Your customers have always demanded the best quality, lower prices and streamlined delivery. But today, they want something a little more – revealing. They want access to information about their parts, orders, shipments, product documentation, account status, and even deeper access to your business data, such as quality or job status.
Is your business prepared to address these new demands for information transparency? If your answer is not unequivocally “Yes,” you are not alone. There are a number of considerations that organizations should consider when architecting their operations to provide improved customer access.
· Data on Tap: Before a business can provide open access to information, they first need to ensure that the data they make available to the customer is comprehensive and accurate.
· The Portal Principle: Access to information is being driven to a self-serve model where systems today enable business data analysts and power users to develop views of the data that can be consumed and used by all.
· Web Services: Manufacturers should consider adopting technology built on 100-percent service oriented architecture (SOA), where Web services enable access to every function, from the first sales order to the final invoice.
· Bypass Manual Processing: Customers that electronically communicate through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), vendors understand the involved complexity and costs. Reducing manual entry can help in their own enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but the speed at which they can respond to the latest changes in demand on the plant floor is the real benefit.
Organizations that standardize their business on the latest ERP technology have a competitive advantage through an end-to-end system that supports their manufacturing business processes, a toolset for access to information that fosters end-user access to information, and ability to collaborate for improved productivity and cost efficiencies. These leaders will successfully master the show and tell the game to maintain their “preferred supplier status.”
Read the full article here: http://www.thefabricator.com/article/forceos/how-a-fabricator-can-stand-out-to-customers
Posted by Christine Hansen, Manager, Product Marketing at Epicor