DOT CALM : Recent Poll Shows BPM's and Suppliers Finally Progressing into the Online Universe

500 BPM's, Distributors, and Suppliers Polled Re: Implementing Internet-Based Technology

The building products and construction materials industry is such an integral part of our economy. Like any other industry, it is has been through its share of mergers, slow downs, and booms.  It is a proud industry and an industry that endures, yet it is slow to adapt to change and slow to embrace technology.  Despite construction being a $9.5-trillion industry, which is expected to double by 2030, it is "among the least digitized," said FINALCAD CEO Jimmy Louchart. The silver lining: internet-based sales channels are on the rise.

A Q4 2015 supply chain poll by the Aberdeen Group showed that out of 550 building product material manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers polled each have a strategy focusing on, or are expanding into, online sales channels.

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, e-commerce sales represented 6.4% of total retail sales in the United States in 2015, significant growth compared to the 1.8% share a decade prior. Surprisingly private consumers are not the biggest beneficiaries of new technologies, but the United States manufacturing and wholesale sectors.  In 2015, e-commerce accounted for 60.9% of total manufacturing shipments and 27.7% of wholesale shipments were the result of online transactions.

Manufacturers and wholesalers are in agreement that adapting to e-commerce and internet based technology will be most important over the next five years in order to collect and analyze customer data and begin sharing it with trade partners in order to make supply chains more efficient, this according to a recent report by GT Nexus, an Internet-based procurement network.

“75% of respondents say digital transformation of the supply chain is important, but a massive gap exists today between where companies are today and where they expect to be in just five years from now,” says Mathieu Dougados Sr V.P Capgemini Consulting. The report adds that 95% of respondents expect within five years to have more automated data-sharing with trading partners, and 87% expect to have the ability to share immediate updates of production data.

According to Fortune 500 industrial supplier W.W. Grainger, a successful beast in the omni-channel and e-commerce areas, e-commerce is its fastest growing channel. In 2013 e-commerce was representing 25 percent of its sales online. By implementing a better established omni-channel approach to their already robust e-commerce platform, in 2015 this figure was over 50 percent.

Implementing a new sales channel does not mean you have to be huge like Grainger. The smallest of companies can take steps like offering a mobile and online experience that seamlessly integrates with an e-commerce platform. As long as your customers are receiving the same service no matter where they are, what they are doing, or what device they are using as they do in person, you are on your way to online success.