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2015 Industry Trend: SMAC Stack

Posted by Ellen McKewen on Apr 23, 2015 9:41:38 AM

One of the more popular trends sweeping industries across the country has revolutionized the way organizations serve their customers. By combining some of the most useful tools available, SMAC stack is emerging as a resource that can deliver sizable improvements to production, efficiency and overall quality.

SMAC stacking uses popular business elements to bridge the gap between consumer and producer.

What Exactly is SMAC Stack?

SMAC stack is the concept that makes use of social interactions, mobility, analytics driven by big data and cloud technology to simplify the customer experience while boosting productivity.

For example, Netflix is a company that makes effective use of this strategy. The entertainment streaming service implements each of the four components for a superb user experience while providing the company with ample amounts of specific data.

The service uses mobile technology so its subscribers can watch on their tablets and phones. It focuses on analytics to provide recommendations based on users' interests. Cloud technology is the basis for its streaming capability and the website encourages social input as it allows users to critique and rank the movies and shows they’ve watched.

While this is a clear-cut advantage for a movie-streaming service — what are the benfits for a manufacturing organization?

Manufacturing organizations benefit greatly with SMAC stacking with less maintenance for IT teams and more productive data gathering.

How Manufacturers Can Get Started

As many manufacturers don’t have (or require) large IT departments, implementing each of SMAC’s four components is a solid way to propel production forward in the direction of growth and increased efficiency.

Properly making use of these innovations not only improves company operations, but also prepares your team for future manufacturing trends that have yet to come into fruition.

Social

With the rise of internet usage and connectivity, social media has opened the door for manufacturers to connect with each other across the globe. However, this isn’t about checking in with friends on Facebook or Twitter — this is about the exchange of information to further improve a manufacturer's products and services.

These platforms and information resources serve as the starting point where shared ideas can turn into innovations that can be used for real-world applications.

For instance, if you're a sportswear manufacturer, you may consider using your social media platforms to gather feedback from your customers. This engagement gives you direction on how to enhance the quality of your apparel to better satisfy your consumer's needs or to innovate new products.

What if you manufacture more complex products? This is when you can make use of social media to connect with suppliers on independent forums or LinkedIn groups to discuss industry processes and swap tactics on how to benefit your respective businesses.

NOTE: It’s this aspect of SMAC that has truly been the reason for the concept’s rise in popularity. To deflate any potential negative comments circulating social media, it's imperative to connect with your customers where they are — online.

Mobility

When it comes to the mobility aspect of SMAC, it’s already a trend where more employees are syncing their tablets and smartphones to their workplace’s network. This instills more individual responsibility for each team member while increasing productivity and limiting the need for IT involvement. The use of mobile technology on the plant floor to communicate production flow and other issues can save time and maybe even solve problems in a more timely manner.  

Customers of manufacturers can also take advantage of these innovations as they become more likely to engage with fellow customers using their smart devices to discuss your services and new product releases.

Analytics

This portion is really the driving force behind the entire SMAC concept. From how your products are made to how they’re received by your customers to which online resources they’re attracted to, each of these elements accumulate into useful data that is worthy of processing.

Having a data tool that crunches your numbers is crucial to stimulating growth and being able to pinpoint which areas need improvement.

Cloud

If your operational technology is confined to a data warehouse in your facility or remotely, cloud technology has reduced the need to worry about the security of its physical location. Manufacturers can now store important data wirelessly for easy retrieval for employees in an office setting or for staff members on-the-go using their mobile devices.

Plus, cloud technology also grants access to the resources you’ve uploaded for customers to address their specific needs. That’s a win-win for both parties involved.

In Summary

Your entire organization has a lot to gain with the integration of a SMAC strategy in your operations. With this leaner, smarter way of using technology to your advantage, you can gain a deeper understanding of what’s needed for a sustainable, long-term data collection strategy.



As your company is likely already accustomed to taking data from various directions and compiling them into one digestible format, the use of these individual SMAC strategies improves this process. 



Beyond improvement for customers, the same combination of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technology can even be used to streamline internal operations as well. As more is learned about the SMAC concept and the more companies subscribe to the idea, the more innovative we can expect manufacturers to become in the near future.

Download CMTC's Guide to Social Media for Manufacturers

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