Now is a good time for small manufacturers to show their talents. Today’s digital disruption is about creativity, not large-scale capital investment or vast facilities. Although large companies do have more resources, once they have advanced technology, the performance of small companies is not much better than that of large companies, while maintaining agility, which is perfectly suited to the digital age.
The following is an in-depth analysis of the top five reasons why SMBs are expected to succeed in the 21st century and how to use technology to achieve this goal.
As an important part of the modern national economy, the number of SMEs has a certain advantage in both developed and developing countries. It is undeniable that the development of SMEs still faces challenges, but it also faces major opportunities. Major strategic initiatives or initiatives such as “Internet Plus” and “Belt and Road” have accelerated implementation and consolidated the momentum of SME development.
Barriers to Entry
In the decades of manufacturing history, starting a new business has always meant inheriting, buying or building a factory, then buying expensive machines and equipment to fill the factory. In the past decade, investing in robots has become a necessary condition for automating processes and keeping pace with competition. However, it all seems to have changed overnight.
Today, for many SMEs, mechanical capital investment is still an indispensable budget, but companies often specialize in the business of secondary suppliers, manufacturers or subcontractors. This means they can invest in a type of machine rather than a broad category.
Other prerequisites that have hindered industry entry in the past have also been gradually eliminated. Distance was once a major issue, suppliers must be close to original equipment manufacturers, and distribution warehouses must be close to population centers, transportation and logistics centers. The emergence of global supply chains, the ease of delivery, the reduction in transportation costs, and the reliability of global suppliers have made the old concept of “close proximity necessary” obsolete.
In particular, the emergence of Infor Nexus, which combines the power of GT Nexus, the Internet of Things and Infor Coleman AI, can help companies build intelligent supply chain networks and open the way to an automated supply chain.
This fundamental change is inseparable from the support of technology. With advanced technology, SMEs can reach buyers extensively, and product supply and supply chain resources are more clear. If a small business has a professional website, reliable e-commerce, and international pricing and transportation capabilities, it can sell its products to anyone with a smartphone.
Today, customer relationships in manufacturing are becoming more important than ever. To overcome the risks of commoditization, manufacturers are turning to a service-centric business model.
Optimizing the customer experience helps companies achieve differentiated advantages over other competitors. Moreover, to achieve quality services, there is no need to invest a lot of capital or labor. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for SMEs to meet service needs, such as after-sales service, maintenance contracts or management guarantees.
The emphasis on service is a growing trend. Currently, manufacturers are beginning to offer services or results-based products, not just products. Internet of Things (IoT) technology makes this business model possible and profitable. Data collected from smart sensors can help companies deliver efficient and productive services. IoT data can also help the R&D team understand the customer’s needs and the point of application of the product design, and it can also identify areas for improvement.
Small companies, like big companies, can analyze the data collected by sensors, make highly informed decisions, and achieve automatic response. As a result, the industry has established systems to enable sensors, artificial intelligence, algorithms and automation to do the heavy lifting.
Today, due to the changing industry landscape, manufacturers must be flexible in responding to new demands from customers, new business opportunities and changing competitive threats. The agility of SMEs is the best. Unlike large companies that need to go through layers of decision-making and strict approval structures, SMEs can quickly take action to respond to opportunities or challenges.
In addition, SMEs can use data points, business forecasts and reliable business intelligence to achieve strong decision making, and SMEs should maintain confidence in themselves.
In addition, technology can provide the necessary arsenal. Advanced business intelligence solutions enable SMBs to have the same business capabilities as companies with large market researchers and data analysts. In fact, business intelligence software offers additional advantages that enable companies to easily anticipate future business opportunities and proactively take action to lead new product innovations. InforBirst, a leader in TCO/ROI (Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment), reliability and adaptability by Ventana Research, can significantly increase the speed of achieving value and total cost of ownership compared to traditional solutions Minimized. Its intelligent patented automation technology and multi-tenant cloud architecture enable organizations to create, deploy and maintain mission-critical enterprise-level analytics solutions with less resources and time.
This is an era of innovation – not only in product design, but also in operational technology. The Internet of Things has greatly promoted this innovation. The data generated by the sensors paves the way for new products generated from collected and analyzed data points. Innovation is also reflected in new business models, partnerships and co-production. SMEs are well suited to this creative thinking. Crowdsourcing and venture capitalists are helping start-ups implement the next great idea. Technology has also played a significant role, with e-commerce, supply chain transparency and predictive analytics helping online stores manage large volumes of business with minimal overhead.
Business segmentation concept
Small manufacturers play a key role in this industry, acting as a supplier, subcontractor, manufacturer and catalyst, driving the industry to work hard, innovating, and continuing to deliver creative results. Small businesses have many advantages, such as agility, and the ability to seize new business opportunities without having to go through cumbersome layers of approval. At the same time, they face obstacles beyond their fair share because of their limited human resources and often limited investment funds.
By investing in the right technology, small manufacturers can also gain many of the capabilities of large companies. From business intelligence tools and e-commerce to service solutions and the Internet of Things, the energy of small businesses is not inferior to that of large enterprises, and can also be a disruptor to the rules of the game.