The Early Journey to Industry 4.0

| July 17, 2017
THE EARLY JOURNEY TO INDUSTRY 4.0
Critical Manufacturing is currently hosting a webinar series on Industry 4.0. On Tuesday 11th July, we hosted part #1 of the series, titled The Early Journey to Industry 4.0. This episode was introduced by Julie Fraser, Principal of Iyno Advisors Inc and co-presented by Alois Schacherl, Group Manager of IT at AT&S.

Spotlight

Intcomex

Intcomex is a premiere value-added distributor of IT products focused solely on serving Latin America and the Caribbean. It distributes computer equipment, components, peripherals, software, computer systems, accessories, networking products and digital consumer electronics to more than 40,000 local customers in over 45 countries. It offers single source purchasing to its customers by providing an in-stock selection of more than 5,700 products from over 220 vendors, including many of the world's leading IT products manufacturers.

OTHER ARTICLES

How Intent Data for Manufacturers Can be Beneficial in 2021?

Article | April 6, 2021

As the pandemic upended plans for marketing and sales in 2020, it forced marketers in the manufacturing industry to adopt the tactics of the remote world. Many of them are still wondering how they can focus on driving business growth in 2021. Intent data has undoubtedly added some spice to the season of online marketing. Research conducted by B2BecNews on 110 businesses found that 59.5% of business buyers research two to three websites before buying while 29.7% research up to seven websites. The “How” of Intent Data Intent data allows businesses to channel their expenditure to the leads that matter the most. It boosts sales and encourages marketers to be smarter by doing more in less time. Moreover, b2b buyers now tend to look for an immersive digital experience and are likely to conduct more and more searches before engaging with a brand. Such digital activity will tell you what a visitor’s intentions are called the intent data. To drive your business, here are some tried-and-true and unexpectedly productive ways to scale up your marketing and sales game using intent data. Improve your Sales Pitches/Pipelines When you are expanding or redefining your business because you want to target a new market or audience, third-party intent data is a decent place to start. Through intent data, your sales team can build a year’s pipeline by reaching target audiences. To get the value of your sales, you can use intent data categorizing with a professional group, seniority, functional area, business size, and more for targeted prospects. And if your data provides contact information, your sales team will have an even deeper understanding of the dynamics of prospects’ buying activities. Moreover, learning about the fact if a CEO or a random visitor visits your website creates a difference between a quality lead and a generic one. There are times when organizations don’t vigorously look for a product. But with the right content force, you can direct them towards a purchase decision. This way, you can get a chance to pitch and improve sales. So, how can content pitch sales? The next point explains the importance of nurturing content on your website. Nurture with Personalized Content Once you target new prospects, you can nurture them with excellent and informational marketing content. These can be in various forms like articles, blogs, advertisements, social media, infographics, and more. Personalization results better in the sea of marketing (digitally or manually). Since the pandemic has pushed the digital world extensively, personalization is on a hike. Companies that personalize their marketing strategies to communicate are improved by 86% in customer relations, have higher conversation rates, and observed improvement in businesses. To personalize your content, you have to look at intent data and search for the prospect’s interests. After your research, you can create content for them. Paying attention to contextual information will improve the prospect’s experience, causing them to turn into your client. After you create personalized content, what will happen next? Find out ahead. Generate High-Quality Leads Intent data tells you how far each prospect has progressed. A combination of intent and context data helps with lead scoring, which shows you the quality of leads. For example: A visit to your website by an intern is somewhat different from a CEO’s visit. Consuming content on general industry information differs in value from product-specific content that provides information on websites. When a visitor compares prices, it intends to buy, opposite to a visitor who bookmarks pages. Besides, intent data for manufacturers also tells: Channels to target your prospects actively. Content to encourage Offers to serve The timing of each lead nurturing action Improve Account-Based Marketing Campaigns Account-based marketing and intent data go hand-in-hand. So, it would be best if you worked through every possible path to collect more information about your prospects. This way, it will help you take a focused approach. Once you identify the interested prospects, you can focus your time and energy on those accounts and expand your reach. Intent data helps you to find more in-market customers. They can score leads with better precision and re-shape your marketing campaigns by showing up with the right message at the right time. Include Marketing Automation Operations Implementing marketing automation technologies with intent data will save your team's time. As they usually spent analyzing data entry by automatically setting alerts when buyers intend to show their interest. Why is Intent Data for Manufacturing Becoming Crucial for Future? With marketers, or say, manufacturing marketers, it's always vital to drive revenue for business and get ahead with trending marketing paths. For this, knowing intent of prospects is a must to gain success. Knowing a prospector’s behavior can help your marketing team target a specific profile and create personalized content on demand to increase their purchase decision. After all the information is collected, prospects become more knowledgeable and informed of the decision they make. More information attracts more potential buyers when they are informed conveniently at the right time and manner. In this entire process, you gain an increased ROI. These aspects are incomplete without intent data for manufacturers, which targets numerous data and creates an easy baseline so that marketers can learn precisely about potential prospects’ behaviors. Intent data can be used for the future through a particular pattern. Generic marketing campaigns delivered to a random audience will simply shut down your business. Because now, the users expect to see content that’s valuable to them. Therefore, intent data for manufacturers is the key to providing better answers and solutions and allowing better marketing budgets. Both of these lead to more conversions which results in more revenue. Frequently Asked Questions How is intent data collected? The collection of intent data is not new to marketers. It has gained prominence only after the pandemic. The data is gathered through the website. Its analysis is done by tracking visitors to the website, clicks, chatbots, duration of stay, and information search. How can manufacturers leverage intent data? The steps to leverage are: 1. identify the prospect and what it wants to search or trying to search. It could be keywords, trending words or phrases, and more. 2. Create quality yet informational content following the prospects’ interest. 3. Now, it’s time to promote content with the right on different channels to attract prospects. What are the intent data tools for manufacturers? Some good intent data tools manufacturers can use are: Leadfeeder ZoomInfo KickFire DemandJump What is buyer intent data for manufacturers? Through buyer intent data, your sales team easily reaches out and gets engaged with the right prospect at the right time. Manufacturing marketers use it to plan can create effective campaigns to target potential ones and convince them to buy. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW IS INTENT DATA COLLECTED?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The collection of intent data is not new to marketers. It has gained prominence only after the pandemic. The data is gathered through the website. Its analysis is done by tracking visitors to the website, clicks, chatbots, duration of stay, and information search." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW CAN MANUFACTURERS LEVERAGE INTENT DATA?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The steps to leverage are: 1. identify the prospect and what it wants to search or trying to search. It could be keywords, trending words or phrases, and more. 2. Create quality yet informational content following the prospects’ interest. 3. Now, it’s time to promote content with the right on different channels to attract prospects." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE INTENT DATA TOOLS FOR MANUFACTURERS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Some good intent data tools manufacturers can use are: Leadfeeder ZoomInfo KickFire DemandJump" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT IS BUYER INTENT DATA FOR MANUFACTURERS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Through buyer intent data, your sales team easily reaches out and gets engaged with the right prospect at the right time. Manufacturing marketers use it to plan can create effective campaigns to target potential ones and convince them to buy." } }] }

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Rex Moore Proves Project Business Automation Provides Predictive and Proactive Resource Requirements

Article | July 28, 2021

Rex Moore Group, Inc. is a Top50 electrical contractor delivering unmatched integrated electrical solutions. As an early adopter of Lean manufacturing principles, Rex Moore has created a company-wide culture of continuous improvement that drives significant value to their clients. The firm contracts and performs both design/build and bid work for all electrical, telecommunications, and integrated systems market segments. Rex Moore has a full-service maintenance department to cover emergency and routine requirements for all facilities, whether an existing facility or one that has been recently completed by the company. The ability to negotiate and competitively bid various forms of contracts including lump-sum, fixed fee, hourly rate, and cost-plus work as a prime contractor, subcontractor, or joint venture is enhanced with Project Business Automation (PBA) from Adeaca. This solution permits the company to propose work only if they are in a position to be competitive in the marketplace and provide excellent service with fair compensation. Rex Moore used Adeaca PBA as a construction management software for builders and contractors to integrate and facilitate its business processes in its ERP system. Together with Microsoft Dynamics, PBA integrated processes across the company on a single end-to-end platform. This allowed the company to replace 15 different applications with a single comprehensive system, eliminating the costs and inefficiencies associated with multiple systems and silos of information.

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Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM): Major Challenges and Their Solutions

Article | December 16, 2021

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is a technology that revolutionized the manufacturing business. Pierre Bézier, a Renault engineer, produced the world's first real 3D CAD/CAM application, UNISURF CAD. His game-changing program redefined the product design process and profoundly altered the design and manufacturing industries. So, what is CAM in its most basic definition? Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the application of computer systems to the planning, control, and administration of manufacturing operations. This is accomplished by using either direct or indirect links between the computer and the manufacturing processes. In a nutshell, CAM provides greater manufacturing efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca In light of the numerous advantages and uses of computer-aided manufacturing, manufacturers have opted to use it extensively. The future of computer-aided manufacturing is brightening due to the rapid and rising adoption of CAM. According to Allied Market Research, the global computer-aided manufacturing market was worth $2,689 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $5,477 million by 2028, rising at an 8.4% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. Despite all this, each new development has benefits and challenges of its own. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of CAM, the challenges that come with it, and how to deal with them. Let's start with the advantages of computer-aided manufacturing. Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) There are significant benefits of using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM typically provides the following benefits: Increased component production speed Maximizes the utilization of a wide variety of manufacturing equipment Allows for the rapid and waste-free creation of prototypes Assists in optimizing NC programs for maximum productivity during machining Creates performance reports automatically As part of the manufacturing process, it integrates multiple systems and procedures. The advancement of CAD and CAM software provides visual representation and integration of modeling and testing applications. Greater precision and consistency, with similar components and products Less downtime due to computer-controlled devices High superiority in following intricate patterns like circuit board tracks Three Challenges in CAM and Their Solutions We have focused on the three primary challenges and their solutions that we have observed. Receiving Incomplete CAD Updates Receiving insufficient CAD updates is one of the challenges. If, for example, the part update from a CAD engineer does not include the pockets that are required in the assembly, to the CAM engineer. SOLUTION: A modeler that enables developers of a CAM programs to create intuitive processes for features such as feature extraction and duplication across CAD version updates. A modeler is capable of recognizing and extracting the pocket's architecture and the parameters that define it. Additionally, the CAM application can enable the engineer to reproduce the pocket in a few simple steps by exploiting the modeler's editing features such as scaling, filling, extruding, symmetrical patterning, and removing. Last Minute Design Updates The second major challenge is last-minute design changes may impact manufacturers as a result of simulation. SOLUTION: With 3D software components, you may create applications in which many simulation engineers can work together to make design modifications to the CAD at the same time, with the changes being automatically merged at the end. Challenging Human-driven CAM Manufacturing The third major challenge we have included is that CAM engineers must perform manual steps in human-driven CAM programming, which takes time and requires expert CAM software developers. Furthermore, when the structure of the target components grows more complicated, the associated costs and possibility of human failure rise. SOLUTION: Self-driving CAM is the best solution for this challenge. Machine-driven CAM programming, also known as self-driving CAM, provides an opportunity to improve this approach with a more automated solution. Preparing for CAM is simple with the self-driving CAM approach, and it can be done by untrained operators regardless of part complexity. The technology handles all of the necessary decisions for CAM programming operations automatically. In conclusion, self-driving CAM allows for efficient fabrication of bespoke parts, which can provide substantial value and potential for job shops and machine tool builders. Computer Aided Manufacturing Examples CAM is widely utilized in various sectors and has emerged as a dominant technology in the manufacturing and design industries. Here are two examples of sectors where CAM is employed efficiently and drives solutions to many challenges in the specific business. Textiles Virtual 3D prototype systems, such as Modaris 3D fit and Marvellous Designer, are already used by designers and manufacturers to visualize 2D blueprints into 3D virtual prototyping. Many other programs, such as Accumark V-stitcher and Optitex 3D runway, show the user a 3D simulation to show how a garment fits and how the cloth drapes to educate the customer better. Aerospace and Astronomy The James Webb Space Telescope's 18 hexagonal beryllium segments require the utmost level of precision, and CAM is providing it. Its primary mirror is 1.3 meters wide and 250 kilograms heavy, but machining and etching will reduce the weight by 92% to just 21 kilograms. FAQ What is the best software for CAM? Mastercam has been the most extensively utilized CAM software for 26 years in a row, according to CIMdata, an independent NC research business. How CAD-CAM helps manufacturers? Customers can send CAD files to manufacturers via CAD-CAM software. They can then build up the machining tool path and run simulations to calculate the machining cycle times. What is the difference between CAD and CAM? Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of developing a design (drafting). CAM is the use of computers and software to guide machines to build something, usually a mass-produced part.

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Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 5 Effective Techniques That Work

Article | January 4, 2022

Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods. In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment. "Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. " —Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot So let's get started. Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads Landing Pages Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign. Calls-To-Action To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper. Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable. Forms Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer. Offers Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers. This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers. Website The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online. How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques Create a Website That Converts "The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web." – Wayne Davis Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers. Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way. Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads. Make Descriptive Infographics Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority. According to recent surveys, Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives. On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content. Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles. A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you. Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing. Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer. Host an Event According to Bizzabo, 86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company. The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals. According to Marketing Charts, 68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration. Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences. Create a Value-Packed Newsletter "Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts." – Dayna Rothman According to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads. 81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing. Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel. The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders. Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan According to Intergrowth, 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing. Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%. Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers. Final Words When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI. Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads. FAQ What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing? Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service. What are the lead generation challenges? Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.

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Spotlight

Intcomex

Intcomex is a premiere value-added distributor of IT products focused solely on serving Latin America and the Caribbean. It distributes computer equipment, components, peripherals, software, computer systems, accessories, networking products and digital consumer electronics to more than 40,000 local customers in over 45 countries. It offers single source purchasing to its customers by providing an in-stock selection of more than 5,700 products from over 220 vendors, including many of the world's leading IT products manufacturers.

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