How A Digital Platform Helps Light Manufacturers to Address their Challenges Effectively?
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By: Sagar Sharma

How A Digital Platform Helps Light Manufacturers to Address their Challenges Effectively?

Creating and delivering extraordinary customer experiences and streamlining the various business processes at the same time are the core objectives of every organization. The first one helps you generate better business while another one helps you reduce the operational cost. Both aspects carry the equivalent importance for any organization to earn the profit.

Being a light manufacturing organization, I guess you are definitely aspiring to achieve these benefits. Along with advantages, digital platforms help you address the crucial challenges of your light business too.

Developing and implementing a digital platform, you can deal with the below-listed business challenges effectively.

Challenges Faced by Different Departments of Light Manufacturing Business

 

Challenges Faced by Different Departments of Light Manufacturing Business

Top Management

Challenges of top management of a light manufacturing business

  • Achieve faster time-to-market of the product
  • Creating an aggregated single source of truth for all product information
  • Centralized management of all organizational data (suppliers, dealers, customers, etc.)
  • Creating an extraordinary customer experience
  • Attaining faster turnaround time of the order processing

Information Technology (IT)

The Information Technology (IT) department of a light manufacturing business has to deal with the challenges like

  • Management of disparate systems and database
  • Data duplication across the different data silos
  • Data cleaning and data merging
  • Inability to generating MIS reports on time
  • Integrating different third party systems

Providing relevant & required data to the other departments of the organization (Sales, Marketing, Operations, and more)

  • Scattered data and digital assets across the various systems
  • Aggregate/update the supplier/dealer data in a single system
  • Enrichment of product information due to lack of system interfaces

Operations

The operations department of a light manufacturing company deals with data-driven issues like

  • Collecting and aggregating different data from suppliers
  • Sharing updated pricing information across the organization
  • Delay in creating quotations for dealers and distributors in the absence of a centralized system
  • Keep updating the product catalog due to the higher product churn rate
  • Effective management of hundreds of attributes of thousands of products

Sales & Marketing

Essential challenges that sales and marketing departments want to address to boost brand awareness and customer engagement as well as increase the sales are

  • Required to perform a lot of manual work to create custom quotations
  • Defining pricing based on customer segments
  • Providing discounts to specific customers
  • Managing promotions for specific customer segments
  • Keep updating the product quantity
  • Enabling customers with all the product options or variants in an interactive way
  • Managing and sharing of in-stock quantities of products
  • Sharing the updated technical specification of products
  • Slower time to market of the product catalog due to disconnected systems and scattered data of products and customers

What is a Digital Platform?

Digital Platform helps a light manufacturing organization to manage most of the business processes effortlessly. It enables organizations with product data management, customer data management, content management, eCommerce activity management, marketing activity management, data management of other business entities (dealers, vendors, suppliers, employees, accounting, etc.), digital asset management, and more.

To get exclusive insights on the digital platform, you can visit What is a Digital Platform? Everything You Need to Know about Digital Platform.

How Digital Platform Addresses the Pain Points of Light Manufacturers?

A robust digital platform contains the capabilities of Product Information Management (PIM), Master Data Management (MDM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Customer Experience Management (EXP), Digital Commerce (B2B, B2C, B2B2C), and Customer Data Platform.

Considering all these solutions, you can address all the challenges of your different departments. Let’s see how.

Product Information Management (PIM)

A reliable PIM solution allows you to manage all your product data in a centralized location. It harmonizes all your technical, sales, and marketing product information for the different departments.

PIM can collect, manage, aggregate, enrich, and distribute the digital data of the product. Moreover, you can integrate your existing enterprise systems and third-party applications with the PIM.

It contains advanced features such as Data Modeling, Data Management, Data Integration, and Delivery, Data Quality/Semantics, and Workflow Management. All these features help light manufacturing businesses to

  • Effective management of disparate systems and database
  • Eliminate data duplication across the different data silos
  • Perform data cleaning and data merging
  • Integrate different third party systems
  • Provide relevant & required data to the other departments of the organization (Sales, Marketing, Operations, and more)
  • Manage all the product data and digital assets in a centralized location and a logical structure
  • Enrich the product information
  • Manage hundreds of attributes of thousands of products effectively
  • Managing and sharing of in-stock quantities of products
  • Keep updating the product quantity

Check out Product Information Management to get detailed insights about the different aspects of the PIM.

Master Data Management (MDM)

Development and implementation of a Master Data Management solution allow you to manage all your business data regardless of products, customers, suppliers, dealers, vendors, employees, and more. It is a single source of truth for all your data.

Along with managing the data, it allows you to manage all aspects of any master record that involves data structure, hierarchy, versioning, validation, and enrichment with descriptions, attributes, documentation, translations, and other related data.

It contains a set of robust features that involves Data Quality/Semantics, Hierarchy Management, Rich Content Integration, Audit Trail, Superior Connectivity, and Workflow Management. Using these features light manufacturers can

  • Achieve faster time-to-market of the product
  • Generate MIS reports on time
  • Integrating different third party systems
  • Aggregate/update the supplier/dealer data in a single system
  • Collecting and aggregating different data from suppliers
  • Create quotations for dealers and distributors quickly as all the data available in a centralized system

Being a master record of all your data, it also enables light manufacturing brands with most of the capabilities of product data management, digital asset management, content management, eCommerce data management, and customer data management activities.

Explore more about Master Data Management to know what are the other ways you can utilize MDM for your lighting business.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Manage all your media assets such as images, videos, documents, graphics, etc. in a centralized repository by implementing a feature-rich DAM solution. It helps in improving customer experiences by placing the digital asset management framework at the core of digital experience management. It allows light manufacturers to manage, integrate, and consolidate any amount and any type of digital assets.

DAM enables you with powerful features like Digital Asset Consolidation, Metadata Management, Asset Portal Extension, Workflow Management, and Digital Asset Delivery. Using the DAM, light manufacturing companies can address the below challenges.

  • Scattered data and digital assets across the various systems as you can manage all the media assets in a single platform.

Apart from digital asset management in a centralized location, DAM contains the capabilities of

  • Manage automatic face recognition, image editing, VR/360 images, tagging, scheduling, versioning, and more
  • Structured management of digital assets with a grid interface for fast and easy access
  • Consistent and easy curation and metadata management of digital assets
  • Resize the image in the correct format for all the different output channels
  • Supports 220+ different image file formats such as bitmap, vector, PDFs, Office documents, and several different video codecs.
  • Centralized management of metadata that contains the asset-specific clarification
  • Manage all types of metadata in DAM including technical metadata (database, glossary, etc.), descriptive metadata (file type, title, keywords, etc.), process metadata (project, approver, status, etc.), administrative metadata (date created, geographic parameters, expiration dates, licensing details, etc.),
  • Store and manage the metadata in a structured way
  • DAM supports multiple languages, so you can create metadata in your preferred language.

Digital Commerce Platform

Deliver your customers’ highly personalized experience harnessing the potential of digital commerce. Implementing a component-based development framework like Pimcore, you can generate substantial ROI and reduce time to market.

Leveraging digital commerce, you can develop B2B, B2C, and B2B2C portals to connect with a large user base that eventually increases your sales and allows you to generate better revenue.

B2C

Using a digital platform for your customer-centric portal, you can enable end customers with extremely personalized experience in a real-time omnichannel environment.

B2B

On the other hand, it helps you manage your B2B business by allowing you to manage complex product and pricing structure, secured checkout process, multiple catalogs, product reviews, price lists, and currencies. It also allows you to manage agile projects with evolving needs, multiple front end apps, flexible promotions, and more

If we talk about the feature set of digital commerce, it involves B2B & B2C eCommerce framework, customer experience management, and PIM for eCommerce.

Digital commerce helps light manufacturers to deal with the varied challenges by allowing you to

  • Share updated pricing data throughout the organization
  • Keep updating the product catalog to reduce product churn rate
  • Create custom quotations quickly with less minimum manual efforts
  • Define pricing based on customer segments
  • Provide discounts to specific customers
  • Manage promotions for specific customer segments
  • Improve time to market of the product catalog as the product and customer data are available in a centralized repository and all the systems are connected to the digital commerce platform

Do you want to explore the capabilities of digital commerce? Here you go.

  • Component driven development delivers highly flexible and outstanding B2C and B2B eCommerce experiences by offering functionalities like price calculation, checkout processes, shopping cart management, product filtering, and more.
  • Build a digital storefront to sell your product and run promotions
  • Integrate the customer-specific checkout process for corporate buyers and consumers
  • Implement end-to-end order management process for your B2C and B2B orders through a robust order management module
  • Create personalized experiences by sending personalized messages using content commerce across the multiple channels

To know more about the capabilities of digital commerce, you can connect with our experts.

Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

An advanced digital experience platform helps the light manufacturing company to create and deliver personalized digital experiences to each of your customers on every touchpoint. It allows you to manage, deliver, and optimize contextual digital experiences created by analytics and customer data management.

Do you want to know how a digital experience platform helps light manufacturers to improve their business?

  • Enabling customers with all the product options or variants in an interactive way

The features of the digital experience platform consist of digitalizing marketing technology, manage personalized experiences, content & commerce & contextualization, and single-source multi-channel publishing, and improved ROI. All these features contain a unique set of capabilities as mentioned below.

features of the digital experience platform

Furthermore, the advanced capabilities of the digital experience platform include

  • Manage content, commerce, and community a single roof
  • Connect your digital experience management solution with your existing enterprise systems and external third-party applications
  • Push the high-quality data on different output channels
  • Provide personalized and relevant content to the customers
  • Manage millions of products, digital assets, and pages that are operated by hundreds of editors and visited by millions of users in a month

To get more insights into the digital experience platform, you can reach out to our team.

Customer Data Platform (CDP)

It is a centralized repository of all your customer data. CDP aggregates your customer activities across the different source systems to enable you with a unified and consistent view of all related data. It offers a set of features that help you with profile unification marketing automation, customer segmentation, content personalization, SSO, and more.

With the help of a customer data platform, light manufacturing companies can address all the customer related issues. Also, up to some extent, they can address the marketing-related challenges as well. CDP allows light manufacturers to

  • Create an extraordinary customer experience
  • Define customer segments to decide pricing, promotions, and discounts

If we talk about the advanced capabilities of the customer data platform, it covers

  • Aggregate, store, and manage the individual-level customer data from multiple sources regardless of online (third-party applications or first-party systems) or offline in real-time.
  • Connect multiple devices to CDP to identify unique customers. It helps you to avoid duplicated customer data.
    Leverage customer data modeling to manage customer data with a classified and structured way with all the required attributes
  • CDP enables you with customer segmentation and on-site behavioral targeting to create and deliver personalized experiences for the customers through real-time implicit and explicit
  • Using the customer management framework tool, you can automate any actions linked to the customers as per the predefined rules.

3 Interesting Use Cases of Light Manufacturing Companies

Use Case 1

Problem

One of the leading light manufacturers sells thousands of lighting products across the globe. As they do the business in different regions, they have to display rules and regulations defined by their targeted region or country along with the products. They used to present these data on the product packaging.

It takes a lot of space on the product packaging. So, the packing design looks cluttered due to the smaller size of the packaging. They were not able to highlight the branding and display the essential features of the product.

Solution

To address the challenge of the light manufacturing company, a QR code database solution is developed using the PIM and DXP capabilities of a digital platform. The client can manage the rules and regulations in the different languages in the back-end using DXP. They can create a QR code for these data and manage them in the PIM.

For customers, the brand embossed the QR code on the product packaging. So, customers can scan the QR code to know the rules and regulations related to the product they are willing to buy.

Use Case 2

Problem

The client is a highly trusted light manufacturing brand in the USA that deals with millions of products. They were looking for a digital solution that

  • Offers a structured and centralized repository of product data
  • Supports multiple languages and allows for multichannel product information distribution
  • Comes with an integrated digital asset management solution to manage their legacy digital assets that they used to manage in local folders

Solution

Harnessing the potential of Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management, a digital solution is implemented.

Product Information Management allows the client to collect, manage, enrich, consolidate, and distribute the product information on multiple channels seamlessly. It allows you to manage the product information in multiple languages.

Digital Asset Management allows the client to manage all the digital assets in a centralized repository. They do not need to manage the product assets in the local folders anymore. Moreover, they can manage the asset in a more logical and structured way than the local folders.

Use Case 3

Problem

The client was facing the issue of data inaccuracy and inconsistency as the product data is available in different proprietary content management systems. It also creates issues in pushing the accurate information on the consumer-facing portal so customers got confused about the product and its attributes.

Solution

The client has developed a digital platform using the CMS capabilities where they can manage multiple websites effortlessly from a single platform. Thus, the client does not need to manage multiple proprietary systems anymore.

The digital platform enables the client with multilingual support, multi-currency support, SEO elements, and more to expand the business and optimize the online presence.

The new digital platform is connected with the proprietary CMSs, PIM, and CRM to allow the client to manage website content, product data, and customer data seamlessly from a single platform with next-level data accuracy and consistency.

7 Benefits of Digital Platforms to the Light Manufacturing Business

1 – Improved Time-to-Market

Leveraging PIM and digital commerce, you can manage product data in a centralized repository and distribute it across many channels and devices. This, eventually, improves the time-to-market of your product and enriches the user experience.

PIM creates unique product information automatically using the master data for light manufacturers. This extends or improves product assortment and meets the requirements of multichannel selling to ensure the consistent customer experience. This improves the time-to-market of new product onboarding.

2 – Single Source of Truth

Using MDM, you can manage all your organizational data in a single platform including products, customers, suppliers, vendors, employees, digital assets, content, and more. The top management of the light manufacturing business can access all the data with a few clicks. They do not need to access different systems to check different data.

Moreover, you can access the data with structure, versioning, hierarchy, enrichment, and validation of description, attributes, documentation, translation, and more.

3 – Cost-Effectiveness

If you choose an open-source platform, i.e. Pimcore, you do not need to pay the licensing cost of the solution. All you need to pay is for solution implementation of the digital solution as per your specific business needs.

Moreover, you have the flexibility to use all the frameworks together or you can consider one or two or more frameworks as per your requirements. Basically, you need to spend on the components you want to use.

4 – Transform Customer Experience

DXP is the advanced content management system that is powered by powerful web analytics and business intelligence. You can leverage behavior targeting, user profiling, data collection, and more. With analytics, you can track the user journey and get insights about what a particular customer is looking for.

Once you know what your customers want, it becomes easy for you to suggest the exact or more specific or relevant products to them. It improves the chances that the customers make the purchase decision.

Moreover, providing the right mixture of content, context, and commerce, an advanced digital platform helps light manufacturers create engaging customer journeys and compelling shopping experiences.

5- Improve Customer Conversion Rate

A digital platform uses PIM to organize and enrich the product information and makes it ready for different channels. It extends the product delivery across different platforms such as web, mobile, marketplaces, in-store, social media, etc. to deliver a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience.

Enabling customers with consistent experiences, the brand can earn their trust. Personalization will work as icing on the cake. This impacts strongly on the buying decision of the customer and improves the customer conversion rate.

6 – Seamless Integration with Third-Party System

The feature-rich digital platform allows you to integrate your enterprise systems or third party applications with any of the frameworks or a digital solution as a whole. Establishing a bi-directional data flow you can update all your systems with the latest data. But, when it comes to an ultimate source of truth, you can consider only a digital platform.

7 – Faster Turnaround Time

The digital platform automates various eCommerce and marketing operations for you. For example; it streamlines the entire process of eCommerce, starting from generating quotations to the checkout processes. A digital platform performs these processes quickly, in real-time.

Conclusion

Are you still thinking about whether you should go with a digital platform or not?

I guess you have plenty of reasons for considering a digital platform for your light manufacturing business. But, in case, you have any queries or concerns or confusion that stops you from moving ahead with a robust digital solution implementation, do not hesitate to share with our experts. We would love to help you in addressing your concerns and contributing to your business growth and success.

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