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Digital Solutions are Sweeping through the Cleaning Industry: Applying Lessons Learned to Your Industry
Across many industries, manufacturers and distributors are seeking approaches to create successful digital strategies. The cleaning industry—involving suppliers of large, complex equipment (e.g., filtration systems), standard devices (e.g., dispensers), consumables (e.g., soap), and expendables (e.g., spare parts)—offers a good example of how B2B industry players are preparing to address these challenges and opportunities.
At the onset, we found that conflicting definitions of the digital landscape—including IoT and other digital technologies such as digital commerce, advanced analytics, etc.—often confuse and complicate strategies. Once understood, successful digital strategies must first and foremost enable suppliers to bring deliberate, quantifiable value to customers. Although not all customers value and want the same solutions, effective digital solutions must prove that the customer will be better off—gaining in cost savings, better service, and/or other additional value.
Business models, including roles and responsibilities and place in the IoT digital ecosystem, must be addressed. Not all industries share similar IoT and digital trends and roadblocks, such as scalability, technology and software learning curves, and cybersecurity. Nevertheless, the pace of change in technology is rapidly increasing, and while some industries such as the cleaning industry will see slower adoption, others will not. Developing a strategy to stay abreast of these changes and be proactively positioned to take advantage of digital opportunities will be an important determinant of future success.