Poor digitisation as an impediment to product management

12 December 2018

The primary goal of manufacturing companies is to generate revenue and earn a profit from the sale of their products. Generally speaking, headquarters create these products and then turn them into “rollout packages”. Such packages comprise a wide range of information on specifications, operation, use cases, customer benefits, unique selling points, ROI spreadsheets, marketing material, etc. But often there is no structured follow-up information on who is using this information in the sales network or where problems emerge. As a result, the company’s growth is inhibited.

Rollout packages and a lack of traceability

“Rollout packages” are usually rather comprehensive and have to be updated on a regular basis. This may become necessary because of legal requirements that are changing, but also to consider modifications of the product itself. The package is then distributed across the organisation, frequently by email or via a download portal that can be accessed by the distributors. Perhaps the product manager can see who has opened the respective email or who has downloaded the information from the portal – but other than that, no digital information is available.

Discontinuity in communication

The main problem of larger organisations with poor digitisation in product management lies in the fact that the relevant stakeholders do not have the same level of information. Inconsistencies and knowledge gaps are commonplace.

How can the product manager know if the entire sales force has the same detail of information concerning the products, if everything has been clearly understood, and whether the product has already been sold? Where do problems arise in the market? Has one of the sales persons already solved a particular problem? What questions do the customers ask? Where does the sales force see a potential for improvement? How long does a successful product launch take on average? All of these questions usually remain unanswered.

Customers are primarily communicating with their respective sales persons, but the sales force is mostly not integrated into the relevant processes even though it could and should play an important role by channelling customer feedback back to the company.

It usually takes a very long time until new product information or a new product itself reaches the market, and just as long until feedback from the market gets back to the relevant employees.

Fabasoft Product Management

This complex problem can best be solved on the basis of a central, digital, structured and secure information flow in product management which is taking place in both directions before, during and after rollout.

With the Fabasoft Product Management solution, all parties concerned (internal as well as external persons) have access to a central system which is used to manage all the information that is relevant for success in the course of a product launch. Solutions like these are often connected to an existing ERP system. Data can be transferred from the ERP system into the Cloud without the need of a central IT. The company has access to structured data which is available quickly and easily, for example in a report or a BI dashboard, and which can be used to plan the next projects.

 

Screenshot Fabasoft Productmanagement

 

As a result, all stakeholders are on the same level of information, regardless of whether they are internal employees or external partners. Processes and releases can be standardised and digitised and are consequently accelerated. Everybody knows at any time what needs to be done, when, and by whom. There are no more obstacles on the way to an easy and secure collaboration across the boundaries of departments or organisations. Data is stored at European data centres according to the highest standards of security. Thanks to the integration of internal as well as external persons, it is transferred safely.