In recent years, IT has played a key role in driving business efficiencies for manufacturing companies. The adoption of the latest technologies has helped them fine-tune their production and supply chain processes to address changing customer preferences and reduce the time-to-market for products in a better manner. Companies are increasingly using digital marketing strategies to tap new growth opportunities. Of late, a key trend that has gained traction is the adoption of SMAC technologies, which is a combination of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies, to increase customer engagement, tap exponential growth opportunities and enhance productivity.

Microsoft is a pioneer in the uptake of this technology, taking advantage of all four SMAC aspects to deliver the best customer experience. The company uses social inputs to determine what customers and users like, mobile technology to allow on-the-go use of products, analytics to drive the sales and product departments, and cloud technology to store all relevant data. Many other companies across the world are following suit. The prominence of SMAC technology is likely to go up in coming years as organisations will be expected to deal with 50 times more data by 2020.

SMAC advantage

In the manufacturing segment, SMAC can be used to derive immediate insights on the shop floor; allowing for quicker and deeper analyses and the ability to deliver products swiftly and at a lower cost. In addition, the real-time condition-based monitoring of tools and interfaces reduces unnecessary downtime and streamlines production runs between product models.

The SMAC platform also helps manufacturers create a customer-centric business. By rapidly sharing business products and services through social media, product launches now have better reach and immediate feedback, apart from increasing the chance of tapping new customers.

Analysing social comments and engaging with users can help companies further customise their products as social feedback is instantaneous and direct. SMAC allows companies to streamline and optimise this entire process. It also allows manufacturers to grow and increase efficiencies without relying heavily on internal or outsourced IT resources.

Going forward

As digital marketing trends gain momentum, companies are set to place more emphasis on understanding customers by leveraging the data generated by them on social media. An appropriate analysis of this data can help enhance service offerings and improve revenue streams.