We all know technology for technology's sake is not a viable (or profitable) concept. Today, visionary companies are executing B2B strategies but with a back-to-basics focus.These companies are using e-business tools and technology to do a better job servicing the needs of their customers. Instead of pushing "whiz bang" and "bleeding edge" technologies that don't make sense (or money), they are asking clients, what they need to do business faster, better and at a lower cost.
In doing so, they are able to evaluate and realign their business processes to meet the needs of their clients and business partners.
This approach has been utilized by a number of our eVolution award winners. The people at Nordson have created value in the eyes of their customers in new and interesting ways.
In addition to providing clients with the ability to transact business, they have provided them with a vehicle to proactively collect information on the status of an invoice or their entire account. The results of this application far exceeded the company's expectations, again pointing to delivering customer value.
This customercentric approach is also exemplified in the training applications developed by the award winners at KraftMaid Cabinetry and Tooling University. Not only did these programs reduce the firm's costs and the expenses incurred by their clients in participating in these mission critical training applications, but they made these materials available to the end user when it was convenient for them to use the training tools.
As a result of the interactive teaching methods used and the application of both pre- and post-participation testing, the retention rates associated with the use of these training tools is phenomenal.
Finally, the success experienced by the people at USB is attributable not only to the fact that they have made useful resources (a searchable Material Safety Data Sheet and technical library) available to their customers, but they have also applied an integrated marketing strategy to the promotion of this site. In doing so, they have seen a steady increase in the number of users' sessions, resulting in a growing revenue stream.
CAMP Inc. supports the use of this back-to-basics approach and will continue to help forward-thinking companies like these develop efficient, customer-focused e-business solutions of this type. The reason is simple -- they make good business sense. These applications strengthen their client relationships as well as create value for both parties.
Further, by virtue of the fact they are built to meet client demand and involve the application of continuous improvement technologies, these applications will be self-funding and result in ongoing process improvements that benefit all those involved.
On a final note, and most important, these tools, techniques and processes make small- to mid-sized entities more competitive and profitable. It is as a result of the close fit between these points and CAMP's mission that I am proud to be affiliated with this event and look forward to our continued participation as other area manufacturers take advantage of these business-strengthening technologies.
Congratulations to all of this year's eVolution in Manufacturing award winners. Steve Gage is president of CAMP Inc.