10 Things Modern Manufacturing Buyers Want
Modern manufacturing buyers don’t look at things with the same mindset as they did before. The global manufacturing industry is constantly evolving. With the rise of automation and digital technology, modern manufacturing buyers have also evolved. They’re now looking for suppliers that can provide them with more than just a good product at a reasonable price. They want to know how you run your business, how it supports its employees, and how it impacts the environment around it. It has changed how manufacturers operate their factories and interact with their customers.
This article shares the 10 things modern manufacturing buyers want.
1. Buyers look beyond product quality – they want to know how suppliers’ operations are run.
In today’s manufacturing environment, buyers are looking beyond just product quality. They want to know how suppliers’ operations are run and what kind of people they employ.
For example, a buyer may ask if the supplier has employee policies that support diversity and inclusion. Or perhaps they request proof that their supply chain adheres to local labor laws and regulations. It could be a deal breaker if the supplier does not have these policies or provide proof of compliance.
2. Overseas manufacturers who embraced buyer portals are globally recognized.
Buyer portals have been around for some time, but they’re becoming even more critical to manufacturers. In the past, buyers only looked at a product and saw if it met their needs. Nowadays, they want to know how the product was made, what materials were used, who made it, and how many people worked on it.
Buyers also want to feel like they are part of the process—and that’s where a buyer portal comes in handy. They can see what’s happening with their purchase throughout production and even interact with employees at overseas facilities directly through these digital portals. It increases transparency between end users and manufacturers by allowing for better communication between parties involved in developing new products or services before making them available for sale on retail shelves back home.
3. Simple transactions are no longer the norm.
Today, buyers want to know more about your company than your product. They want to know about your operations, employees, and company culture. If buyers can’t see or feel something with their senses, they will not buy it—even if it’s cheaper.
How do you get this message across? How can a manufacturing buyer form an opinion on how well-run your factory is without visiting it? The answer is video tours of existing facilities and future plants under construction (if applicable). You need not be a professional videographer; what matters most is what’s happening onscreen rather than how cleverly it’s shot.
A video tour can show how your company goes beyond the call of duty for its customers. For example, mentioning this in the video tour is a good idea if you have strong relationships with local schools or charities.
4. Buyers want to feel valued and trusted.
Modern manufacturing buyers want to know that you are on their side, not just looking for a quick profit from them. They want to see that you care about what they do so much that it improves your business.
The new way of manufacturing is not just about getting a product out the door; it’s about ensuring that the people who use your products are happy with them. It’s about being more than just another supplier in the food chain but a part of the team trying to improve things for everyone involved.
5. Modern buyers want to be treated as partners, not just customers.
It means they expect to have input into the process and decisions about their order. They also hope to be able to influence decisions in ways beyond simply choosing what product will be used for their order.
You must give them this opportunity and listen to their thoughts on how best your product can serve them and what kind of design would work best in their industry or field of business. In exchange, they’ll deliver higher quality products with fewer defects than ever before, all while saving time and money on manufacturing costs due to reduced errors made during production time.
6. Manufacturing buyers want to focus on their business.
Today, buyers want to feel they can trust their supplier and that the supplier is focused on building a great relationship with them. They want to focus on their business and not worry about their suppliers. It’s a common concern among manufacturers: “I have so many other things I need to worry about—where does quality control fit in?”
Many manufacturers think quality control will take care of itself because outsourcing is cheaper than investing in internal staff or processes. However, this could be one of your biggest mistakes if you don’t set up a robust system for checking your suppliers’ work at every step.
7. Modern buyers want to feel your company is invested in them.
Modern manufacturing buyers don’t want to be treated as a cog in the wheel. They want to know they are a part of your company and that you are invested in their success, not just trying to profit from them. They also want to believe you are invested in your company’s and employees’ success. They want to feel like they are part of something greater, and they want you to help them achieve that.
8. Buyers want you to make their job easier, not harder.
The easiest way to make life easier for your customers is to make it easy on yourself. If you want your customers to find the information they need, give them what they want. If you want them to contact the right person, provide them with an email address or phone number that connects directly with that person’s inbox. If you want them to place an order, offer a way to do so online or over the phone (and make sure it’s clear how long it will take until their order ships).
If you want them to pay for their order, offer several different payment options—such as credit card processing via Stripe or PayPal—so there are no barriers between placing an order and getting results back from manufacturing.
And finally, tracking orders is vital for most business models (because inventory management is essential). Then make sure it’s easy for buyers who have placed orders in the past to keep track of those orders and access those details in real time by entering their email addresses. And make sure those details are accurate. You can’t afford to lose track of your customer’s orders, which will frustrate them and hurt your business in the long run.
If you want to get more customers, the best thing you can do is make it easy for them to become repeat buyers. Don’t force them to enter their information every time they order something; instead, use that information as a starting point and keep track of it in a database so they can check on their orders quickly.
9. Manufacturing buyers have access to more information than ever before.
In the old days, buyers mainly focused on how much a company could provide them at the cheapest price possible. However, in today’s market, especially when dealing with manufacturing buyers, you must think differently. They have access to more information than ever before and want to know what your business exactly does and how it operates.
They want to know about your suppliers, manufacturing processes, quality management systems (QMS), and even what kind of office space you have for employees. Buyers are interested in knowing how well you treat people who work for or with you and those who buy from or sell products through you: How friendly is your customer service team? How quickly do they respond when an issue arises? Do they follow up with customers after orders are placed?
What kind of business relationship do you have with your suppliers? Do they treat you with respect and provide the product quality you expect? What are your environmental policies, and how do they impact your company? These are a few examples of what buyers want to know before doing business with you.
10. The buyers’ demand for transparency has never been higher.
Your buyers want more information than ever before. They want to know how your operation is run, what you do to ensure quality in the products they receive, and how you handle your supply chain and inventory management. They also want to ensure you’re not using outdated or unethical practices.
To attract and retain customers, you must prove that your company is ethical and trustworthy. That means providing clear information about where you source your products, how they are made, what goes into them, and why they’re so good.
You can also use this information to show your customers that you’re committed to quality, ethics, and sustainability. By providing transparency into how your company operates, you can build a loyal customer base that will stick with you.
To be a successful manufacturer in the modern era, you must embrace the changes in buyer behavior. It doesn’t mean you must change anything about your company’s business model or operations. Instead, it simply means being more aware of what buyers are looking for today and adjusting your approach accordingly.
My name is Waman Boult and I’m a business strategist who specializes in sales, outreaching, and marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes, currently working at DataListsGroup one of the leading providers of b2b data. I have a deep understanding of what it takes to drive success and have an extensive network of industry experts that I can draw upon when needed.