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EVENTS

Experience 21
EXPERIENCE 21
May 18-20, 2021
At Experience 2021, you’ll reimagine what’s possible — and see firsthand what it means to co-create a better experience with agility and speed. Listen to expert sessions from the people who are transforming customer and employee experience as we know it. Join the conversation with ...

Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2020
MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY CHAIN CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2020
June 09-09, 2021
The Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition and Co-Located Events will take place again on the 9th June 2021 . This event will serve as a national forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the associated supply chains from across the UK to gather to discuss press...

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Manufacturers Leverage Selling Online

THOMAS R. CUTLER
SHARESHARESHARE
Out of necessity manufacturers are learning to leverage online selling. Digital selling channels recover losses from in-person sales methodologies creating a new channel to serve online customers.

Hosea Chang (pictured left) , COO of clothing brand Hayden Los Angeles, emphasized, “The most important thing is to make sure that your website is technically equipped to handle the influx of customers that comes with shopping events like Black Friday. Too many websites crash at the first sign of trouble, and that ruins customer experience and your chance for profit. Many retailers of physical products continue to be affected during the pandemic when office work went remote. When it comes to manufacturing, warehousing, packing and delivery, those processes cannot be stopped or done remotely.”

This is particularly challenging for smaller B2B eCommerce businesses where teams are stretched thin. Adding the necessity for social distancing negatively impacts delivery times and the customer experience.

Yoav Kutner (pictured left), the Founder and CEO of Oro, Inc. and makers of OroCommerce shared, "Connected business systems such as B2B eCommerce platforms must be tightly integrated with a CRM to empower a new generation of direct salespeople. They use technology to become more efficient, to increase sales, and to help their companies grow even faster. These systems reduce routine tasks such as data entry, pulling and updating pricing lists. This allows humans to focus on what humans do better than machines namely building relationships with customers."
 


VIVIPINS, a B2B supplier of customizable office stationery goods for companies around the world moved to a fully remote work environment and it went better than expected. Robin Brown (pictured left), CEO of VIVIPINS noted, “We use procurement automation platforms, chat apps, video call apps, and resource sharing platforms. This makes managing manufacturing, supply chains, and communication with suppliers easy. We use online RFIs, RFPs, and RFQs to communicate with our suppliers, coupled with Google Drive and Dropbox for document management. These tools have made in-person, collaborative activities such as product design and order fulfillment less challenging and more productive.”


Manufacturers embarking on a digital transformation journey

Kutner noted companies like the aforementioned examples require flexibility and interconnectivity of systems. System integration, according to Kutner is the most powerful and important issue for manufacturers embarking on a digital transformation journey. A recent Digital Commerce study by Gartner said by 2022, a typical digital commerce customer experience will be created from over thirty integrated applications. Manufacturers investing in building flexible IT systems will grow and scale at a much faster pace.


NuLeaf Naturals sells CBD and hemp products to retailers as well as direct to customers (D2C). The pandemic presented a unique challenge; moving the whole team to operate remotely while demand for product soared.
Ian Kelly (pictured left) , VP Operations of NuLeaf Natural shared, “While much of our operations and communications with farmers, manufacturers, and testing facilities are via phone and email, delays on their end due to COVID19 restrictions forced us to really play a guessing game, trying to predict demand in order to have inventory ready in advance.” NuLeaf Naturals has since moved back to the office. With smaller teams and social distancing, the reliance on videoconferencing and remote chat is now a part of life.
 

B2B manufacturers need to be strategic and flexible

Kutner acknowledged, “In the COVID era, B2B businesses need to be strategic and flexible and never lose customer focus.  To be successful, when switching to remote work and online sales, manufacturers need to take a strategic triage approach and set goals that consider staying power, vulnerabilities, and resources. Rather than trying to figure everything from scratch and reinvent the wheel, using a comprehensive solution will reduce risks and get a business to market faster and with less risk.”

Technologies and collaboration tools are the glue that holds remote teams together

Technologies and collaboration tools are the glue that holds remote teams together. To market, sell, and offer customers the best experience, organizations need a single source of truth offered by CRM and eCommerce solutions. A powerful B2B eCommerce software for distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers is required. Like the real-world examples above, B2B businesses mandate an unmatched selling experience, supporting complex workflows and business models such as B2B2C, D2C, and B2B marketplaces. Remote teams are empowered by eliminating data silos and providing everyone greater visibility into the B2B buyer experience. With out-of-the-box features, companies are able to increase speed to market. An integrated CRM serves as an excellent tool for distributed teams since team members have immediate access to a comprehensive view of customers.
About The Author
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based,
TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 22nd year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 8000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. More than 4700 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at
@ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com.

SPOTLIGHT

Oro, Inc. was launched in 2012 by former Magento co-founders Yoav Kutner, Chief Executive Officer; Dima Soroka, Chief Technology Officer; and Roy Rubin, director of Oro's advisory board (and former CEO of Magento). The senior management team also includes Motti Danino, Chief Operations Officer; Michael Bessolov, VP of Engineering; and Andrew Gerasimov, VP of Client Services.

OroCommerce is the first and only open-source B2B eCommerce platform built from the ground up for mid-market and large commerce businesses. This integrated technology solution provides a diverse range of B2B features and capabilities, such as personalization, localization, built-in multi-channel CRM, powerful workflows, and a pricing engine. The groundbreaking flexibility coupled with a robust set of B2B features available out of the box, ensures the OroCommerce B2B platform is specifically designed for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and multi-channel brands.

EVENTS

Experience 21
EXPERIENCE 21
May 18-20, 2021
At Experience 2021, you’ll reimagine what’s possible — and see firsthand what it means to co-create a better experience with agility and speed. Listen to expert sessions from the people who are transforming customer and employee experience as we know it. Join the conversation with ...

Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2020
MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY CHAIN CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2020
June 09-09, 2021
The Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition and Co-Located Events will take place again on the 9th June 2021 . This event will serve as a national forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the associated supply chains from across the UK to gather to discuss press...