In the early 1900’s Henry Ford famously said about the Model T: “You can have any color, as long as it’s black.” The quote sums up the almost total lack of flexibility in the past for traditional assembly line manufacturing, which has dominated the industry for decades.
Production was extremely efficient but customer requirements could not be introduced to the process. Today, and even more in the future, the focus will be on customers— while remaining just as efficient.
Digital transformation will fuel manufacturers’ ability to focus to innovate based on customers’ currently known— and not yet known—desires. This is also known as customer centricity, and we are hearing a lot about this trend in every industry from manufacturing to retail to supply chain logistics. The customer will drive business models going forward, and 2016 will be the watershed year.
The customer-centric trend will be empowered by the Internet of Things (IoT), smart sensor-rich devices which will help manufacturers to predict when important maintenance on home goods should be performed, or tell them when logistics supply chains might break down.
Using IoT devices will help them to shape their manufacturing value chains to adopt capabilities like mass customization faster than expected. Manufacturers will have vast quantities of customer and usage information than ever before which is better and more complete than any clumsy customer survey created.
Mass customization combines custom-made products with low-cost factory production, making it possible to deliver goods and services that are modified to satisfy a specific customer need. Some applications of mass customization include the ability for customers themselves to make and change characteristics of a core product. One enabler of this is 3D printing, where customers can order a product to their specifications and it is printed on demand at a manufacturing facility.
Most significantly, this customization will be coupled with demand-driven micro logistics networks that will push the finished goods closer to the customer. These smart logistics networks are agile and able to nimbly respond to customer demand.
The customer will be in command in 2016, and manufacturing will quickly adapt to make sure that what the customer wants, the customer gets. With apologies to Henry Ford, black is no longer the only color.
Imagine you are in a do-it-yourself store and looking for a new kitchen countertop. The array of product samples is dazzling; granite, marble, soapstone, quartz, wood. Colours range from pure white to deepest blue and prices range from “hmmm” to “HOW much?” You have no idea how any of these will look in your kitchen. Will this one complement the cabinets? Will that one clash with the floor tiles?
Connected Retail offers a way in which you can “see” what you are getting in advance. Futuristic new technology will show you what your choice of countertop looks like; you will be immersed in the shopping experience as each choice is displayed in your “real” kitchen, virtually. Soaring accordion music will accompany the Italian terracotta Corian, or you might hear ocean waves when you choose the sea green granite.
This experience will be enabled by technologies such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, which will allow customers to augment reality while in-store.
Microsoft’s latest HoloLens clip shows how it could transform a sports viewing experience, with a focus on US football. It shows how you could enjoy the game on a screen larger than your TV, or get a bird’s eye view of the stadium on your coffee table, see hologram of players, and watch key stats float around your living room.
So, how does this impact retailers? If HoloLens customers were watching the FA Cup Final or Super Bowl, for example, a clothing retailer could offer specific ads that allow viewers to “try on” football T-shirts to see how they look. Or a travel company could immerse the viewer in a warm holiday destination, with the ability to scuba dive and see tropical fish.
Using the same kind of immersion, or haptic, technology, retailers can transform the user experience with customizable effects such as vibrations, motion and music. The customer is literally immersed in the experience.
They can try on clothes without taking anything off, while sharing their experiences with friends and family who can comment. And, by using another technology such as iBeacons™, anonymous analytical face detection will enable retailers to interact in real time with customers. They will be able to “see” if the customer likes or hates the dress she is trying on, and then track her behaviour in looking for another style.
One day haptic technology will go even further. When looking for a new kitchen countertop, for example, haptic technology could allow customers to “feel” the surface of the material and even feel if it is smooth or grainy, warm or cold.
It may sound like science fiction, but the technology is rapidly developing; 2016 will be the year we begin to see more retailers experiment with immersive shopping. Their struggle to attract people to brick and mortar stores will motivate the trend.
Oracle Health Sciences to Provide Clinical E-Monitoring Solution to Bayer HealthCare
Redwood Shores, Calif.—Feb 10, 2016
Boosting clinical development productivity and efficiency is a top priority for life sciences organizations. To that end, Oracle today announced that two of its core Health Sciences offerings—Oracle Siebel Clinical Trial Management System and Oracle Health Sciences Clinical Development Analytics—have been selected by Bayer HealthCare, to oversee and manage the company’s clinical monitoring processes. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG researches, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical and medical products.
Oracle’s life sciences-specific solutions, combined with its broader product and service offering, are used by thousands of pharma, biopharma, and academic research centers worldwide to redesign clinical R&D processes, advance drug therapies, and optimize care delivery to improve the health, well-being, and lives of people globally.
“Oracle Health Sciences is committed to helping organizations, such as Bayer HealthCare, advance its vision of innovation to drive faster, safer, and more cost-effective therapies and treatments to improve lives around the globe,” said Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Health Sciences. “Our proven solutions are helping industry leaders, as well as emerging organizations, power innovation across the clinical development lifecycle.”
Oracle Siebel Clinical Trial Management System manages and monitors clinical testing sites for any issues as they arise. Oracle Health Sciences Clinical Development Analytics provides an effective platform that optimizes actionable, clinical analytics, addresses compliance issues, and monitors resources. Together, these solutions give clinical research associates greater visibility into site performance, with the ability to track open issues to resolution and manage risk.
Oracle Health Sciences’ advanced clinical trial solutions for data collection, management, and analysis help optimize research, mitigate risk, monitor/report adverse events, and drive medical insight for precision medicine
O’Keeffe & Company
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