7 Nov
2023

Designing Software Products for Manufacturers: A Focus on Customer Needs

Dive into Worximity’s customer-centric approach to developing manufacturing software with a commitment to addressing real-world challenges.

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Designing Software Products for Manufacturers: A Focus on Customer Needs
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Consumer Product Goods
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Food & Beverages Processing
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Machining Center
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Material Building & Construction
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Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
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Packaging & Co-manufacturing
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In manufacturing, iconic automotive pioneer Henry Ford once stated, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." This statement captures the challenge of balancing innovation with the voice of the customer, a challenge that manufacturing software provider, Worximity, keeps at the heart of everything they do.

Worximity's primary goal is to create practical solutions that cater to the unique needs of small to mid-sized manufacturers. They understand that innovation without a deep understanding of customers' needs is creating "faster horses" in the modern era.

In my conversation with Berenice Camacho, a Product Designer at Worximity, we delved into the company's approach and her pivotal role in crafting manufacturing software that brings tangible benefits to its customers.

A User-Centric Approach to Manufacturing Software

Berenice Camacho, a core member of Worximity's product development team, is entrusted with ensuring an exceptional user experience. She bridges the gap between customers and internal teams, ensuring that every software enhancement aligns with the unique needs of manufacturing clients.

In her own words, "It’s not about adding features but rather, creating successful user experiences. To achieve this, we actively listen to our clients, diving deep into their industry-specific needs and pain points. True value is derived when software solutions address these pain points."

Worximity's distinctive approach is characterized by its continuous engagement with clients. Berenice elaborated, "We've established a feedback loop that includes weekly one-on-one meetings with customers. During these interactions, we uncover how they utilize our platform, the reasons behind their choices, and the gaps they perceive."

This commitment extends to evaluating every feature request meticulously. Berenice stressed, "Before adding a feature, we investigate the root of the request to grasp the entire narrative. Ultimately, we need to ensure that each feature serves a real need that multiple users have."

Translating Insights into Value-Driven Features

Worximity's diligence in customer-centricity becomes evident in the features they introduce. The 'Production Completion' KPI is one such example. This feature empowers manufacturing floor operators to track real-time progress toward production targets. It's a prime illustration of how customer feedback can lead to the right solutions. Berenice explained, "Operators often prioritize tracking their progress towards daily targets over complex metrics like OEE. Our 'Production Completion' metric helps them gauge their performance against set targets, enhancing both productivity and morale."

Another instance of addressing customer needs was the introduction of overfill tracking, an important consideration in the food and beverage industry. This recent release allows manufacturers to digitize sampling and monitor giveaway directly on the production line to ensure consistent product quality and profitability. "Many of our clients are food and beverage manufacturers so tracking giveaway and plotting it on an SPC graph is extremely beneficial in safeguarding them from unnecessary losses, said Berenice.

Understanding Customer Requests at the Root

"At Worximity, our motto is 'Do more with less.' We continually advance our product to outpace competitors and surpass our previous versions. Every enhancement is scrutinized for its contribution to our customers’ goals and the value it adds," Berenice emphasized.

Discerning customer feedback is an art, and Worximity excels in it. Berenice shared, "The key is to get to the root of the real problem. This is when we take a deep dive to identify a solution that addresses the root of a problem rather than its symptoms. Our approach is to uncover the underlying issue. When a customer requests a feature, we strive to understand the broader context, the end-users, and their specific needs. This holistic understanding guides our decisions."

Prioritizing and Implementing New Features

Information gathered from customers fuels Worximity's internal discussions. It contributes to a dynamic product roadmap that accounts for recurring issues and interrelated challenges. Berenice added, "We correlate customer feedback with what Worximity would like to include in a new software release, striving to deliver something that covers the needs of a large majority of our clients, aligns with company goals, and brings value," Berenice concluded.

Ensuring Value in New Features

A successful feature, according to Berenice, solves a market problem that meets three key criteria: it is urgent and pervasive, and customers will pay to solve it. The other important thing to consider is feasibility, is this a problem that is worth solving for the company? This validation process, involving close collaboration with development teams and customer success representatives, ensures that new features truly enhance the user experience and are in line with the organizational vision.

Real Success Stories

A good example is the transformation of one manufacturing client's approach to reject collection and quality calculation. With the help of Worximity, this client transitioned from the labor-intensive practice of manually weighing bins filled with defective parts to a streamlined, digitized data entry system. Worximity automated the conversion of weight data into accurate measures of finished parts and provided a precise assessment of quality and, thus, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). The outcomes were twofold: not only did this improve labor efficiency, but it also empowered the client to harness the software for more effective downtime management.

The Future of Manufacturing Software

As the manufacturing industry undergoes continuous transformation, Worximity remains committed to maintaining a leading edge by tackling emerging challenges and customizing solutions that directly address a multitude of issues, ranging from optimizing raw material usage to enhancing sustainability practices.

Worximity's mission is clear: to help manufacturers identify production and profitability barriers and maximize performance on the factory floor with actionable data. By listening to customers and delivering value-driven software solutions coupled with expert support, Worximity ensures that clients are equipped with the tools they need to excel in an ever-evolving industry.

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