Trends in the Manufacturing Industry
In business, standing still is the equivalent to going backwards, so the e-commerce trends in manufacturing shouldn’t be surprising. Manufacturers are continuing to reel from the economies of 2001 and 2008 and the survivors are licking their wounds and are determined to not leave themselves exposed again. Key to future success is having the best and brightest people in place, those who are equipped to take on the challenges of a changing market place.
“Rather than fearing the past, industrial manufacturing executives should be asking these critical questions: At a time of rapid change and limited upside, which technology investments will have the biggest positive impact on my business? And what is the value potential, return on investment, and risk of investing in these technologies?” (PWCStrategy&.com)
One of the major continuing trends in manufacturing is the direct selling of aftermarket parts to consumers. Some of the difficulty setting up this operation in the past was having a system in place to handle opening up to multi-channel or even omni-channel sales. With the various supply chain systems manufacturers use, such as ERP, WMS, and TMS, the systems must all provide options to integrate together with such e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and others in order to take hold in 2016.
Integration of Parts Management Systems
Manufacturers will require parts dealers to adopt modern parts management systems and integrate those systems with their own. Consumer demands are steadily increasing, fueled in part, by the “Amazon” experience – order it now, get it in 2 days or less. Manufacturers now know what their dealers have ordered, but not what they have in stock or what is in the distribution channel. This leaves a crucial missing piece of information that can result in time lost or higher costs to the end-user.
Integration of E-Commerce Solutions with IoT (Internet of Things) Initiatives
Equipment downtime is very expensive in both dollars and customer satisfaction. “Smart” machinery is now equipped with sensors that deliver real-time diagnostics to the user that show where the next problem could occur. Logically, the next step is to give the end-user a ”one click” method for ordering the parts needed to get equipment back into service. The e-commerce system could even be adapted to actually order a part that is wearing down without human intervention.