Customers are expecting equipment uptime and productivity. This is really important because this is translating into speed and transparency of information. Customers need to keep their equipment running, and oftentimes keeping equipment running is more important than price. So having product availability and other things becomes very important.
There’s also the demographic shift I think we’ve all experienced this with manufacturers that we work with. For manufacturers, this isn’t just happening to their own organization—it’s happening in all of their customer organizations as well. We have to learn how to meet the needs of the new millennial and gen z buyer and now just how do you sell to them and how do you meet that, but in an organization how do we train them because they learn differently? How do we attract them to make sure that we have good talent in our organization? So these are some things that manufacturers are working on.
Many companies we talked to have this desire to expand internationally, but they just don’t have the infrastructure to do it. They might not have the tools, the resources, the know-how to do business in a foreign country. They might even have equipment operating in a foreign country, and occasionally they’ll one-off support that, but it’s always a lot of rigamarole and a challenge for them. So everyone would like to grow their revenue, and if they can do that internationally in an easier fashion they’d like to.