Nearly every global manufacturer is reaching toward Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution featuring digitization and the widespread use of cyber-physical systems to master and optimize existing assets with disruptive technologies.

The customer journey for their large, strategic customers is often hand-in-hand with these advancement efforts as manufacturers seek to develop tighter connections beyond a handshake or EDI link. 

“The term ‘Industry 4.0’ was first used in 2011 by Bosch and since then, nearly every major producer has embarked upon an automation strategy linking their legacy assets – including mechanical devices and business processes – with computer-based algorithms, the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities sensing, scanning and monitoring key business functions, and other technologies that are supported by the next generation of cloud computing”

- Michael Rada, the Medium Corporation

But what are the implications for small-to-mid sized, non-core customers who often require different service levels and support?

Historically, global manufacturers have often struggled to meet the demanding needs of these customers.  Traditional strategies have historically included the deployment of a direct sales force or the enlistment of distribution. With the onset of Industry 4.0 and digitization, manufacturers have sought to increase their digital presence through the utilization of a variety techniques including hosted and third-party eCommerce sites, and enrolling in online marketplaces to feature, market and sell product.   

In reality, most manufacturers deploy some combination of the above with varying degrees of strategic intent often resulting in a low-to-no growth environment, while administrative costs and operational complexity remain less-than-ideal.  All of this while the small business customers receive sub-optimal service and resulting decreased brand loyalty. 

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Enter Xenon arc and Industry 5.0: The Personalization of the Customer and Producer Experience

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Industry 5.0 is the next phase of advancement in which man and machine find ways to work together to personalize and improve the customer experience and customer intimacy.  In Xenon arc’s case, it is applying analog and digital solutions into an integrated and cohesive strategy for producers to reach their non-traditional, SMB, end-use customers

Xenon arc recognizes that each SMB customer is on their own technology journey in terms of how they choose to interface with their suppliers and customers.  Xenon arc’s xa-Direct model provides a flexible, personalized, omni-channel approach that is tailored to customer needs while in the process digitizing each engagement to create a more holistic, intimate and predictive view of their business and requirements.

The result - all constituents win.