Some companies like to say they are "customer-centric." But Inxeption believes the real advantage of a digitally transformed country is that it is product-centric. Why the distinction?
First, we realize that respecting, listening to, and providing service to customers is vital. It’s like breathing. It’s what you need to do.
But it’s too limiting to organize your data ecosystem around customers. Middlemen have been selling you customers for years, but digitization means incorporating customer data into the larger ecosystem of what your company is producing so you both benefit. If you don’t make it your business to fully understand all the costs and logistics and product features and how they relate to one another, you will not find the cost and service advantages to beat data goliaths like Amazon.
What does a product-centric organization look like?
Let’s say you make high-end acrylic paints for bicycles, and you have digitally transformed your company using the Inxeption platform.
You produce several categories of paint including anti-rust, high gloss, environmentally friendly, and reflective paints.
Your system can instantly summon every piece of information about every paint you sell, including sample images, current prices, raw materials suppliers, and use instructions and recommendations. Your customer can find unique product specifications about the technical limits of a paint option, such as whether it has been tested (and by whom and when) with new aluminum alloys, or how it wears over time.
You have real-time indicators of your suppliers’ shipments and commitments.
You have a list of every customer who’s registered on your web site, who has inquired about a product, and who’s ever ordered any of those paints. You know how they found you. You know how many and which links they clicked on before ordering. You know their shipping preferences, their location, and very likely something about their larger business goals that involve your product (whether they’re considering new product lines, whether they have promotions coming up that could spike orders). You know how they’ve paid in the past. And you know the questions they’ve asked you. All that information is connected to all the relevant functions in your company, from marketing to accounts receivable to product design to shipping.
You have a current list of orders that are in process and you, and the customer, can track exactly where any order is in your system at any time.
You know what you spent to advertise each product on multiple platforms, and you can watch the ROI from that in real time. You can experiment with different messages and adword buys to see what works best.
You have attached customer feedback to each product record that either has already shaped the evolution of that product, or that may suggest either improvements to that product going forward, or collateral products or accessories like special brushes, or thinning agents.
Whatever your bike-painting customers see when logging into the system is current and customized to some degree for that customer. There are no paper catalog orders or other ways to interact with the company (except for phone orders which sometimes are necessary for complex transactions, but in which all the elements are digitally captured by your company’s phone order person). There are no out of date price lists floating around. By the way, you can customize the price that populates for each and every customer, based on discounts and terms you negotiate one on one.
You have to manage everything about your business to survive today, and you have to funnel the information you need to do that in the most efficient way so you rank the threats and opportunities and move quickly.