[Missed Parts 1 or 2? Read them here]
No matter how great your development team, it doesn’t matter if you can’t properly roll out products in the field. Most companies focus on supply chain and distribution, but it’s also critical to focus on all the other stakeholders that make products a success. If products require some set-up, you need to get installers trained on the appropriate procedures. The same goes for field service partners. They need to be trained and ready to deal with potential product issues during beta testing, pilot and production. Keeping all partners up to date on the latest product specs, timelines and procedures is critical for success.
Step 4: Set Up the Right Infrastructure
Making custom product development as smooth as possible for customers is sometimes easier said than done. Technology limitations have hindered both legacy on-premises tools and some cloud technologies. In order to really involve customers throughout your custom development process, you should have the following technical infrastructure in place:
- Easy external access: whatever technologies you embrace, you need to make sure that it’s super easy for customers and partners to access the system. Having easy to configure roles and privileges is essential, so you can facilitate collaboration while ensuring the right information stays secure and private. For casual users (like some partners), you may need to use a portal versus a dedicated website login.
- Single platform with easy integration: if you’re trying to manage customer, product and partner information in one place, make sure your technologies either share a common platform or can easily integrate with disparate platforms.
- Flexibility: you need to make sure your technologies can keep up with you as your customers, products and business change. Make sure that your infrastructure won’t lock you in.
- Scalability and reliability: one of the last things you want is to have a customer-accessible system go down, so you need to make sure that your technologies are highly reliable.
- Mobile: everyone is always on the go, so make sure customers can access the information they need, no matter what device they’re using, no matter where they are.
Download the full whitepaper “4 Steps to Creating Great Products for Each of Your Customers.” And of course, for more info, visit propelPLM.com.