Customer satisfaction with property and casualty insurers rose nine points, according to a J.D. Power study conducted last month, driven in part by investments into digital technology. "Even before the pandemic, P&C insurers were investing heavily in digital to capture the growing legions of customers and prospects who are experiencing their brands largely via web and mobile," says Tom Super from J.D. Power in a statement.
According to a J.D. Power survey, financial advisor firms should focus on technology to improve the customer experience. "They have to both bring in more cutting edge tools that use [artificial intelligence] and big data to help make advisors more productive, but also ensure the core technologies like financial planning are robust and that all of it is integrated into a platform that's easy to use and reliable," says J.D. Power's Mike Foy.
Utilities across the country could benefit from moving to a subscription model of payment, such as the model used for Netflix. "New energy service subscription concepts can stabilize the bill, increase clean resources, and lower electricity costs for all customers," says Lon Huber, vice president for rate design and strategic solutions at Duke Energy.
Designetics, a maker of windshield coating systems, has designed protective barriers for art galleries, hospitals and other clients -- just one example of how manufacturers have retained or regained jobs lost at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stateline estimates the manufacturing sector added 700,000 jobs in the past two months.
Stanley Black & Decker's Stanley Healthcare unit has been using remote ways of customer service to help health care facilities and other organizations during the pandemic, says President Troy Dayon. Contact tracing and contact-free door solutions are two areas of focus for the Stanley division, he says.
Improved supply chain resilience starts with mapping factors such as materials, finished goods and the countries involved in importing and exporting, as well as considering risk by categories such as labor and global trade rules, writes Anne van de Heetkamp of Descartes. "Reference data as well as supply chain mapping are both dynamic, which means vulnerabilities change accordingly -- ideally because appropriate action is taken to address them," she writes.
Quality 4.0 emphasizes people, skills and technology to ensure product quality, which is often neglected in the rush to implement Industry 4.0, writes ETQ's David Isaacson, citing Boston Consulting Group research. Leadership must send the message that branding and customer retention each benefit from a quality focus, he writes.
The coronavirus pandemic is another element in the ongoing process of industrial digital transformation, where companies "need to do more with less but from further away," says GE Digital Chief Technology Officer Colin Parris. "COVID-19 has emphasized the need to look at financials to understand base cost versus variable cost," he adds.
Participants in the Knox Summer Manufacturing Camp in Ohio are working on projects directly related to the products of participating manufacturers. The free camp, which is online this year due to the pandemic, is for Knox County students in grades 5-8.
Many community colleges in Michigan have established programs that introduce the idea of maker and manufacturing careers, including to younger students. "If we start targeting them in high school, it's maybe a little bit too late, so we've really focused most of our outreach efforts specifically on middle school students," says Amy Jones, associate dean of occupational programs for Schoolcraft College.