How an online product catalog can help manufacturers grow their business and satisfy customers in the digital age
“The times, they are a-changin,” – Bob Dylan, 1964
The industry has changed rapidly since manufacturers first started adopting online product catalogs to provide 3D CAD models to customers.
Today, businesses across industries are utilizing technology to transition to a digital-friendly business model. And thanks to smartphones, customers have higher expectations for what that should look like.
Unfortunately, the manufacturing industry has not been as fast as others to adopt the digital revolution.
Specifically for engineers, having online access to 3D CAD downloads is essential. When manufacturers don’t provide the product data they need, their customers are moving on to companies who provide them with instant 3D CAD models.
Learn more about digital customer experience for industrial manufacturers today.
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The Online Product Catalog – Deliver What Customers Need
At CADENAS PARTsolutions, my job is to help manufacturers adopt the digital skills and tools they need to not only keep up with industry competitors but to propel them as industry leaders in the new digital age.
So how do manufacturers climb to the top? To achieve this, manufacturers must:
1) Provide instant 3D CAD models to customers, and
2) Create an incredible digital customer experience around that.
There’s no better tool out there that can deliver on both needs than an online product catalog with digital downloads.
To demonstrate why manufacturers need an online product catalog to see their business succeed, we created an infographic showing how the tool elevates your business while delivering on customer experience. Below that, I’ve also broken-down each piece of information to give you more insight into our digital solution.
Check on the infographic and break-down below:
Enhance Your Customers’ Experience
- Provide access to information online
With an online product catalog, engineers can go from search to purchase without ever contacting your sales or engineering team. Not only is this a better experience for your potential customers, but it frees time for your engineering department to work on other projects.
- Move to an automated digital process
When the product catalog is live on your website, your customers have 24/7 access to instant 3D product downloads. And with our CAD mobile app (or your own – if you have one!), your product catalog is mobile-compatible and accessible anywhere there’s WiFi.
With our catalog, you can provide native CAD downloads to your customers from over 100 different software version and formats. So whether customers use Solid Edge versions from this year or five years ago, they can always download the part natively into their design.
- Download 3D product data sheets for the whole team
3D visibility is one of the greatest features of the CAD catalog – why limit that to just your CAD team?
Engineers can download an interactive product datasheet directly from the online configurator and easily share it with their team and purchasing department. These PDFs have 3D visibility of the configured product, dimension drawings and specifications, product number and more.
- Prepare for the next digital generation
As of 2018, nearly half of the engineering workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next few years. Additionally, teams reported they are unprepared to replace industry experts when they retire or leave the company.
With that said, it’s more important than ever to invest in resources geared toward the next generation of engineers. This generation is more tech-savvy, more likely to use mobile for work-related online searches and more likely to leave your website behind if you don’t provide instant 3D CAD models.
By building relationships with the new generation of engineers now, manufacturers will see a payoff in the near future.
Streamline Your Company for Success
- Reach 82% ROI per part
In our Industrial Sales and Marketing Report, we asked engineers how often they purchase a physical product of a CAD file they downloaded. The correlation between downloads and sales are staggering:
Approximately 82% of downloaded CAD models convert to a physical product sale.
And with our Lead Tracker tool, manufacturers can calculate their own ROI for the online product catalog and 3D CAD model downloads.
- Get real-time data and customer insights
Speaking of our Lead Tracker tool, our product catalogs make it easy for your sales and marketing teams to see the download statistics and lead information.
Through our integrations with Pardot, Salesforce and more, manufacturers can tie-in their marketing automation and CRM systems to the newly installed digital catalog. This way, your team can better manage contact lists, reach out to leads efficiently and create an overall better digital experience with potential customers.
- Create a collaborative design process
While the product catalog creates the self-serve, online experience customers today want, the tool also simplifies collaboration.
By sharing 3D product datasheets or using the CAD mobile app, engineers and manufacturers can work together to customize a 3D part model. With this in mind, the two experts create a file that has the manufacturer’s product information and the customer’s design specs.
- Be ready for whatever comes next
Technology is constantly changing. Each year, you can count on software versions updates, changes to browsers and internet providers and device intelligence and automation expanding. If you manage your own CAD library, your team is ultimately responsible for keeping up with these changes.
Alternatively, you can future-proof your delivery of 3D CAD downloads with our catalog solution. We will update your catalog to fit any new device, browser or software update.
Want to learn more about online product catalogs?
There’s so much to learn about providing 3D CAD downloads online, but for manufacturers who don’t already do this, the time to start is now.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about our solution or the different ways you can elevate your digital customer experience, I’m here to help.
Schedule a quick demo with me to see how the interactive CAD catalog could work for your company.
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See how the world’s top manufacturers sell more products. Learn how you can provide your customers with an exceptional digital customer experience.
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