Industry 4.0. Manufacturing 4.0. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). These terms have gained a lot of traction over the past few years, but what do they really mean?
There are many ways to answer this question, but simply put, Industry 4.0 is the digitalization of manufacturing. It’s using smart technology to automate traditional processes and make manufacturing faster, easier, and more productive. It also helps manufacturers uncover new opportunities and drive profitability.
So, what does it take to accomplish all this? A lot of modern technology.
Industry 4.0 solutions may include:
- Big data and analytics
- Cloud computing
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
- Intelligent order management
- Modern data platform
How does a CRM solution fit into Industry 4.0?
To survive in the digital era, manufacturers need an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that is compatible with Industry 4.0 technology. The same is true of a CRM, or customer relationship management, system. Like any business, manufacturers that provide an exceptional end-to-end customer experience gain a significant advantage over the competition. And a smart and connected CRM solution can help you do just that.
7 Benefits of a Smart CRM Solution for Manufacturing
Exceptional Customer Service
Poor customer service is bad for business, but average customer service isn’t much better. Great service is the new standard and companies that can’t provide it will fail to keep up. With a smart CRM, you can anticipate customer needs and easily interact with clients across multiple channels. Manufacturers can also take advantage of intelligent routing for quick resolutions and resolve issues before they start with predictive care. You also get comprehensive self-service capabilities and personalized experiences with a complete view of each customer’s journey.
Actionable Sales Insights
Chances are, much of your customer data is sitting idle in a database. A smart CRM can continuously analyze all of this data to help you improve the sales process and create a better customer experience. With built-in AI capabilities and actionable sales insights, you can successfully navigate the sales process, automate tasks, build stronger relationships with customers, and increase conversions and win rates.
Nothing tanks sales productivity like pursuing dead-end opportunities. Drawing on predictive analytics and automated lead scoring, a smart CRM system can help ensure your teams only pursue the best leads. At the same time, a series of integrated tools and unified data can help you close books faster, deliver robust reporting, and ensure global compliance.
How can you make plans or set goals if you have no idea what’s coming? A smart CRM enables you to make faster, more informed decisions by viewing sales forecasts at an account or product-based level. You can also use sales pipeline data to build more accurate revenue and materials forecasts and allocate forecasts across multiple time periods within a single sales opportunity.
Access to Industry-Specific Applications
Manufacturing-specific applications are another benefit. One example is OEE CONNECT™ which enables manufacturers to capture observational data from the shop floor in real time and combine it with machine data. Together, this data can help you improve equipment availability and overall equipment effectiveness.
Another example is WarrantyCONNECT™ which helps manufacturers simplify the way they handle warranty claims. This includes capturing key information from the customer, creating work orders for repairs, submitting required documentation, and coordinating OEM review and claim approvals.
Stronger Distributor Relationships
As a manufacturer, you know that building good relationships with distributor partners is critical. A smart CRM can help you improve sales efficiency, reduce response time, and cut internal workload. How? By using self-service portals to provide product availability and pricing information to dealers, distributors, and service partners.
Connected and Predictive Field Service
A smart CRM solution for field service can help you improve the free flow of information and deliver a seamless, end-to-end experience. Resolve service issues before they occur, reduce operational costs, decrease wait time, and streamline processes through built-in intelligence. The result? Increased productivity, improved scheduling, and happier customers.
Are you Ready for Industry 4.0?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and a smart CRM solution is critical to surviving and thriving in the digital era. Not sure how to start building the solution you need? Microsoft and MCA Connect can help.
Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement platform, Dynamics 365 CE for Manufacturing helps manufacturers like you achieve operational excellence while lowering the cost of support. Improve forecasting, channel management, sales productivity, and field service operations with a best-in-class solution tailored for your industry. Click here or contact us today to learn more.