Paul Adams : Director of Customer Engagement, GE Digital
My wife might not like to hear this, but manufacturing solutions are like marriage. To have a good one, you need to do more than start off eagerly and with positive hopes and plans. The abilities to listen, stay engaged, and have mutual goals for success are more critically important in any long-term partnership – and that’s exactly what a manufacturing solution is.
When you’re moving ahead with a manufacturing solution, you’re entering into a long-term alliance. It goes well beyond the planning and initial implementation. Typically, a manufacturing solution stays in place for many years, and I’ve worked with some customers for three decades.
During this time, I’ve seen what helps to make these alliances more successful and how you can get the most value from your manufacturing solution.
When was the last time you had a quarterly review with GE Digital? Have you participated in a Voice of Customer (VOC) session? Could we help you with a Support case review?
My primary advice for getting the most value from your manufacturing solution is to stay engaged. Talk to us at GE Digital. In my role as a director of customer engagement, I’m listening, and the more you engage with us, the more we can align for your success.
Here, customer engagement is the constant focus on the customer. It is in our DNA to work with the customer. In a recent global employee meeting with our chairman and CEO, the comment was made that GE will “stay true to the customer.”
As an organization practicing lean, staying true to the customer includes going to Gemba – that is the place where the work is done. We listen to the customer, so we can guide toward success and find the right solution.
Just by ensuring I have a regular cadence with customers, I have helped them gain better results. As an example, recently sharing product roadmap information with a customer led to greater insight and allowed the customer to align with our roadmap instead of doing custom work, saving significant time and expense. As in any long-term partnership, regular communication is key.
Communicate your needs
When I think about manufacturing solution success, I think of some of the long-standing customers we’ve had partnerships with for a long time. What keeps them around? What makes them engaged?
In all cases, we’ve kept the communication open.
- They know where to go for help – and how to escalate. Engaged customers come to me for help.
- They want to learn about the products. They want to make sure we are aligned – both in what GE Digital delivers and what they can expect.
- They want to influence the products.
- They want a partner that can work with them to be successful.
As I mentioned, we have customers who have been with us for more than 30 years. That is a significant investment for the customer and GE. By maintaining good engagement on both sides, it has helped us build from simple transactions to alliances that lead to rich success.
Benefits of strong communications
With strong communications in place, you can maximize these benefits:
- A trusted advisor to navigate faster – Regular communication allows customers to feel comfortable working with us, and this allows us to act as a trusted advisor. Because of good engagement, customers reach out to me to help them navigate our company. In many cases, we get them to value quickly. We can help customers beyond the initial sale and throughout long-term success.
- Ability to drive product development and other programs – You deserve to be heard and appreciated. Take advantage of opportunities to communicate your needs to GE Digital. As an example, customers love when I set up VOC sessions with our product teams. It’s a win for everyone.
- Always-on expertise – From my point of view, if we are acting on behalf of our customer and aligning with their strategic direction, we can be on the lookout for opportunities to help – whether it is a short-term service to help them with an important project or informing them of a product in the portfolio that could meet their need.
- Foundation for continuous improvement – A rhythm of interaction allows the ability to keep a pulse on adoption to ensure users are getting the most from the systems and allows us to look for ways to continuously improve.
On the other hand, a lack of engagement can cause challenges. When customers don’t communicate and take advantage of GE Digital, I’ve seen it result in unnecessary custom code, frustration, and more limited options to solving problems.
Instead, for greater success, keep the communication open – and know who to communicate with.
Your New Best Friend: Your Customer Success Manager
Lastly, while there’s always a team involved in a manufacturing solution, keep one name at the forefront. Your GE Digital customer success manager is your best friend for navigating, getting what you need, and looking toward long-term sustainability.
Take advantage of your customer success manager. The relationship and partnership will become much stronger. I’ve seen it personally.
Don’t know about customer success managers at GE Digital? We are a value-added service that’s part of GE Digital’s Acceleration Plans. Learn more about our Software Support Services and get your own new best friend to help drive your success.