After thousands of discussions with manufacturing companies, it’s clear to me that the industry is suffering. Due to outdated notions of the software industry, manufacturers aren’t evaluating their digital transformation properly.
Dated ideas of a product-centric buying process fail to consider one of the most crucial components of successfully implementing a software tool — the service.
As a result, companies are finding themselves stuck in “pilot purgatory,” jumping around from software to software with no end in sight.
Success as Service
Despite increasing automation in manufacturing, the human support systems that software companies provide is arguably the most important factor to evaluate during the buying journey.
Without this consideration, companies can get stuck in pilots, pilot periods, and blocked by internal IT systems. Rather than realizing the benefits that new technology has to offer, the tools become a burden and accumulate opportunity costs as they struggle to get off the ground floor.
Escaping Pilot Purgatory
Even though many are well underway into their digital transformation, companies are having trouble getting out of pilot phases and seeing a real return on their investment.
In a recent McKinsey report, 70% of survey respondents identify digital manufacturing as a top priority. However, less than a third of these companies have been able to successfully transition from pilot periods into large-scale rollouts.
Continuous Improvement Takes Two
Today’s software tools have interactive components that rely on back-and-forth human communication. This communication can include everything from customer on-boarding and training, to holding each other accountable to set KPIs.
Regular communication with customers becomes critical to applying continuous improvement to both the customer and the software.
At Dozuki, a typical customer question is, “How do you suggest we utilize this specific functionality to improve this process?” We use our years of experience working with customers to give an answer that helps improve processes at greater strides than if they were to never have the ability to ask these questions.
What This Means for Industry 4.0
The service side of software has the ability to create the foundation needed for manufacturing companies to jump into Industry 4.0. With digital tools being an integral part of Industry 4.0, they have the ability to create an environment to foster continual improvement, if used correctly. In order to get the full potential out of a software tool, it is critical to marry it with the human factor, which becomes easily accessible with SaaS (Software as a Service) tools.
As Industry 4.0 takes over the headlines and digital transformation becomes a strategic priority, it’s important for a business to understand how to properly evaluate new waves of SaaS tools and the opportunities they bring.
4 Questions For Evaluating an Enterprise Software Tool
What does implementation look like?
A robust implementation strategy should be evaluated as part of the product purchase. After all, an expensive tool doesn’t provide benefit if you’re unable to successfully use it. Are clear cut steps for a successful implementation being regularly communicated?
What opportunities exist to voice feedback?
Does communication with your software supplier stop once this tool gets into your hands, or are they checking in and readily available to take on feedback and questions? Is it clear that this feedback is being communicated internally to improve the software itself?
What is the reach of this software company?
Do they have experience working with similar companies or industries that you can draw from to help optimize your use? Often times, how a tool solves for a challenge is specific to an industry or niche. Rather than reinventing the wheel, look for tools that will allow you to leverage the experience from their network of companies that have already had success.
What does support documentation look like?
A clear indicator of a good support system is how well that information is documented. From user on-boarding to technical API documentation, knowing that you can find the information you need when customer support isn’t available becomes a critical point to evaluate.
What People Think of Dozuki Support
Not only do we have an extensive library of support documentation, but our customer success team is world-class. They have helped hundreds of manufacturing companies successfully implement Dozuki as part of their operations and digital transformation strategy. Read what some of our customers have said about our support:
“What I absolutely love the best about Dozuki is the customer service. Every person that we interacted with was genuinely happy and helpful. We have asked many questions, had interactive training sessions, and everyone is a star.”
“The support staff respond quickly and listen to advice on new features that would be useful to have. They are adding new features and updating the product often… the API is flexible and the support staff has been very helpful in personalizing the program to suit our needs.”