The next phase of digitalisation calls for closed loop systems where processes can be streamlined and data can be harnessed in real time.

By John Cheney, CEO, Workbooks

The manufacturing industry has seen significant growth in technological adoptions across production facilities over the last couple of years in order to improve productivity, deliver great value to customers, and remain competitive. However, rapid digital transformation brings a number of challenges, such as how to manage increasing volumes of data. 61 per cent of organisations believe data management challenges, such as identifying new customers, streamlining operations, and driving efficiency, have slowed or will slow the automation of their business processes.

Further to this, sales teams increasingly need easy access to real-time data, deeper customer insights, and the tools to close deals quickly and efficiently. In the manufacturing sector, the rise of unexpected costs in other parts of the business is delaying buying decisions: for instance, energy prices and cost of goods equate to a major part of overall costs. So then it becomes a battle between slowing down or accelerating quickly.

To address these needs, a growing number of mid-size manufacturers have turned to cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technologies to grow their way out of downturn, increase customer lifetime value through more effective sales, marketing and services, achieve greater operational efficiency, and improve collaboration throughout the business.

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