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IDC Studies Customer Support Software in Manufacturing Value Chains

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IDC Studies Customer Support Software in Manufacturing Value Chains

July 31, 2014

  By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

IDC (News - Alert) Manufacturing Insights has just released the results of its research in a report, titled “Supporting the Customer Lifecycle for Manufacturing Value Chains.” This particular report looks at how manufacturing value chains are using software to better reach and support their customers. The vendors studied include Epicor, SAP (News - Alert)'s hybris, IBM, NetSuite, Oracle, and ShopVisible.

The customer experience is becoming a major part of B2B eCommerce and customer support software, and manufacturing is no exception. IDC has previously predicted this trend in a past report called “2014 Manufacturing Commerce Strategies Top 10 Predictions.” This new report puts the customer lifecycle in the value chain under a microscope and also provides references to vendors that offer eCommerce solutions that help manage this lifecycle.

Heather Ashton, research manager of manufacturing commerce strategies at IDC, said, “The purpose of this vendor landscape for B2B eCommerce is to identify those vendors that are currently offering tools to assist manufacturers in optimizing their business processes around the customer lifecycle. Manufacturers can take the information in this report and use it to formulate a strategy around B2B eCommerce and more easily define a 'short list' of vendors that have offering in this market.”

The report has concluded that each value chain differs in its implementation of B2B eCommerce solutions for the management of customer experience. IDC's advice is to understand the tools that will help support the needs in one's specific manufacturing niche.

According to their report, manufacturing chains must also be aware of the variations in the customer lifecycle that are specific to them. Each manufacturer has differing interactions and must account for the customer's mentality. Solutions for customer lifecycle management must be made conscious of these kinds of variations. It's also helpful for manufacturers to understand this in order to plot the best approach for the “attract-sell-serve” model.

IDC Manufacturing also believes that IT vendors may start developing industry-specific features into their B2B eCommerce offerings when manufacturers will start creating a higher demand for these things. As they start adopting eCommerce, they'll start asking for features that helps them market and sell better in their particular situations.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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