Regardless of whether you sell capital equipment (OEM) or own capital equipment (or both), you currently are wrestling with the impact of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) on how you do business. That scenario places The Way Things Are firmly within the crosshairs of The Direction in which Things need to Move.
Your team painstakingly communicates what IoT capital equipment clients Need to Know. Except the audience does not want to hear what you have to say.
You and your team are proactive and anticipatory about:
- Asking clients to think about what you have to say. Yet they choose to ignore you.
- Delivering category analyses and strategy which compel clients to take action. However, clients perceive these insights as entertainment.
- Choreographing the perfect environment for a decision. Unfortunately, they stall the process by inviting skeptics and naysayers to the table.
Ultimately, IoT capital equipment clients can go dark, don’t they? Because they are uncomfortable with Change.
Why fix anything, let alone Change? After all, from your client’s perspective, nothing is broken.
From their perspective, OEM clients perceive the lifecycle of a capital equipment purchase as an insurance policy for customer longevity. Consequently, these clients can remain busy maintaining status quo levels of equipment performance in their own clients’ organizations. That lifecycle can last from 15 to 20 years.
Their focus? Ensuring capital equipment continues to perform “as good as the day that customer bought it.”
Consequently, many capital equipment manufacturers assume that the lifecycle of capital equipment insures client stickiness and customer retention. What’s there to worry about right now? How could clients possibly defect after making such a large capital investment?
Your IoT capital equipment clients have tunnel vision.
To these clients, the equipment lifecycle is all about the equipment instead of the environment in which that equipment operates. However, as the operating environment becomes increasingly permeated by IoT connectivity and software interfaces, their tunnel vision gradually renders them less competitive.
As a result, IoT capital equipment clients avoid – rather than embrace – the Case for Change.
Continuous change is the common denominator for Internet of Things industrial and manufacturing environments. Inability to continuously factor Change into business and equipment lifecycle planning has major implications for suppliers, consultants and their clients.
Consider how the pace and cadence of tech advances within IoT industrial and manufacturing environments leave no place for either client or supplier complacency.
Within these complex environments, capital equipment increasingly is interconnected by sensors and software interfaces. Equipment talks to other equipment as well as to human and robotic operators. As more facilities become smarter, even light bulbs talk to each other!
In addition, consider the number of smarter workforce as well as smarter software iterations that will take place during the course of the lifecycle of one piece of capital equipment. Now multiply that scenario by the total amount of capital equipment synchronized in that smart environment.
Ultimately, pondering this situation is What You Need to Know, folks, regardless of whether or not it is What You Want to Hear. Because savvy and proactive IoT capital equipment manufacturers understand how people, software and processes impact capital equipment customer retention strategy.
Are you savvy and proactive?
Emerging global markets are tailor-made for an IoT capital equipment customer acquisition and retention strategy focused on Change.
The MPI Group’s latest report, “A Brave New World for Machinery Makers” discusses the implications of emerging global industrialization on customized, engineered-to-order projects. These customers anticipate that capital equipment is coupled with technology which makes equipment better and better over the duration of the equipment lifecycle.
So much for remaining “as good as the day they bought it.”
Instead of simply providing equipment, the OEM provides lengthy service agreements focused on aftermarket maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) contracts. Rather than providing durable equipment, the OEM provides variable levels of on-demand service and power.
What IoT capital equipment clients need to know is this: Emerging markets challenge the business model of capital equipment manufacturers. Even if an organization currently does not sell into emerging global manufacturing and industrial environments, how many of your clients do?
Pondering that question impacts your strategy for remaining competitively nimble, flexible and robust.
Ultimately, your competitors may be paying more attention to IoT global marketplace dynamics than you are. Why? Because competitors no longer consider capital equipment as standalone assets.
Rather, competitors sell and engineer possibilities within IoT industrial and manufacturing environments. There is no either-or dialectic. Instead, the converation is yes-and. How ready are you to have that type of conversation?
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, coaches and consults about collaborative value creation for customer retention. She humanizes the Voice of the industrial Internet of Things by creating customer retention strategies leveraging workforce collaboration. Contact Babette to discuss how she can bring her programs to life within your organization.
Image author: Moreno Soppelsa. Image source: Fotolia,