Manufacturers Must Listen to Consumers

Adequate safety, quality and performance are no longer enough for consumers. They want electrical and electronic (EE) products that exceed their expectations, and in a connected world, they have the means to influence the way manufacturers and other consumers behave.

Our world is becoming increasingly connected. E-commerce and review sites have given consumers greater choice and the ability to influence the spending decisions of other buyers. It is estimated 93% of consumers will check online reviews before buying a new product.

This has created new challenges for manufacturers. Previously, their primary focus would have been on developing products that conform to standards for safety, quality and performance. However, in a connected world, the expectations of the consumer matter and must be considered during the development process. If they are not, there can be a direct impact on the commercial viability of the product.

Consumers want safe and compliant products. However, they will still review that product negatively if it fails to meet their expectations on quality and performance.

This means the gap between a consumer’s expectation and the manufacturer’s ability to satisfy that expectation is now important. Manufacturers and brands must find ways to gauge consumer demand and then quickly launch products that meet and exceed those needs.

Succeeding in these complex markets requires manufacturers to be able to access a wide range of expertise. The solution cannot be compartmentalized into development, production, aftersales, etc. Instead, it must be total, encompassing all aspects, from the design and selection of raw materials to the finished product and its packaging.
If an EE manufacturer is to succeed in competitive, connected markets, their traditional focus on quality and regulatory compliance must broaden to encompass concepts such as usability, customer feedback and packaging sustainability. If these topics are not considered at the earliest stage of the development process, the finished product may fail in the marketplace.

Manufacturers who do listen to the needs of the consumer, and then incorporate their conclusions into the vision and production of a new product, will succeed because their product will not only meet and exceed the expectations of the consumer, but it will also differentiate the product from its competition.

When a consumer judges a product, they are in effect evaluating everything that has gone into that product. They may not directly consider it, but the product that sits before them is the result of a long supply chain that has the potential to impact all aspects of the product that the consumer is evaluating.

Consumers are also increasingly interested in sustainability. This covers everything, from the recyclability of the packaging in which the product is transported to the socially responsible practices of the raw material provider. When developing a new product, it is therefore important to consider the supply chain alongside design efficiency and evaluations, production controls and aftercare.

Proactive manufacturers are starting to take a holistic view of the product’s lifecycle. In this way, they not only meet consumer expectations, but they can also improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance the entire life cycle of the product.

SGS has launched Total Solutions Services to provide EE manufacturers with a one-stop solution for improving every aspect of a product’s life cycle. Covering supply chains, design, production, regulatory compliance and the consumer experience, it is the perfect solution for manufacturers looking to meet the challenges of a connected world.

The service brings together recognized industry experts from multidisciplinary fields to help manufacturers ensure their products meet and exceed requirements for a wide variety of factors, including:
• Regulation and compliance
• Health and safety
• 5G and Internet of Things (IoT)
• Wireless communications
• Factory quality control and production
• Reliability and performance

This one-stop solution can be tailored to the needs of the manufacturer and their market. Strategies include enhanced product performance, improved product quality, reduced failure rates or the need to heighten the customer experience.

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