Analytics at work in manufacturing
In order to anticipate, or quickly respond to, demand and supply changes, manufacturers need to improve strategic alignment, strengthen customer focus and gain visibility into impact of customer, supply and financial decisions.
IBM Business Analytics has solutions for electronics, aerospace, automotive and industrial products manufacturers that help them:
- Understand customers and plan demand
- Optimize sales and operations planning
- Build smarter supply chains
- Predict maintenance issues and reduce impact
- Streamline sales compensation processes
Lack of customer intimacy impacts electronics companies in three key areas – areas that are critical to their competitive position and, indeed, their very survival. We identified these areas as:
• Product and service design: End users and product development teams are not well connected. Obviously, the more the consumers’ needs are considered in the product development process, the more likely the end product will meet those needs. Therefore, insights about the end user need to be better incorporated into the design phase.
• Qualified lead generation: End users and marketing teams are not well connected. However, with more knowledge of consumer behavior patterns and preferences, marketing teams
can better target their messages to the appropriate buyers.
• Experience management: Most electronics companies do not have information on how consumers use or feel about their products. Improving the user experience requires
information on how consumers currently use the products, as well as their future needs.
Insights derived through customer analytics can be fed into the PLM lifecycle, transforming how products and services are created and managed. Mature analytics capabilities can lead to
the creation and refinement of relevant and timely products and processes and, ultimately, improved customer satisfaction.
As an example, an electronics company could utilize analytic tools to improve the product design of one of their refrigerator models. First, to find out what consumers think about the
refrigerator, the company could use analytics software to perform “hot-topic mining,” searching for key words associated with the model in online consumer posts. If the company found “noise” to be a hot topic,
it might dig further for input specific to noise.
Best-in-class product and service design can result when PLM and analytics capabilities are developed simultaneously