Many manufacturers view customer-facing changes resulting from the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as permanent, with sales (57%) and customer service capabilities (56%) considered to be the most permanently altered, according to a Salesforce survey.
“As manufacturers recover from the pandemic, it’s clear that there is a digital divide that has left some manufacturers prepared for the future of the industry and others struggling to meet evolving employee, partner and customer expectations,” says Cindy Bolt, SVP, Salesforce Industries. “Manufacturers need to adopt the mindset of a technology company—moving operations to the cloud, leveraging automation, and creating digital experiences for the customer—to help position their companies for success over the next decade.”
The majority of manufacturers responded that legacy tools (83%) and dispersed data (82%) are moderate or serious challenges, with close to one-third (31%) of manufacturers viewing each as a serious challenge.
- Increasing process efficiencies and improving demand planning (both 88%) were among the most urgent changes needed for a business.
- Nearly half (45%) of manufacturers who feel unprepared for the future have their sales and operation systems located either mostly or completely on premises. The majority (77%) of manufacturers who felt future-ready had at least half of their sales and operation systems in the cloud.
- According to the report, future-ready manufacturers are nearly twice as likely to be satisfied with their channel partners than unprepared manufacturers (44% prepared manufacturers vs. 25% unprepared manufacturers).
- The majority of prepared manufacturers (86%) say that servitization is part of their company strategy, with 57% currently offering servitization and 29% both offering and expanding these services. The majority of manufacturers (62%) who identified as unprepared do not currently have servitization as part of their strategy.