Do you know the real reason for squirreling away toilet paper?
What component manufacturers should learn for their company from the current hype
Not only in Germany people squirrel away large quantities of toilet paper. Many retailers cannot understand the behaviour and so the rush for toilet paper came as a complete surprise to them too. In general, many psychologists explain this irrational behaviour as a social phenomenon: Humans are simply herd animals. If others buy it, then I need it myself. True, but that's only part of the explanation. But what is the deeper reason for this panic buying?
The fact is that toilet paper has a very large volume in relation to its price. The profit margin for retailers is rather small. Therefore, supermarkets usually use their valuable storage and sales space for more lucrative products and tend to lower their stock levels for toilet paper. If customers now unexpectedly buy a few packs more than usual, the stock is quickly exhausted, and empty shelves are the result. The process takes its familiar course.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with you as a component manufacturer? In daily business hardly anyone thinks about the real reason or processes. Only those who trace the decision-making chain back to the beginning can understand and draw valuable conclusions from it.
Component manufacturers should be aware of who is at the beginning of the decision-making process
For example, someone who assumes that the orders for technical components are triggered by purchasing has probably not fully thought the process to its end, just like someone who thinks that electricity simply comes out of the socket. However, if you trace the process chain back to the beginning, you can quickly see that the engineer, architect, or planner is the key driver in the procurement process. Therefore, it is important to tailor the service to his needs in the best possible way.
If components are available for download as 3D CAD models or digital twins via online platforms such as www.3Dfindit.com or www.PARTcommunity.com, engineers will download them and place them in the design. Then everything follows its defined path: From the CAD or PLM system, the information is transferred to the bill of materials (BOM), which is then used by the buyer within the ERP system respectively the inventory management system as the basis for his order. As a rule, the buyer will not fundamentally question the engineer's decision. He would not only have to accept the risk of product liability but might also seriously jeopardize the desired time-to-market. This change would first have to be checked and re-approved by the engineering department with regard to the entire design.
Component manufacturers who fully understand this process can prepare their digital product data in a target-group-oriented manner and thus offer their customers a valuable service in supporting them with their daily design tasks. This is also profitable for component manufacturers themselves: According to surveys, about 87% of all 3D CAD model downloads lead to sold products.
Start now with the digital transformation of your product data
CADENAS GmbH (Spanish for process chains), a solution provider for the creation and marketing of digital CAD product catalogs, has been involved in the analysis and interpretation of internal corporate decision-making processes since 1992. In connection with the digital transformation of their product data to digital twins, component manufacturers can profit from this experience even in these extraordinary times, support millions of engineers, architects and planners and thus secure their competitiveness in the long run.