Part of being a manufacturing professional is understanding that even though your services an facilities will always be needed, there are also going to be issues from both in your facility and outside of your control that you need to adjust to in order to have prolonged success. This is a very difficult balancing act of tracking trends and focusing on current situations, but striking said balance is good for your bottom line. So, from your enclosed industrial control panel in Denver to different standards of safety, here’s what you need to look out for in manufacturing looking forward.

One situation that often gets ignored when talking about challenges and inefficiencies is the fact that many manufacturing companies are finding themselves rather unhappy when it comes to industry. This comes from a combination of higher demand as well as lowering service revenues from a lower rate of equipment utilization. One way that some companies are trying to combat this issue is implementing CRM. CRM is basically boiling down to transforming industrial operations into a more customer-driven organization. For example, firm AMR Research says that 70 percent of industrial manufacturing companies either implemented or are planning to install CRM technology. Sales force automation and customer analytics are among some of the most popular options.

The concept of becoming more customer-focused when it comes to industry is causing ripples across a variety of different areas. One great of example of this is sales and changing up the relationship that dealers and distributors have. These days, manufacturers are more likely to use tools like leveraging partner relationship management to further collaboration, as well as making sure that the sales teams of distributors have the skills that they need.

How do CRM platforms help in this regard? One thing that they can do is allow a way for distributors to provide their manufacturer partners with a unique way to unify customer and product information, making it a lot easier to service customers with a single set of information. This can apply to the internet, field work, or at a call center.

Granted, it’s not always going to be possible in order to become customer-driven overnight. One such roadblock is information silos. A manufacturer generally has its relevant data for customers scattered around the organization, based on topics like the product, the communication channel, or business line. This means that there is a lack of coordinated customer interactions that can go on. In addition, there are also many processes that can run in a given facility that aren’t focused on trying to support customers, but more about optimization and inventory levels. It can be tough to change a paradigm here, and in some cases, it requires a balance.