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Part Three of The Global Growth Tracker Survey Results

Epicor recently published its 2016 global growth tracker survey, and the results point to the top characteristics that differentiate manufacturing organizations poised for sustainable growth. Epicor calls these companies "manufacturing grow getters," and defines them as organizations and people who understand what it takes to get set for growth in today's dynamic business environment. "They know what growth looks like for their business and have the vision and drive to act on it," says the study.

The survey determined 10 principal characteristics that separate the "grow getters" from those in their dust. In Parts One and Two, we discussed the first seven characteristics; this post summarizes the final four identified in the study.

8. Invest Where It Counts 
Manufacturers, in general, are investing in technologies that provide operational efficiencies rather than improve customer experience. High-growth manufacturers are bucking that trend. 

Immediate investment priorities for high-growth companies:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (33 percent)
  • Customer Loyalty Systems (29 percent)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) (28 percent)
  • Inventory management (27 percent)
  • Mobile technologies (27 percent)
  • Cloud/SaaS-based solutions (26 percent)

Compare these figures with the investment plans of manufacturers as a whole:

  • Inventory management (19 percent)
  • Cloud/SaaS-based solutions (18 percent)
  • Big data (18 percent)
  • CRM (18 percent)
  • Mobile technologies (17 percent)
    The future growth areas identified as offering the greatest opportunity are process automation and advanced analytics and business intelligence. The takeaway: to become a high-growth business, manufacturers should consider investing in CRM and loyalty programs that help them better understand their customers and deliver a differentiated service experience.

9. Demand Fast ROI from IT Spend 
"Grow getters" don't just invest where it counts; they demand fast return on investment. Seventy-two percent of high-growth companies expect returns within a year, and 31 percent expect returns within six months. In contrast, 60 percent of low-growth companies expect that returns will take appreciably longer than a year. As a total group, only half of manufacturers expect returns within a year, and only 13 percent within six months.

Timeframe for IT Investment Impact10. Focus on the Customer
In today's fast-paced and constantly changing environment, a seamless and connected customer experience should be a key consideration in any growth strategy. Eighty percent of high-growth companies cite changes in customer needs in the digital space as having critical impact on their ability to achieve business growth in the coming year, while only 61 percent of low-growth companies think the same. Interestingly, only two-thirds of manufacturers as a group highlighted adapting to evolving customer needs as critical for business growth. The final takeaway: customer needs are changing, and your business needs to become "customer-obsessed."
Whatever growth looks like for you, Epicor has a suite of manufacturing-specific solutions and an industry-leading service team to help grow your business. Go here for more information.

Posted by Epicor Social Media Team

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