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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…