance of digital transformation, many manufacturing companies still struggle to keep up. To remain relevant, they must invest in technology and initiatives that connect partners and serve customers better. According to a recent survey by Liferay, a digital experience platform, 93 manufacturing customers commonly use the platform for collaboration, customer, and dealer portals. Take a look at the manufacturing Intranet & Portal Website Software and various other Liferay solutions.
1. Customer Portals
Manufacturers can build customer portals using Liferay solutions, establishing direct relationships with end customers. Liferay-powered portals offer personalization, fast and efficient self-service options, flexibility, and the ability to accommodate evolving business needs and pricing models resulting from Industry 4.0. For instance, Airbus Helicopter uses Liferay DXP to provide a modernized platform for over 24,000 users worldwide, enabling them to manage accounts, submit electronic warranty claims, access health and usage reports, and purchase spare parts online. The benefits include improved operational efficiency, greater productivity, and intuitive browsing organized by helicopter fleet instead of by department.
2. Collaboration Platforms
Liferay’s collaboration portal facilitates seamless internal and external collaboration for global teams, with user authentication, granular permissions, and robust integration capabilities. Its features for social and collaboration, streamlined business processes, forms, and workflow support concurrent work towards common goals. Putzmeister leveraged Liferay to establish a comprehensive platform that decentralized maintenance, updated the contact directory and provided a complete range of products and designs on a single platform. The result was impressive, with international connectivity achieved for the first time, over 5,000 documents organized, and diverse applications integrated with support for multiple sites.
3. Dealer Portals
Dealer portals, supported by Liferay, enable a bi-directional flow of information to gain valuable customer insights that can be integrated into early production and design phases. They also offer training and materials to help dealers communicate product benefits and the unique needs of B2B sellers. Liferay DXP provides an integrated experience for B2B partners, serving every stage from purchase to service. Volkswagen Group France has streamlined its operations with a B2B dealer portal featuring multimedia resources, personalized access, and document sharing based on user roles and permissions.
4. Public Websites
Liferay’s public websites allow manufacturers to provide a seamless customer journey through websites with features such as multiple language support, personalization, mobile optimization, and headless CMS. Bosch Smart Home used Liferay to create a user-friendly website integrated with back-end systems, achieving a 4.8-star rating on Trusted Shops.
5. Integrated Platform
Liferay’s integration capabilities offer businesses the advantages of supporting multiple audiences, overcoming siloed processes, and extending the value of legacy technology. QAD, a leading enterprise software provider, implemented an integrated platform to connect all its sites, resulting in a single solution for intranet, website, and content management, greater personalization, and a strong technical foundation.
How Liferay Helps Manufacturers Adopt Digital Transformation
The Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP) offers manufacturers the ability to establish a robust groundwork that aligns with evolving customer expectations and the constantly changing industry landscape. By implementing this flexible, scalable, and enterprise-grade platform, businesses can maintain their competitive edge. Noteworthy advantages of using Liferay DXP include:
A seamless end-to-end customer journey
By combining Liferay Commerce with a digital experience platform, manufacturers can enhance the B2B selling experience and deliver a centralized location for information, shopping, and self-services to their customers and distributors.
Digitally enabling your business ecosystem
Digital experience solutions for manufacturers provides businesses with a unified ecosystem that integrates relationships and knowledge through a single platform. Its out-of-the-box features, including social and collaborative tools, business process automation, and omnichannel support, can enhance operational efficiency and customer solutions delivery. This and elevates competitive edge and foster seamless digital transformation in manufacturing.
Insight-driven strategies with aggregated data
Liferay provides a comprehensive solution that integrates third-party and legacy systems to aggregate and analyze siloed data for developing effective strategies. By leveraging Machine Learning features in Liferay Commerce in conjunction with Liferay DXP, organizations can optimize sales operations and customer experience initiatives with suggested product groups and recommendations.
Flexibility for future business models
As the manufacturing industry progresses towards advanced business and pricing models, such as subscription-based models, Liferay’s platform provides the flexibility to keep pace with evolving organizational structures and processes.
Liferay DXP Features with immediate ROI for the Manufacturing Industry
Liferay DXP’s ability to integrate legacy systems with modern technologies and adapt to evolving business models, while streamlining processes and improving data management, makes it a valuable platform for the manufacturing industry.
|Content Targeting||Offers businesses the ability to deliver personalized content to specific audiences based on demographic data and browsing history.|
|Forums||Provides users with a collaborative platform to share knowledge, discuss ideas and resolve issues.|
|Mobile Responsive Design||Ensures that websites and content are optimized for viewing on mobile devices, improving user experience and engagement.|
|Personalization||Enables businesses to create tailored experiences for users by delivering personalized content and recommendations based on their preferences and behavior.|
|Workflow Engine||Streamlines and automates business processes, improving efficiency and productivity.|
|Web Content Management||Allows businesses to easily create, edit, and manage website content, streamlining content creation and publication.|
|Categories and Tags||Organizes content into a logical structure, making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.|
|Search||Provides users with a fast and accurate search function, improving their ability to find relevant content.|
|Integrations||Enables seamless connectivity with third-party software, enhancing functionality and improving the user experience.|
|Data Protection||Ensures that user data is secure and protected, complying with data privacy regulations.|
|High Availability and Scalability||Provides businesses with a platform that can handle high traffic volumes and scale up as the business grows.|
|User Management and Permissioning||Enables manufacturing companies to manage user access and permissions, improving security and data protection.|
|Segmentation Rules||Allows manufacturers to segment their user base and deliver personalized content based on specific criteria, improving engagement and conversion rates.|
Liferay Commerce Features for the Manufacturing industry
Liferay Commerce offers advanced features to streamline the sales process for manufacturers and improve customer engagement.
|Catalog and Product Browsing||Allows customers to easily browse through a manufacturer’s product catalog and find what they need, with search and filtering options available.|
|Customer-Specific Pricing||Offers personalized pricing and discounts to customers based on their account status, purchase history, and other factors.|
|Order Forecasting||Helps manufacturers anticipate customer demand and plan production and inventory accordingly, using data analysis and sales projections.|
|Payment, Shipping, and ESB Integration||Integrates with various payment gateways and shipping providers to offer seamless, secure transactions and delivery options, while also integrating with ESB for data exchange between different systems.|
|Single Page Checkout||Streamlines the checkout process for customers, allowing them to complete their purchase quickly and easily on a single page without navigating through multiple steps.|
Potential challenges for manufacturers when building digital experiences and how to overcome them
Manufacturers face challenges in building digital experiences due to legacy systems, data management, and changing customer needs, which can be addressed through agile digital transformation, modern technology platforms, and customer-centric strategies.
Integration with legacy systems
Many manufacturers rely on legacy systems to manage their operations, which can make integrating new digital experiences a challenge. For example, a manufacturer with an inventory management system that is not compatible with a new digital platform. However, Liferay offers pre-built connectors and APIs that can facilitate integration with the inventory management system, enabling real-time inventory updates and improving the accuracy of product availability information.
Migrating data from legacy systems to new digital platforms can be a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. A manufacturing company switching to a new digital platform may need to migrate product information, customer data, and order history from its legacy system. Liferay’s migration tool offers data migration tools and best practices to ensure a seamless and efficient data migration process, ensuring data accuracy and completeness.
Manufacturers need customized digital experiences to meet their unique business requirements and customer needs. To create a customized checkout process for their B2B customers, Liferay offers easy customization and development, with features such as drag-and-drop page building, customizable themes, and pre-built templates.
A successful digital experience is only possible when users can easily adopt and utilize the platform, and Liferay offers a user-friendly interface and comprehensive training and support resources to help users adopt and engage with the platform. For example, if a manufacturer wants to train their sales team on how to use the new digital platform to access product information and place orders, Liferay’s robust training and support resources, such as user guides, video tutorials, and webinars, can ensure an effective knowledge transfer.
Manufacturing companies need to ensure that their digital experiences are secure to protect sensitive data and comply with regulatory requirements. If a manufacturer aims to comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR or CCPA, Liferay’s security features, such as user authentication and authorization, data encryption, and secure communication protocols, help in data protection and meet regulatory requirements.
Today’s digital experiences must be scalable to handle growing traffic and user demands. To address the challenge, Liferay offers load balancing, clustering, and cloud deployment options. These features distribute network traffic across multiple servers group servers to work as a single system and allow users to add more resources to the system as needed.
Future of Manufacturing with Liferay DXP
The manufacturing industry is gradually shifting towards digital transformation and Liferay DXP is at the forefront of this change. With Liferay DXP, manufacturers can create a seamless digital experience, optimize their production processes, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, it also leverages emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, and blockchain, unlocking new opportunities for growth, innovation, and sustainability.
Enhanced customer experiences
With Liferay DXP, manufacturers can create a personalized and agile digital experience for their customers across multiple channels, devices, and touchpoints. This can create a seamless, omnichannel customer journey that enhances engagement, loyalty, and brand advocacy.
Liferay DXP help manufacturers streamline their production processes and reduce costs by automating operation and eliminating manual processes. This can result in improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and increased output.
For better collaboration among different stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, and partners, companies can leverage Liferay DXP. Moreover, they get a central platform for communication, document sharing, and project management.
Leverage data and analytics to gain insights into production processes, customer behavior, and market trends. By using predictive analytics, manufacturers can anticipate and respond to changing customer needs, optimize production processes, and improve overall business performance.
Adopt an agile approach to production by enabling real-time data collection and analysis, flexible production scheduling, and rapid response to changing market demands with Liferay DXP. This can enable manufacturers to quickly pivot their production processes to meet changing customer needs, stay competitive, and drive growth.
The manufacturing industry is undergoing a revolution with the continued advancement of technology, making it crucial for companies to consider the advantages of digital transformation. Adopting innovative solutions like Liferay DXP can enable businesses to enhance their operations, improve their customer experience, and ultimately boost their overall performance. With its flexible architecture, seamless integration capabilities, and user-friendly interface, Liferay DXP is an ideal option for manufacturing firms seeking to optimize their digital strategy. Given these compelling benefits, manufacturing companies should seriously consider implementing Liferay DXP as part of their digital transformation journey. To learn more about how Liferay DXP can help your business, book a call with one of our experts.