The Web is the preferred channel where manufacturers, prospects and purchasers go to research sources and partners to build and develop their products. If you think it ain’t, you’re smokin’ rope.
But many manufacturers miss opportunities for new business because they present incomplete or insufficient information on their Web sites. Let me explain.
There’s been a lot written about how to write for the prospects that visit your Web site. Which is a little odd, when you think about it … writing more about writing less.
You’re supposed to keep it short. Informative. Written specifically for the people you want to attract, for the moment they’re most likely to be interested in you.
There’s a really good (albeit generalized) article from last summer called “Lazy Eyes – How We Read Online.” Manufacturers would do well to start with this piece to get right with what your site should say and how it should say it. It was written by Michael Agger over at Slate. In it, he references the good works of Jakob Nielsen that finds online “readers” aren’t really readers at all – they’re “… selfish, lazy and ruthless.”
They’re on a mission. They want answers, they want them now, and they don’t want to see or hear more than that.
They’re like animals looking for food – information foraging, it’s called – and you must consider this before all else when writing for or designing your site.
To say MTConnect is revolutionary is a gross understatement. Connecting machines and collecting data using the same protocol not only gives in-plant management far greater agility and control; it also allows for a level of communications between suppliers, customers, OEMs, sales and international partners that could easily be the greatest achievement for manufacturing since CNC. Or even the Internet itself.
MTConnect is the fledgling, open-source communications standard developed by AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology and Sun Microsystems. Its purpose is to create a consistent communications protocol that connects machines, controls and software in a manufacturing environment to each other, allowing for the management, observation and control of varied and often disparate units and methods.