I just came across this Manufacturing Computer Solutions article that bodes well for our future here at b2b2dot0. IDC Manufacturing Insights and hybris cosponsored this industry study which underscored the virtues of making the types of investments that we’ve been advocating for the past 2.5 years.
This study finds that:
..”although 34% of European companies accept orders online,
only 4% of total manufacturing turnover is currently generated from B2B
My experience tells me that this is true because Manufacturer’s have been driven by “find new revenue sources” pressures and have opened up web channels to test the waters. This has usually been driven by marketing departments without any consideration for squeezing efficiencies out of the core business which generates the bulk of the existing revenue.
It seems as if IDC believes that the Manufacturing industry has finally recognized the real benefits of investing in B2B eCommerce. Their top six are:
- Improve efficiency – Manufacturers will be able to increase revenue without a concomitant increase in headcount.
- Retain existing customers – by improving customer services and giving customers self-service capabilities.
- Manage product complexity – by centralizing product information and making it available to all channels of commerce.
- Offer product related services – cross-sell services at the time of product purchases.
- Exploit new markets – no need to open a physical distribution channel as long as customers have access to a browser.
- Faster new product introductions – go green and save the paper catalogs!
I couldn’t agree more!
I think the industry is on the precipice of revitalization. Those SAP based manufacturers that have invested the time to clean up their internal processes during the downturn are now ready to take advantage of the uptick. Those that didn’t, get ready to get passed by.