Lessons in Leadership from Manufacturing First 2019

MARY ROCKMAN| November 14, 2019
LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP FROM MANUFACTURING FIRST 2019
What does it take to be an effective leader capable of inspiring and nurturing growth – in both company revenue and its own employees? Members of the Weidert Group team recently attended the 9th annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference, an event focused on the interests and needs of manufacturers throughout northeast Wisconsin.

Spotlight

The Essential Baking Company

Our core purpose is to nourish the body and soul of the community by providing superior artisan baked goods, using only the highest quality ingredients. We do this with passion, integrity, innovation, and authenticity. We are committed to being environmentally and socially responsible while maintaining the highest respect for our employees, customers, and business partners.

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The packaging journey: Is it an important factor for your brand?

Article | June 8, 2021

The last 12 months saw a considerable increase in e-commerce, driven by the global pandemic with many retail commentators believing this is an irreversible behavioural shift. If correct, this will further underline the importance of the packaging journey, since the likelihood of consumers primarily interacting with brands through deliveries increases, potentially becoming the standard purchasing process. Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a sustainable packaging solutions provider for luxury fashion brands, considers the impact of the packaging journey amid these new retail dynamics. How much impact could a single packaging box have when it comes to consumer engagement and marketing? This is a question that all retailers and brands should reconsider, given the tumultuous nature of the retail landscape. If Deloitte’s recent report into the Danish consumer’s permanent shift to online shopping can be viewed as a microcosm of imminent global trends, then businesses must adapt packaging to incorporate the entire journey. Last year, the fashion and luxury markets were forecast to decline by an astounding $450 - $600 billion. A market previously thought too-big-to fail is taking a huge financial hit. The long-term effects of Covid-19 on retail as whole are unclear. But packaging has become too integral to the sales journey to ignore. Packaging, therefore, can work as a core marketing tool, beyond the basics of the primary recipients’ experience. In this article, I’ll highlight how best to consider and exploit the entire packaging journey, ensuring that packaging realises its complete potential. Materials Manufacturing that avoids the use of sustainable materials is becoming impossible to justify, from both an economic and environmental perspective. In fact, they are, practically speaking, one and the same. We know that a significant majority of consumers expect businesses to adopt a sustainable ethos – and are willing to pay more for it. Therefore, the economic viability of sustainable packaging is fortified by consumer expectation. It is both a market and environmental inevitability. Beginning a packaging journey should start with the selection of sustainable, recyclable, reusable materials. This is a stage in the packaging voyage that is easily achieved, with manufacturers increasingly switching to eco-friendly methods. At Delta Global, sustainability is incorporated into every packaging product we produce. We’ve seen demands for sustainable services increase, but more can be done to mark this initial step as a marketing footprint rather than a footnote. There are some great recent examples of how to do this right, from Burberry’s elegant reinvention of the ordinary cardboard box which will go even further to remove all plastic from its packaging by 2025, through to Gucci’s opulent Victorian wallpaper design packaging that is fully recyclable. And so, step one - the initial consumer experience and expectation, is met through sustainable materials, and when done correctly, is easily exceeded. Design Once the correct materials are selected, brands should start think about design beyond creating an attractive, secure container. The goal here is to inspire the consumer to utilise the packaging in a way that positions them as a virtual brand ambassador. Consider the rise of the unboxing video. YouTube reported a 57% increase in product unboxing videos in one year, with these videos having in excess of a billion yearly views. Together with Instagram, where 58% of its estimated 1.074 billion users log-in to follow trends and styles, visually oriented content platforms provide an unmissable marketing opportunity. It is important to underline that this type of viral marketing need not rely on paid celebrities. In fact, I am advocating for a completely organic approach where possible. From a brand’s perspective, recipients of well-executed sustainable packaging must progress this initial positive experience by innovative and thoughtful design. That way, authentically persuasive content will occur naturally. And it's this type of spontaneous, highly engaged micro-influencing that rewards brands that have fully considered the packaging journey. To achieve this requires innovation. You might consider implementing technology and connected packaging, where apps and QR codes are integrated into the packing itself. A favourite example of this is Loot Crates brilliantly innovative unboxing experience which connects, via an app, to new products and exclusive items. While technological innovation provides a novelty that encourages unboxing videos, simpler approaches can equally inspire the consumer through personal touches like VIVE Wellness’ individually packaged and addressed turquoise vitamin tubes, or M.M Lafleur’s curated and detail-oriented ‘bento box’ styling solution. These packaging creations work because they provide memorable experiences, centred on discovery, individuality and, ultimately, shareability. Packaging after purchase The third and most under-utilised part of the packaging journey is post-unboxing usage. Brands should ask themselves who the packaging is seen by – and does the packaging have the function to be seen and used by others? At this point in the packaging journey, we are hoping to harvest as many positive impressions as possible. This can include, for example, delivery drivers, photographers and stylists. The concept is not abstract. Reflect on the reaction felt by a fashion photographer the first time they received, from an enthused stylist, a Gucci item in its new opulent emerald green packaging. Or the response of a delivery driver when seeing, in amongst the more mundane boxes, MatchesFashion’s reimagining of the a cardboard parcel. Is it likely that the impression made by those stand-out packaging designs will be talked about, purred over, recommended and revered? The answer is obviously a resounding yes. When this happens online, we call it influencer marketing. And we should not dismiss this type of marketing when it happens offline. Word of mouth matters. In an increasingly online consumer market where the first – and perhaps only – physical interaction between brand/consumer is through the packaging experience, it will matter more. To our imaginary trio of driver, photographer and stylist, let’s introduce the general consumer. How likely it is that any of those would throw such packaging away? They are so wonderfully designed that reusability and repurposing are inevitable. When a packaging compels secondary usage - deployed around homes and offices as containers, storage or decoration – you are creating an item that symbolises what marketers spending entire budgets pursuing: brand as central to an aspirational lifestyle. If the retail market is moving irrevocably online, the offline journey of packaging – from manufacturer, deliverer, consumer and user – can ease that transition and become a perpetual marketing tool. This way, brands and retailers can enjoy the journey and the destination.

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5 Stats to Reshape Manufacturing Customer Experience in 2022

Article | November 20, 2021

The manufacturing business has always prioritized providing the excellent and most user-friendly products worldwide to its target consumer groups. However, digitalization and customer interaction approaches have altered the manufacturing industry's traditional business model. Now, manufacturers must prioritize improving the customer experience for their target consumer group and keeping up with new trends daily to flourish and remain competitive in the upgrading market. Because, in the end, the buyer is the one who drives your business and generates money. Manufacturers are committing significant efforts to improve the customer experience in the following years. To assist manufacturers in their sincere efforts to improve the customer experience in the manufacturing industry, we have compiled some key facts that must be understood and executed by the industry's or business-specific needs. Before going into manufacturing customer experience statistics, it's essential to understand why customer experience is so critical in the manufacturing industry. The Importance of Customer Experience in Manufacturing Customer service and experience are critical components of any business, which is true in the manufacturing sector. Customer experience can be described as any activity taken by a business to positively influence a customer's impression and opinion of the business, its products, or services. “You’ve got to start with the Customer Experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around” – Steve Jobs. Customer experience benefits your business in a variety of ways, including the following, It increases customer retention It increases the customer lifetime value It creates brand loyalty It influences brand reputability It can deliver businesses with a competitive edge. Manufacturing Customer Experience Statistics Make your manufacturing business more customer-centric and reap the benefits that many customer-centric companies, such as Apple, Nissan, and Chick-fil-A, are experiencing. To better understand what the customer and industry have explored regarding the customer experience in 2022, below are some statistics from well-known businesses. #Stat 1 Businesses that prioritize customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue. (Source: Forbes) A positive customer experience increases customer interest in the product and acts as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. This way, the business benefits from increased sales and organic promotion by genuine consumers, critical for any manufacturing organization. # Stat 2 73% of customers say that customer experience influences their purchasing decision. (Source: PWC) Customers are not solely concerned with the product's quality or pricing. Instead, they are interested in the complete experience they get while purchasing a product. Therefore, if customers have a negative experience during the purchasing trip, it is pretty likely that they will leave the purchase process in the middle and hunt for other viable solutions on the market. Whereas, if the purchasing journey and post-purchase service are satisfactory, they will gladly purchase the goods and suggest new clients to your business. # Stat 3 By 2023, AI and machine learning will manage around 40% of all consumer contacts. (Source: Super Office) Manufacturing production and revenue are increasing as a result of technological advances and applications. However, the customer experience is not far behind in implementing cutting-edge technology like AI, VR, and AR. For instance, chat bots are the best example of how artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are being used to increase consumer engagement. Virtual interaction is becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry daily, and both manufacturers and customers like this digital interaction. “Our interactions with our customers have become much more virtual, which frankly seems to work well for the customer and us.” -Scott Heide, Chief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation Technology application in manufacturing will be maximized, and businesses intend to automate the customer experience by 2023. # Stat 4 According to 70% of customers, an ideal customer experience should be quick, convenient, and cooperative, as well as friendly. (Source: Adobe) Customer service is a skill, and it's always a good idea to put yourself in your clients' shoes. According to an Adobe study, 70% of customers want a quick and convenient service that saves them time. In addition, they anticipate full collaboration throughout the purchasing process, including post-purchase servicing. # Stat 5 72% of customers with a good consumer experience will tell six or more people about it. (Source: Nice Reply) In the first statistic, we discussed word-of-mouth marketing. You will always receive referrals for the excellent products or services you provide to your target consumer group. Customers that have a positive experience will always bring you two additional potential customers, and this number will grow exponentially with each pleasant experience delivered by your organization. How did MacDonald's plan to increase revenue simply by improving the customer experience? When McDonald's revenues started to decline, they focused on the customer experience rather than marketing strategies. They began by listening to their clients and giving them a more streamlined experience. Customers told McDonald's to simplify the menu, increase order accuracy, and use higher-quality ingredients. McDonald's also improved store interiors and introduced digital self-order kiosks and table service, reducing customer wait times. BTIG predicted a 4.1% increase in revenues as these modifications were made. As a result, McDonald's may outperform competitors by improving total customer service. Final Words Customer experience is crucial in manufacturing, and manufacturers must leverage digital customer experience trends to improve their reputation. These a fore mentioned customer experience statistics can assist you in shaping a compelling client experience for 2022 and propelling your organization to new heights of success. FAQ Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience? Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience. What is the difference between customer service and customer experience? Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand. What does a customer experience include? Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What does a customer experience include?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience." } }] }

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Quality Digest Defines Enhanced Webinar Events

Article | May 18, 2021

For twenty years as an editorial contributor to Quality Digest magazine, I have had the pleasure of authoring or collaborating more than 80 articles for the publication. During this two-decade tenure, I have worked with Dirk Dusharme (pictured left), Editor in Chief of Quality Digest. Quality Digest’s website receives more than three million page views each year, which provide editorial content, live broadcasts, videos, and on-demand webinars presented by industry experts on international quality standards, leadership, manufacturing, metrology, statistical process control, training, and more. Quality Digest continues its important role as companies navigate a post-COVID reality with a critical role of safety, quality, efficiency, and resiliency. Quality elements are no longer an after-thought. It is essential when examining automation, lean manufacturing, and new paradigms for best practice. During COVID, all of us became more remote savvy and the demand for visionary content and information essential. According to Dusharme, “Since their debut almost a decade ago, Quality Digest's "enhanced" webinar events have raised the bar for the traditional webinar experience. Our audience has come to expect concise, informative, and engaging presentations with subject matter experts who know what they are talking about. Apart from the traditional quality topics, we delve into areas that broaden our audience’s knowledge. These topics range from cybersecurity, to supply chain management, to understanding and dealing with cognitive biases. Our goal is to provide up-to-date, actionable information that our audience can immediately put to use. Live video feeds of the presenters and the products, interactive Q&A sessions, surveys, and valuable downloads all make up our usual webinar experience, followed by next-day access to the on-demand recording and materials.” Enhanced Webinars from Quality Digest feature real-time streaming video of host, subject matter expert, and a case study in action. Users can email questions, chat, or download files in real-time. This modality is ideal for visual case studies/product demos, team or customer training, and new product/new service announcements.

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Content Marketing for Manufacturers: How to Build a Successful Plan?

Article | January 4, 2022

Content marketing for manufacturers has become an essential component of every organization, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Manufacturers are concentrating more on increasing their presence in both the digital and physical markets. As a result, the content market is seeing a boom as novel techniques are aimed at reaching the end objective of the manufacturing company. According to PRNewswire, the worldwide content marketing industry is expected to increase by USD 417.85 billion between 2021 and 2025, at a CAGR of over 16%. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin Why Is Content Marketing Critical to Your Business's Success? Promotes trust Helps in the formation of your brand's identity Enables you to take advantage of organic search results Performance is easy to assess Produces leads and attracts ideal buyers It balances the playing field, resulting in a higher ROI It enables you to benefit from social shares It entices visitors to return to your website on a regular basis Manufacturing Content Marketing Strategies That Work Recognize the Buyer's Pain Points Writing amazing content requires knowing your target audience. Knowing your ideal customers helps you generate content that is relevant to them. When your potential buyer visits your website and finds content that answers his or her inquiries, you've already removed one hurdle for your sales staff. How does your sales team define a good prospect? Who are they? What do they do? Why are they visiting your business? What is their industry knowledge? The answers to all such questions influence what and how you write. Once you start recognizing your buyers, you can get the prospect and confidence in your organization to address your buyer’s difficulties. Do Research on Keywords Everyone appears to believe that skipping keyword research is acceptable. However, this is not the case. If you want to focus on marketing activities that yield big returns, you need a best manufacturer content marketing strategy backed by solid SEO. Keyword research is the first step. Use one of the numerous internet keyword research tools to find terms with high search traffic, low competition, and relevance to your manufacturing company's activity. The better your keyword research, the better your content approach. Create and Schedule Consistently Excellent Content Writing outstanding content is by far the greatest strategy to increase your manufacturing company's SERP rank. Hire a good content writer or content strategist who can combine your technical expertise, keywords, and purpose into a meaningful blog, case study, or content offer that gets results. Your material must be good to rank well. Irregular content, like scattered production, always spells disaster. Having a defined timetable that your audience understands is essential to successful content marketing. Whether you produce material weekly, monthly, or quarterly, a timetable ensures that content is consistently released and updated. Make Your Content More Visible Once your content is ready, make your content visible to your target audience. Get your content marketing for manufacturing plan going to promote it in every way. You're in a tough spot when it comes to content marketing for manufacturers. To stay ahead of the competition, you must constantly monitor the performance of your materials. Keep an eye on everything you create and promote. Analyze which content form is performing well. Is it a blog? A time-lapse video? Or infographics? Identify your best-performing content so you can develop more of it. Also focus on the content that doesn't perform well. Consider why that content didn't work for your audience. Is it too hard to rank that post? Is there a better platform or medium for the content? All of these queries must be answered to establish a strong content strategy for your company. Optimize Your Content Marketing The lack of industry-specific content marketing tactics is a major challenge for manufacturers. Many businesses use a generic strategy that ignores their particular customer connections, making different types of content marketing for manufacturers ineffective. As the manufacturing business is a specialized business in any particular area, they also need specific content marketing strategies. Hence, focus on building a unique content marketing strategy that would help you optimize your business reach to your target audience. General Electric Is Taking the Lead on Social Media GE has come a long way from its 1892 beginnings. While it has retained basic product streams such as lighting, transportation, and power transmission, the goods themselves have developed dramatically. Social media marketing has become increasingly important as new technology transforms the corporate scene. GE's Instagram Presence GE's Instagram feed is an excellent illustration of widespread appeal. GE always shares attractive photographs with full explanations. It recognizes the power of pictures and captures common scenes in fascinating ways. Final Words Utilizing cutting-edge content marketing methods for manufacturing businesses is critical for increasing your business's visibility and reach with your target audience. Ascertain that you select the appropriate techniques to advance your digital and physical presence in the industry. Discover the most effective plan for manufacturing content marketing and change your present marketing methods into more refined and up-to-date ones. FAQ What are the best ways to market a manufacturing company? The best approaches to advertising any manufacturing business are to concentrate on improving content, email marketing, SEO, press releases, and event sponsorship. Is marketing vital for manufacturers? Yes, since marketing opens up a whole new world for manufacturers, and a strong brand helps any business stand out from the competition.

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Spotlight

The Essential Baking Company

Our core purpose is to nourish the body and soul of the community by providing superior artisan baked goods, using only the highest quality ingredients. We do this with passion, integrity, innovation, and authenticity. We are committed to being environmentally and socially responsible while maintaining the highest respect for our employees, customers, and business partners.

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