How Manufacturers Can Benefit from the COVID-19 eCommerce Acceleration


women using her phone to order merchandise online during pandemicCovid-19 forced a massive shift in consumer behavior, resulting in some of the most significant retail, distribution, and supply chain challenges in our lifetime. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of eCommerce through online shopping, digital engagement, and omni-channel strategies. In response to the unanticipated demand, companies showed agility and speed while demonstrating innovation in the eCommerce space.

Demand recovery will be uncertain as the economy fluctuates; it will be unequal across geographies, sectors, product categories, and consumer segments; and it will be slow to return to pre-crisis levels. While a few industries will see abnormally high demand, many others will confront periods of structural overcapacity. These businesses must painfully rightsize their cost base and capital in their operations, supply chains, and organizations as a whole, as well as aggressively transfer their fixed expenses to variable costs whenever possible. The fact that historical data and forecasting models will be of little value in predicting where pockets of demand will arise and where supply will be required complicates issues for leaders as they try to figure out how to deal with an uneven recovery. To guide operational decisions, new data and totally rebuilt analytical models will be required.

How COVID-19 Accelerated eCommerce Adoption For Manufacturers

retail manager taking a look at all the ecommerce orders ready to ship in warehouseCustomer preferences and habits have shifted dramatically, and while they will continue to move, the rise in the use of digital services is here to stay. To succeed in this new climate, businesses must guarantee that their digital channels are on pace with or better than those of their competitors. Digital laggards will be significantly disadvantaged throughout the recovery.

Industry 4.0

We are now in the fourth industrial revolution, often referred to as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is defined by digital transformation and its impact on real-time decision making, productivity and a company’s ability to be flexible in changing circumstances. With increased automation and smart machines and factories, companies can manufacture products more efficiently across the value chain. Manufacturers are also able to use data to better meet customer demands. The data that is collected directly from the manufacturing process can be married with operational data so that a factory can easily make better and more informed decisions about their production.

Organizations Invested Billions Into Technology

There are many opportunities for automation in manufacturing. Automated factory machines are equipped with wireless connectivity and sensors allowing for monitoring the entire manufacturing process and autonomous decision-making. With investments in automation and 5G, wireless networking and machine augmentation will be substantially advanced, resulting in faster response times and allowing for near-real-time communication between systems.

How Manufacturers Can Leverage Industry 4.0 And eCommerce Acceleration

young women managing packages digitally Today, digital technologies are used to make manufacturing more agile, flexible, and responsive to customers. Companies can build a smart factory that uses the Internet, wireless sensors, software, and other new technologies to optimize the manufacturing system and boost customer satisfaction. Autonomous robots can assist producers in a variety of ways, from choosing products in a warehouse to getting them ready to export. Robots carry goods around Amazon warehouses, lowering costs and allowing the online retailer to make greater use of floor space.

Conduct Proper Planning Using Data Analytics And Reports

Big data analytics assists businesses in harnessing their data and identifying new opportunities. Data analytics results in smarter business decisions, more effective operations, higher profits, and happier consumers. When business leaders have insight into what’s going on within their organization from a data perspective, they are in a position to make more accurate and timely decisions that impact their employees, customers and stakeholders.

Improve eCommerce Applications And Product Delivery Processes

eCommerce has grown at such a fast pace over the last two decades that it has fundamentally altered the structure of the company. Every day, millions of individuals shop online, with many of them making purchases more than once a week. This has resulted in profitable business opportunities that were not available prior to the internet. Businesses are no longer restricted to local customers and can use eCommerce companies to reach geographically distant customers. They can also provide a real-time view of inventory for the manufacturer.

Consider Digitizing Logistics And Warehousing

store manager digitizing his retail warehouseCompanies are turning to digital warehousing to better manage their supply chain, boost visibility and transparency, increase speed, and ensure order correctness. It reduces the information lag to near-real-time levels and eliminates instances of miscommunication. As a result, lead times have been reduced.

Speak With Hartman About Manufacturing eCommerce Adoption

A winning e-commerce strategy is dependent on the right technology, data, and people. If you have questions regarding eCommerce adoption and digital transformation, contact us today for more details on how to get started.


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