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Part 3: The Future of Manufacturing: Next Generation Multi-Strand Conveyor Design

Posted by Kevin Mauger | Tuesday, July 5, 2022

In the last section of Design World's webinar, The Future of Manufacturing: Next Generation Multi-Strand Conveyor Design, Kevin and Jenna discuss how to create an easier customer experience. Read on, or simply watch the video from this portion of the webinar.

 

 

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We will cover how to use the digital world to create an easier customer experience.  The Amazon Effect has created a desire, really it’s become an expectation for us all to have highly customized products and solutions with instant pricing information, rapid response and support, and quick shipment. As manufacturers, this trend certainly impacts us and how we sell, but before we cover this essential topic and the last section of the webinar on Easy Customer Experience.

 

Over the last 10 years or so, many manufacturers have slowly been shifting their sales process and customer service experience from complete human-to-human interaction and communication, where it was simple to control your messaging, to now a digital landscape which gives us far more reach and sales opportunity but also puts potential customers in the driver's seat.  They have the ability to educate themselves on their own vs. being educated by a salesperson on what they want to communicate. 

 

Some of the digital opportunities many manufacturers have taken advantage of include foundational assets like a website, CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), LinkedIn and YouTube channels or other social media platforms & instant chat bots.  However, the pandemic caused a seemingly overnight global shift of working remote and eliminating in person opportunities altogether. It was a trend many manufacturers were inching towards but then the last two years has completely shot put the manufacturing industry into the next era of selling products and services by creating an easy digital customer experience from the first time a lead interacts with our business to designing their conveyor solution through delivery.  So the matter at hand is, how can we create a fast, flexible and an easy experience that is completely digital?  

 

We’re not completely there, but we have the tools in place, and even leaning on them a little can make a substantial difference.  

 

Blog Stat 2The website and some of these foundational tools are more of a marketing conversation that I do urge you to have with your team. I'll make a few other suggestions on that topic but I’m really going to focus on the digital experience beyond a website, social platforms and sales tools.  I want to show you, when we have physical products, a service or a combination of both, how you can use the digital World to your advantage at the benefit of your customers.  

 

So before I dive right into that, I’ll give a little background and break down the 2 stages of customer experience at Glide-Line:

 

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 9.30.37 PM1Engaging with prospective customers: educating them on potential solutions to their problems & introducing our company. My tip in this stage of customer experience is that an improved website will go a long way to engage with leads who you aren’t even aware you exist, much less are on and exploring your site. Your site can be a phenomenal way to create a positive experience with a lead if you’re able to align your online presence to them and their needs. Stay focused on making their experience with your brand and business positive, efficient, educational and easy.

 

2And then we thought about customer service when engaging with qualified potential customers who have a project we can help with but we haven’t yet won their business.  95% of manufacturing leaders from this 2021 report agreed that digital transformation in manufacturing is essential to the company’s future success, and we agree.  Again, we felt this shift even before the pandemic, but the pandemic certainly expedited this trend for us and other manufacturers to push harder towards creating a better digital experience throughout the sales process.  So to help these high target opportunities, who want to engage with us through their desktop and find a solution or the start of their solution, we wanted to give them a tool to design and develop their conveyor solution on their own as easily and quickly as possible to generate instant pricing with the project parameters they determine.  We created IMPACT! to accomplish this.

But first, I’d like to preface this with a few universal truths about engineers (our target audience):

  1. Engineers are very, very (very) precise people – they are perfectionists whose job depends upon attention to the smallest details (understatement)
  2. Engineers take tremendous pride in their work.  The quality of their designs, their precision, and getting things ‘right’ is what drives their determination
  3. Engineers love SOLIDWORKS. It is one of the most powerful CAD modeling tools on the planet, with infinite flexibility and power. They enjoy setting up models the right way, with a clean structure, using the best modeling techniques.

One topic of particular interest for this group of engineers was configuring, downloading, and modifying vendor models from online sources.  This is what drove us to develop a 3D Solidworks “IN CONTEXT” Conveyor Configurator, IMPACT! 

 

IMPACT-back-and-forthIt’s an in-context Excel and SolidWorks configuration tool that eliminates the need to repetitively download CAD models, preventing the all-too-common hassle of re-configuring, re-downloading, re-inserting, and repairing after every change (blowing up your models). You do it once, and it lives and breathes within your assembly, changing with your needs while giving you updated part numbers and pricing along the way. In addition, IMPACT’s Microsoft Excel bridge gives you real-time visual feedback, with accurate, up to date part  part numbers, pricing and application review.  And did I mention, it’s completely free?  

 

IMPACT! has millions of standard configurations.  It features location customization for drives, legs and cross-members, splice points, all of which add up to almost infinite possibilities for a perfect design configuration for your application. You can instantly evaluate the throughput, weights, lengths, and heights handled by the conveyor you're designing through the Excel based application review tools.  

 

IMPACT! Is built for our customers - creative engineers with specific project requirements and goals. IMPACT! allows them to find unique ways to design and develop their solutions and floor layout on their own.  

 

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Looping back to my statement that when we have physical products, a service or a combination of both, you can use the digital World (soon to be called the metaverse I guess) to your advantage at the benefit of your customers.  How? It’s going to come back to understanding your customers, their needs and how you can help improve their experience with you - online to get what they need.  I believe the role of customer experience will only continue to become more and more important for generating new business and retaining existing customers. 

 

HubSpot Video

 

We’ve added all of this research and information for you here if you scan this QR code.  I mentioned in the beginning that manufacturers have been forced to take some big leaps to keep up with changing consumer demands, supply chain issues & COVID related obstacles, but also because customer’s demand ultimate flexibility & speed to keep up with both current and future operations. 

 

This new world for us has created both new opportunities and obstacles that we are all navigating.  We hope that by informing you on three areas of business our team has successfully navigated thus far, you’ll also be able to learn from our experiences.  We wish you luck and please, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

  • Flexibility
  • Agility and Speed
  • Customer Experience 
  • Or anything else you may be wondering about

 

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Topics: Solutions for Applications Engineers, Conveyor System Designs, Reduce Conveyor Lead Time

Written by Kevin Mauger

Kevin Mauger started working for the parent company of Glide-Line the day after college and bought the company 12 years into his career when it was at an all-time low. The company has multiplied in volume 5X since and is growing at 20%+ year over year. Personally, his entire life is based upon spending time with his family, figuring out a way to get out deep sea fishing, and supporting his Philadelphia Eagles. His vision for Glide-Line is to make it the world’s most flexible multi-strand conveyor solution with tools for customers allowing instantaneous response and control of their own destiny along with the fastest deliveries in the industry.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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