Digabit Newsletter - January

January 2018 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

Welcome to Digabit’s January digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. This month’s highlights: Manufacturing workforce predictions for 2018 Eight mistakes leaders make that kill employee  trust Keeping manufacturing assets safe in the cloud Will millennials change manufacturing? Check out all the articles by clicking here! Join…

Heavy equipment repair technician using augmented reality

The Problem with Augmented Reality

Over the last few years, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR, respectively) have been two of the most talked-about topics in technology. While VR received a lot of consumer attention thanks to Oculus and smartphone applications, commercial and industrial firms have settled on AR as a more practical technology to increase productivity. And it’s…

Sell more parts with an online digital parts catalog

4 Steps to Turn Your Parts Catalog into an Irresistible Sales & Marketing Tool

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) devote most of their sales and marketing resources toward selling new units and discovering untapped markets. This is logical, since the majority of their revenues generally come from new equipment sales. However, it’s a well-known fact that service and parts sales for capital equipment (that is, commercial and industrial machinery with…

Manufacturing technology is leading to digital transformation

What We Talk About When We Talk About Digital Transformation

What’s behind the currently popular technology buzzwords, “digital transformation” and “digitization”? You’ll find these terms displayed on many technology-oriented B2B websites, from consulting firms to software vendors. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what these companies are offering, or what tangible benefits you’re going to receive after your “transformation”! At Digabit, we want to do…

August 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

Welcome to Digabit’s August digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. This month’s highlights: How to fix manufacturing’s poor image Workforce challenges are a top concern for manufacturers How wearables can improve safety on the manufacturing floor Lean manufacturing’s hidden challenges Check out all the articles…

Amazon isn't good at selling replacement parts for machines

Why You Can’t Sell Spare Parts on Amazon

A Big New Player in the Online B2B Marketplace Amazon’s B2B marketplace, Amazon Business, has received a lot of media attention lately. Sales are booming on the platform, and why not? Flexible account and payment options, fast shipping, price comparisons, what’s not to like? But there’s one big market that neither Amazon nor Amazon Business…

5 Steps For Easy Content Migration

For manufacturing companies, centralizing parts data from disconnected sources into a single Electronic Parts Catalog (EPC) system continues to gain popularity. Moving to an EPC system enables efficient content reuse, greater control and the easy creation of both online catalogs and exportable/printable parts books. There are some clear benefits for companies who make the switch to…

Content Management in the Cloud

What Comes After ECM?

In January of 2017, research firm Gartner announced that the term “enterprise content management” (ECM) is headed for an early retirement. The new market category to describe how large businesses capture, store and distribute information will now be called, at least by Gartner, “content services.” Sorry, that doesn’t mean Sharepoint is being decommissioned as of…

Digitize to Win: 3 Strategies for Manufacturers

Technology is changing the world, and it’s also changing manufacturing Incorporating digital best practices, such as working from relational databases, providing real-time information to employees and customers and improving the customer experience through online sales is what will separate the manufacturing winners from the losers over the next decade. What’s Changed in Manufacturing The internet…

Your customer's web experience is increasingly viewed as a representation of a manufacturer's brand.

Manufacturers: Your Web Experience IS Your Brand

A leading customer experience consultant from the UK, Gerry McGovern, recently published an article titled, Your Digital Interface Is Your Brand. While Mr. McGovern typically focuses on more service-oriented institutions and businesses, the message is a definite reality for manufacturers. Think about how the average customer interacts with a manufacturing company. Whether that customer is…

May 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

Welcome to Digabit’s May digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below. This month’s news and insights: How augmented reality is helping productivity in factories Identifying and overcoming skill vulnerabilities in staffing How…

digitize to win, improve customer support, operations and online sales

Digitize to Win: How Technology Can Give Manufacturers a Competitive Edge

The manufacturing industry is going through a revolution, and companies that don’t modernize their business practices are going to be left behind. It’s been several decades since manufacturing companies began adopting software and tools to make internal processes more efficient: CAD for engineers, desktop publishing and graphics programs for writers and designers, and accounting software…

machine made up of spare parts

10 Myths About Winning in the Aftermarket

Aftermarket sales are an afterthought for many manufacturers, which is part of the reason that independent third-party suppliers have captured most of the market. Many companies are content letting these independent suppliers take care of their customer’s needs. There are a lot of common concerns about what it will entail to have a successful part…

CAD drawing product engineering

Rethinking the Relationship Between Tech Pubs and Engineering

NOTE: This article was originally published in the Center for Information-Development Management’s (CIDM) Best Practices newsletter in February 2017. The author is Richard Ackerman, Digabit’s Senior Director of Solutions Engineering. Information developers in manufacturing environments have a natural desire to use engineering output to create product manuals, parts book content, and other technical support materials.…

OEM equipment dealer excavators

Innovate to Improve OEM-Dealer Relations, Not Disrupt Them!

The OEM-Dealer Distribution Model Over 20 years ago, the Harvard Business Review published a commentary by the CEO of Caterpillar, website Donald Fites. The article is titled, “Make Your Dealers Your Partners,” and it discusses foreign competition, the importance of after-sale service, and the huge role that Caterpillar’s dealers play in maintaining Cat’s market leader…

The Top 3 Business Trends for Manufacturers in 2017

The new year is fast approaching, which means it’s the perfect time to look ahead and start gearing up for 2017. We’re predicting that next year will continue to bring fundamental shifts to manufacturing business operations, thanks to technology. Here are the top three business trends manufacturers should address to improve profits, drive customer retention…

November 2016 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

Welcome to Digabit’s November 2016 digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below. This month’s news and insights: Interesting trivia regarding manufacturing employment, economics and other stats from the National Association of Manufacturers. Analyzing…

Should You Update Parts Catalog Content? Do the Math!

With over 20,000 registered users, Digabit’s Documoto platform has generated enough data for us to estimate the return on investment (ROI) for various scenarios at manufacturing companies. Here is one common dilemma: While it’s a given to create electronic parts catalogs for new and current models, some of our customers have decades’ worth of older…

The 3 Deadly Sins of Online OEM Part Sales

How do manufacturers of heavy equipment and machinery typically sell parts for repairs and ongoing maintenance? Most would not be very successful running print ads like the one from the Pullford Co. at the top of this post. However, some companies still employ similar tactics to sell to online prospects. In this era of transition…

How to Avoid 3 Tempting Pitfalls of Structured Data

NOTE: This article was originally published in the Center for Information-Development Management’s (CIDM) Best Practices newsletter in October 2016. The article was contributed by Richard Ackerman, Digabit’s Senior Director of Technical Sales. The technical publishing world has increasingly gravitated toward structured data concepts and tools over the past decade. From XML to DITA to component…

The Future of Service Depends on Digital

Digabit’s CEO recently shared with the company a market research report from Cisco, The Digital Manufacturer: Resolving the Service Dilemma. The central theme of the report is that manufacturers have traditionally been focused on products as their core business, but that to maintain or achieve growth these firms must transition to place more emphasis on…

Documoto's component-based electronic parts catalog

What’s a Component Content Management System?

According to Wikipedia, “A component content management system (CCMS) is a content management system that manages content at a granular level (component) rather than at the document level. Each component represents a single topic, concept or asset (for example an image, table, product description, or procedure). “The CCMS must be able to track ‘…relationships among…

podcast-digabit-alan-sage-ecommerce-manufacturing

Podcast: The eCommerce Opportunity

In March of 2016 Alan Sage was the featured guest on top marketing consultant Bruce McDuffee’s weekly podcast show, Manufacturing Marketing Matters. As always, Bruce asks insightful questions and provides his own expert perspective. And Alan shares his predictions on the future of online and aftermarket sales for manufacturers who traditionally relied on dealer/distributor networks…

Equipment-Owner-Perspective-Spare-Parts

An Equipment Owner’s Perspective on Spare Parts

One of Digabit’s clients is Schramm, Inc., a 115-year-old manufacturer of drilling equipment supplying the global mining, energy and water industries. Schramm builds custom rigs tailored to buyers’ specifications, which means that maintenance and repair of these unique machines requires complex coordination of the right people, with the right parts, at the right time. Complicating…

Digest of Manufacturing Technology News June 2016

June 2016 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

Welcome to Digabit’s June 2016 digest showcasing current trends in manufacturing and technology. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image to the right, or the text link below. This month’s hot topics: Using data to improve efficiency, building agile processes, and leveraging offshore suppliers aren’t just for the big boys. Find out how your…

Documoto eCommerce for manufacturers

5 Ways Documoto Beats Retail for Online Sales

Digabit’s customers make heavy equipment and complex machinery, and the Documoto SaaS helps them get product information online in the form of parts catalogs and other technical support documentation. After identifying the parts they need, dealers and other end users can order parts directly from the OEM using Documoto’s integrated shopping cart. Why should manufacturing…

easily-create-online-parts-catalogs-SMBs

Easily Create Online Parts Catalogs for SMBs

Many small and medium-sized manufacturing companies can benefit from offering illustrated parts catalogs on the web. Increased sales of parts and supplies, better customer support, and higher levels of customer satisfaction are some of the results seen by Digabit customers who implement the Documoto suite of tools. With these companies in mind, Digabit recently developed…

5-reasons-use-OEM-parts

5 Reasons to Use OEM Parts — And 3 Reasons Not To!

If you work in an industry that relies on commercial vehicles, heavy equipment like drilling rigs, or other complex pieces of capital equipment, one of your biggest concerns is maximizing your machines’ uptime and minimizing your total cost of ownership (TCO). Given those two complementary objectives, what do you do when it’s time for repairs…

Improve Repair and Warranty Services with Documobile

Improve Repair and Warranty Services with Documoto

Do you manufacture and sell heavy machinery or equipment in the global marketplace? If you do, you need a reliable network of service providers to keep your machines running and customers happy. And whether you rely on 3rd-party providers or an internal service organization, it’s hard to deliver efficient and consistent service to exotic, far-flung locales. Different…

Digabit Web Services

What Are Web Services and APIs, and Why Do I Care?

Web services and APIs are important concepts in cloud computing. They enable information exchange between different software systems, which is necessary to accomplish the integration of customer ERPs, EAMs and other enterprise applications with Digabit’s Documoto software. One of the main benefits of integration is to provide real-time updates and synchronize data between the Documoto…

improve-ecommerce-workflow-with-documoto-apis

Improve eCommerce Workflow with Documoto APIs

Digabit recently developed and released several eCommerce APIs to empower Documoto users to lead their own integration efforts. In order to achieve the greatest efficiency gains in business processes related to aftermarket sales, data stored in Documoto’s database must be accessible to other enterprise systems like ERP, CRM, custom-built eCommerce systems, and the like. Digabit’s…

Webinar - eCommerce Trends and What's Ahead in 2016

[Webinar] eCommerce Trends and What’s Ahead in 2016

Duration: 30 minutes Presenter: Alan Sage, CEO, Digabit, Inc. Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 Time: 1:00pm MDT (3:00pm EDT) Online sales have caused a major disruption in the retail marketplace over the past decade. Is the same thing poised to occur for large manufacturers? Separate the hype from reality by attending Digabit’s January webinar. Alan…

ContentNow-assessments-infographic

ContentNow Assessments

Digabit’s Documoto software gets most of the marketing love around here, because it’s an amazing product and we like to toot its horn! However, from time to time we need to give a shout to our Professional Services team and highlight the work they do to make sure customers are up and running from day…

Webinar - 10 Ways to Modernize Your Parts Catalogs - November 2015

[Webinar] 10 Ways to Modernize Your Parts Catalogs

Move your after-sale parts catalogs into the modern era with this collection of tips and tactics from Digabit Director of Technical Solutions, Kevin Mackay and Customer Success Manager, Rich Ackerman. While many companies have already transitioned from paper documents to some type of electronic delivery for their parts catalogs, many still use outmoded processes to…

webinar on increasing profits through technical publishing improvements

[Webinar] From Chaos to Profits: Breaking Down Silos with Documoto

For most manufacturers of complex machinery and heavy equipment, technical publishing is still a highly disjointed, labor-intensive process. Different functional areas use different tools to create files, generating incompatible formats and static, inflexible documentation. But it’s not just the publishing process that is inefficient. Duplication of efforts and time wasted searching for documents trickles all…

Join us for our August webinar on new technology

[Webinar] A Roadmap to the Future: Documoto by Digabit

What’s the hardest part of a product’s lifecycle for a manufacturer to control? That’s right: After-sales service, with a potentially global network of dealers, consumers and support staff. All with different requirements for the vital information they need to get the job done. The world of manufacturing and technical publishing is changing. It’s not just…

Newsletter July 2015 Blog

July 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

In this Issue Last month was all about Big Data and the IoT. Europe gains traction, showing the potential to dominate industrial IoT. Big data is helping manufacturing machines run longer and more efficiently. Tips for tighter collaboration and visibility up and down supply chain are explored. Business intelligence (BI) software is helping manufacturers make…

Improving Supply Chain Operations with Integrated Technologies

Not only is technology shaping the narrative of future manufacturing performance, but it’s also enhancing productivity throughout the supply chain. From OEMs to warehouses to transportation networks, the logistics of creating, moving and selling heavy machinery and industry-specific parts is a matter of fine-tuning and narrowing the focus of the supply chain for maximum effect.…

small segment of full customer success segment

Customer Success Stories with Documoto [Infographic]

Migrating from one software system to another can be daunting, especially when you aren’t sure the switch will drive the results you’re looking for. We recently checked in with seven of our customers to see what efficiency gains with creating and maintaining parts catalogs, growing adoption rates, and parts order increases they’ve achieved since making…

Cloud Technology Button on Keyboard

What Manufacturers Need to Know About Cloud Technologies

Equipment manufacturers working to navigate the rapidly changing business landscape in today’s economy may be hard pressed to find the time and resources to launch new applications, roll out new products or implement new technologies while simultaneously keeping up with competitors and internal deadlines. However, the adoption of cloud computing can help manufacturers manage these…

Side by side comparison of a typewriter and laptop

How the Adoption of Disruptive Technologies Are Driving Growth for Manufacturers

There’s a wealth of articles, research, and analysis heralding every scientific breakthrough and technological advance as the next big thing that will change the face of manufacturing. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that disruptive technologies like the rise of mobile, knowledge work automation, the Internet of Things, cloud technology, and 3D printing, could account for an…

Image of a drill - the secret behind customer-centric service approach

The Secret to Helping Customers with After Sales Service

In an effort to increase customer satisfaction, differentiate from the competition, and achieve higher margins, the vast majority of OEMs have integrated some level of after sales service into their business model. For the most part, these forays into the service business go no further than spare parts supply for faster dealer repairs. While spare…

Productive tech writer typing rapidly on keyboard

5 Productivity Tricks to Shortcut the Parts-Publishing Process

While improving productivity on the manufacturing floor is often an OEM’s primary goal, many manufacturers are bringing that same scrutiny to their “upstairs factory” according to Industry Week. As product lead times shrink, there’s more and more pressure for tech pub departments to rapidly churn out comprehensive technical documentation that’s both accurate and up-to-date. So…

OEMs are worried about changing government regulations

3 Things OEMs Are Worried About in 2015

Thanks to new developments in technology and major supply chain shifts, the manufacturing sector is changing at a rapid pace. In the past year, manufacturing production has increased faster than real GDP growth for the first time in over a decade, and, according to the Institute of Supply Management, revenues are expected to increase across…

parts books that help dealers

5 Tips to Make Your Parts Catalogs More User Friendly

Here are five simple tips to improve your parts catalogs’ usability, so that dealers can get the most value from your publishing efforts: 1. Tweak Part Descriptions The part descriptions provided by engineering aren’t always readily understandable or helpful to dealers. Editing these during the publishing process can save time and money in the long…

Add to Cart keyboard

Overcoming the Content Challenge to Drive E-Commerce

Over this past year I have noticed several manufacturers beginning projects around e-commerce. I recently came across the article “The Content Challenge” by Anna Wells in the December issue of Industrial Distribution Magazine. Some manufacturers that I have spoken to over the past year have already had an e-commerce system in place. But as Wells’…

Database Publishing Back and Forth

Trouble Keeping Illustrated Parts Lists Up-to-Date?

I’ve traveled the country talking to several equipment manufacturers. They usually tell me the same thing—managing and updating parts information in Illustrated Parts Lists and Electronic Parts Catalogs is a constant challenge. Manufacturers commonly provide Illustrated Parts Catalogs for end users and service personnel to be able to identify components on large complex equipment. In order…

Cloud Publishing of multiple content formats

A Simple Guide to Cloud Computing

Why does it matter and is it secure? Many manufacturers find the hot new area of cloud computing enticing, but intimidating. Most don’t fully understand what the cloud is, and how they can take advantage of it. Even multi-billion-dollar OEMs with advanced IT departments remain wary of having their valuable IP floating in something as…

Infor + Amazon Web Services

Infor CloudSuite

Back in March of this year, our partner Infor, announced their CloudSuite in this press release. They now offer a cloud based solution for the common ERP software among manufactures, like LN and SyteLine. In the press release Infor states, “…a SaaS pricing model will enable Infor CloudSuite to change the way enterprise software is…

Documoto view with assembly and part highlights

Electrifying SolidWorks Composer Content

When I was a SolidWorks Composer Product Manager, I constantly ran into manufacturers that wanted to use the part breakout views produced by Composer to allow their customer to order parts online. Composer would create high quality content and even add hotpoints that would link the parts to BOMs. “But how do we add a…