Easing the Stress in the Shift to Manufacturing Marketplace


As growing adoption of the marketplace model expands the focus of manufacturing companies from how it’s made to how it’s sold, the list of issues keeping decision-makers up at night is getting longer:

  • How can we provide the B2C level of service our B2B customers now expect?
  • How can we improve our customer experience to deepen relationships with our buyers?
  • Are we collecting and using first-party data as effectively as we should?
  • What is the best strategy to increase our focus on improving revenue?
  • Where should we be expanding our product offering?
  • Does our overall channel strategy mitigate risk to avoid alienating our distributors?
  • Does our team have enough experience in eCommerce to take us where we need to go?
  • Is the investment we’re making in our technology solution a wise one?
  • Will we recognize massive channel conflict quickly enough to address it effectively?

If you work in manufacturing and any of these concerns feel familiar, there are three things you should know:

  • #1: You’re not alone in feeling these concerns.
  • #2: You’re asking some great questions.
  • #3: You don’t have to answer them on your own.

As you explore, execute or expand your company’s direct-to-user strategy, choosing a partner with a deep-rooted understanding of both commerce software AND the nuances of implementing digital initiatives in manufacturing is vital. While that expertise in commerce technology will serve as the toolbox for enabling your initial goals, a solid understanding of how things work in manufacturing will ensure your marketplace endeavours also serve to build deeper customer relationships, offer increased control of your brand and drive valuable insights from your data to help you continue to grow.

At Smith, we rely on four guiding principles to drive success in the engagements we lead with our manufacturing clients.


While we always border on obsession when it comes to the customer experience, we lean in even more when it comes to serving manufacturing audiences. As Millennials age into positions of senior buying authority in many manufacturers’ customer companies, raising the bar to meet the expectations of these digital natives is critical. Their wallets simply won’t open for painful buying experiences when they know there are better options available.


We don’t abandon legacy systems just for the sake of upgrades. We examine our clients’ existing systems meticulously to understand how they work and use their internal workforce’s expertise to integrate where we can. We respect the investment that’s already been made in existing business intelligence and frameworks and help drive more value from them when possible.


Our clients’ success is our success, and transparency at every step of the journey is critical. Our client partners are always up-to-speed on what we’re building and why we’re building it that way and are asked for input along the way.


Our clients’ priority business outcomes are the overarching focus of all the work we do for them, no matter what their industry is. Every plan we create starts with and continuously circles back to the priorities they wish to achieve.