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Tech Buying Basics Role of the Week: Manufacturing Operations

By Derry Finkeldey | September 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

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Not news: substantial participation in enterprise technology buying teams come from business areas other than central IT.  Our most recent buyer study showed that just 18% of  buying team members are from central IT, and 31% are in functional roles like sales or HR.

The new news: 41% are from industry-specific business roles. Now clearly, there is a very large number of these types of role, and so who you target will depend upon which industries you are focused on, and the business cases on which you have the greatest positive impact.

As one example, today, I’m sharing some of our data on buyers who are in manufacturing or plant operations

So what’s interesting about them, beyond the fact that they were the second most frequent manufacturing respondent in our survey? Let’s start with their why:

  • The #1 business priority for these buyers is improving margins (40%), followed by reducing costs (35%).
  • Their #1 anticipated challenge in 2022-23 is supply chain disruption (35%), followed by talent (15%).
  • Nearly half (49%) will be making their largest investment in technology to address these issues.
  • Many will be making this investment in an upgrade or replacement of existing tech, especially ERP, and so are starting with a known purchase category. This is quite different to other roles and indicates potentially greater buying maturity.
  • Unlike many other types of LOB purchases, they’re initiatives are most likely to be entirely funded by their own department (41% cf. to the average of 32%).

Most importantly, these more experienced tech buyers have a different set of criteria for determining their preferred supplier. Manufacturing ops buyers most highly prefer providers who fit their way of working:

#1 whose product strategy is aligned with their vision

#2 who are compatible with their existing systems

#3 whose offerings are customizable to the way they do things.

Consider drilling down further with some of our manufacturing buyer research – with new research coming soon.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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