Product Management
Product Marketing
News & Updates
Follow Us!
News & Updates

Improve Quality and Customer Satisfaction by Extending Your Product Thread to Field Assets

In Propel's Winter '24 release, we introduced a capability to connect item revisions of products directly to customer assets—here’s how it delivers substantial value.

For manufacturing and product companies, maintaining a competitive edge requires not only innovation in how products are developed but also how well those products meet customer needs during their time in the field. 

Of chief importance are the product’s initial quality and the efficacy of the field service provided to keep the product in peak condition. 

Through our own research, we’ve uncovered a sizable gap between the product and commercial sides of the business. In fact, 75% of survey respondents (US leadership across several discrete manufacturing industries) state there is poor collaboration across commercial and product teams, creating disjointed customer experiences. 

On the product side, the focus is primarily on product realization – what does it take to make the end product? 

This camp deals with data such as items such as engineered and purchased parts, specifications, software, and bills of materials. Product management, engineering, quality/regulatory, supply chain and production teams take center stage.

On the commercial side, the focus tends to be on matters of product-market engagement, such as how the product is marketed, sold, and serviced. 

Here the marketing, sales, and services teams tend to deal in customer assets, individual SKUs (stock keeping units) or packages thereof, and the representation of products across multiple channels such as websites, marketplaces, and distributor portals.

This disconnect – what we term the Product Value Gap – contributes to lost opportunities. Opportunities to grow, to capture premium pricing, to use demand signals to inform design and sourcing, and to use each and every customer touchpoint – such as field service – to deliver delight and foster customer loyalty.

Conversely, best-in-class solutions like Propel Software can play a vital role in bridging the gap between product innovation and customer satisfaction. For this and other reasons, we refer to Propel not just as a PLM solution, but as a platform for Product Value Management

It is this continued emphasis to span the gap in latent and realized value that drives our product roadmap, with a particular focus on strengthening the product thread that unifies product and commercial teams and the processes that intersect the product and customer domains. 

In our Winter ‘24 release, we introduced a capability to connect item revisions of products directly to customer assets, a feature that transforms the way discrete manufacturing companies operate. 

Here’s how this capability delivers substantial value:

Direct Improvement in Product Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Linking item revisions to customer assets offers a transparent view into how product updates or modifications influence the customer experience. This immediate feedback mechanism ensures product enhancements are closely aligned with customer needs and experiences, leading to improved product quality and heightened customer satisfaction. When customers see their input directly influencing product evolution, it not only elevates their satisfaction levels but also strengthens the manufacturer-customer relationship.

Impact Assessment and Efficiency in Recall and Compliance Management

In scenarios requiring product recalls or when facing compliance issues, efficiency, and accuracy are paramount. The capability to swiftly identify affected products and the corresponding customers minimizes the time to action. This efficiency is crucial in managing recalls effectively and adhering to compliance standards, safeguarding brand integrity, and mitigating potential financial repercussions associated with recall delays and compliance failures.

Enhanced Service and Support

After-sales service and support are critical to sustaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. The integration of item revisions with customer assets enables manufacturers to anticipate and address potential issues proactively. This foresight facilitates predictive maintenance, allowing manufacturers to inform customers about necessary services or part replacements based on usage and product revision data. Such proactive engagement not only improves the customer experience but also introduces new revenue opportunities through service contracts and parts sales.

Accelerating Innovation

The core of discrete manufacturing is continuous innovation. The insights gained from connecting item revisions with customer assets provide a clear understanding of product performance in real-world applications, highlighting valued features and identifying areas for improvement. This direct feedback loop significantly accelerates the innovation process, enabling faster introduction of refined products to the market.

Operational Efficiency and Cost Reduction

The synergy between item revisions and customer assets leads to notable operational efficiencies and cost reductions. By focusing on impactful product improvements, manufacturers can minimize waste, streamline inventory management by accurately tracking product revisions in use, and optimize the supply chain to meet actual product performance and customer demand.

Conclusion: Embrace a More Powerful Product Thread

By facilitating the connection between item revisions and customer assets, we empower discrete manufacturers to improve product quality, enhance operational efficiency, and foster innovation, all while deepening customer relationships. In the competitive realm of discrete manufacturing, the integration offered by Propel’s PLM solution is not just advantageous—it's indispensable.

Propel is PLM reimagined. Explore the solution for yourself.

Share This Article
Post by
Tom Shoemaker
VP of Product Marketing, Propel

Tom Shoemaker is the VP of Product Marketing at Propel. In this role, he’s responsible for product messaging and positioning, sales enablement, and voice of customer programs. Prior to Propel, Shoemaker was Chief Marketing Officer of itslearning, a Scandinavian-based edtech provider, where he led the company’s marketing and business development efforts. Prior to itslearning, he held numerous leadership positions at PTC, including pre-sales, R&D, and marketing. Most recently, he was VP Enterprise Marketing. Over his 20-year+ tenure, Shoemaker was responsible for the go-to-market strategy and product launch of PTC’s primary solutions, including Windchill and Creo.

Fun Fact: In high school, Tom appeared on Brainstormers, a local station TV quiz show.

View All From
Tom Shoemaker