2D Sales Drawings
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Several interesting new things related to maturing digitization of B2B businesses caught our attention this month. The story they tell reminds us of the caterpillar developing into a butterfly and then taking off. Digital strategies enable leading B2B companies to drive growth, improve customer experiences and meet their expectations. Here’s our take for industrial B2B suppliers that want to become butterflies and take off too.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Digital strategies of B2B businesses are driving commercial growth, productivity improvements, new business models, product improvements (e.g. IOT), sales and marketing efficiency and more. It doesn’t matter whether we call the digital commerce component ‘eCommerce’ or just ‘Commerce’. Either way it isn’t going away and future growth, even survival, of your business may depend on it!
Why Is Future Growth and Even Survival Dependent on it?
Answering for distributors (though there are parallels among manufacturers too) we can see that there are now three types of distributor:
1. Experienced distributors who have or are taking the digital transition in their stride and are leveraging it for growth, customer satisfaction and acquisition.
2. Experienced distributors who have or are ‘missing the eCommerce boat’. According to Industrial Distribution’s 2017 Survey of Distributor Operations – “37 percent of respondents said eCommerce is not a priority for them, 43 percent aren’t offering eCommerce, 49 percent said their website content is updated less than monthly and more than 19 percent said they can’t recall how long it’s been since their website was redesigned.”
3. A new type of distributor enabled by the rise of eCommerce. New companies that get a warehouse, fill it with product and start selling online. Selling exclusively (or mostly) through eCommerce reduces overhead.
For industrial suppliers (manufacturers and distributors) of mechanical parts and components, one of the easiest and most impactful digital strategies is to add online commerce with a SaaS digital catalog including 3D CAD models and 2D drawings of their products. If the products are configurable add Configurator/s too. Start simple but choose solutions carefully so you can add sophistication over time (eCommerce, ERP and CRM integrations, etc.).
However, before they can be purchased, your products need to be found where people are searching. And, once found, selected and spec’d into new designs. That’s where the pre-drawn CAD parts save customers a lot of time, in many ways. Customers find the supplier they need, get the specifications they need, download the CAD model or drawing so they don’t have to design from scratch and eliminate potential errors by using the suppliers’ quality assured CAD files. The easier the information is to find and access, the more likely engineers will be to spec in the part or component and the sooner the item will be ordered!
If you’d like to discuss how much impact this B2B eCommerce recommendation could have on your industrial manufacturing or distribution business please call or click either button below.