Customer relations are becoming more of a focus for the majority of manufacturing and utility organisations, as 60 per cent believe that these have improved over the last three years, citing that this is mainly due to improved communications with customers. This is according to a global study commissioned by Fujitsu, which found the majority (56 per cent) of manufacturing and utility organisations believe that society and the public have become more critical of the business community.
Moreover, half (48 per cent) trust that their ability to contribute to society has improved, with 58 percent attributing this due to a focus on innovating products and services that have a positive effect on society. Nevertheless, the findings emphasised the role of trust as a key factor to a successful company, with eight in 10 (80 per cent) referencing it as an important influence in maintaining strong customer relationships.
Over the next decade, manufacturing and utility organisations are also planning to adapt to meet these customer expectations, with a fifth looking to make digital technology investments to improve business operations and efficiencies, which in turn will benefit employees and customers experience.
Graeme Wright, CTO for manufacturing, utilities and services at Fujitsu UK said, “In an era where digital technologies are undeniably disrupting the sector, manufacturing and utility companies need to ensure their organisations are built in a way that allows them to continually embrace innovation and drive productivity.
“It’s vital that all organisations across these sectors digitally transform as it can positively contribute to many different aspects of business, from customer engagement to innovation. Moreover, this will be the deciding factor between competitors.
“In doing so, organisations will be able to readily streamline processes and truly focus on customer needs and demands and increase trust.”
Digital transformation for manufacturing and utility organisations will continue to be a focus for many. Over half (56 per cent) believe it is vital for harnessing business innovation and improving products and services, with automation playing a key role in this. In fact, over two fifths (44 per cent) plan on automating some human tasks within the next three years.
Wright added, “Many manufacturing and utilities organisations are still using highly qualified workers for repetitive and mundane tasks, which adds a significant cost to production and does nothing for employee engagement.
“But with a widening skills gap, companies will increasingly use digital transformation to create more efficient, productive and cost-effective processes through the use of automation. This will allow skilled workers to focus on the bigger, more impactful and creative tasks, whilst offering breakthroughs in efficiencies which will close the gap in supply and demand for a skilled workforce.”