Session Highlights: Selling to Manufacturing, Financial Sectors
July 25, 2007

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance

Session Highlights: Selling to Manufacturing, Financial Sectors


Toronto, July 25 -- In a series of peer-to-peer meetings, vendors to the manufacturing sector and to the financial sector shared strategies on how they can help their clients better understand their customers, improve innovation and implement better business processes. Some 24 senior executives from the vendor communities discussed the challenges and solutions involved in supporting their clients and selling into the sectors.


Facing the challenges of public perception, business process integration and changing customer needs, the Financial Institutions need to be cautious about relying on technology to solve their challenges. Vendors were advised to work with the Financial clients to concentrate on the customer benefit, as their offerings are now almost interchangeable commodities. Other observations by the vendors include:

  • Vendors who can persuade the banks to take a holistic/360-degree view of the customer can fill a huge need.
  • To serve their customers best, banks need to breakdown the silos that house the different information on the customer and begin to share/integrate their data.
  • Customer experience (not customer satisfaction) is a good metric to use.
  • Vendors provided advice on issues regarding brand awareness and process when collaborating with each other to offer a better solution and a lower cost of marketing to a customer.
  • One of the important roles a vendor can play is to facilitate communication within the client's organization, by helping people understand what their colleagues are thinking, in order to break down internal silos.
  • Vendors can get a competitive lead by offering advice on comparative external surveys, knowing the most important pain points, helping the banks overcome their barriers to success, and acting now on a set of action steps.


In a world of pressure from pricing competition and increasing complexity, vendors to the manufacturing sector said their client's biggest common problem is their inability to service customers with enough product, fast enough. The first challenge for manufacturers, though, is that they do not know they need help -- especially when it comes to operating in a global market. Vendors can help manufacturers build on the Canadian strengths of innovation through design and process. Other areas where vendors can add leverage include:

  • For decades Canadian companies have been profitable at one-tenth of the scale of our colleagues south of the border! Vendors can help clients exploit that capability.
  • Instead of focusing solely on manufacturing, vendors can help by looking at the entire processes from receiving the order, to manufacturing, to delivery.
  • Vendors can help their clients get over the high-currency hurdle by copying what the Japanese did when the Yen hit high levels in the 1990's.
  • Vendors can help by studying what the competition is doing and bringing back best practices to their clients.
  • Selling into the sector requires vendors to focus most on the business -- not the technology -- case for the adoption of their solutions.
  • Vendors should get their clients to shift the focus to growth, instead of the avoidance of loss.

The Strategy Sessions provide research for upcoming Round Tables for manufacturing and financial executives. The Round Table sessions start in the Fall, partnered with the Richard Ivey School of Business; they focus on:

Manufacturing: "Competing Despite the High Canadian Dollar"
Those interested in getting access to the senior decision-makers in manufacturing should see:

Finance: "Simplifying Complex Processes in Canadian Financial Institutions"
Those interested in getting access to the senior decision-makers in the finance sector should see:

The six-page synopsis of each Strategy Session on Selling Into Manufacturing, Financial Sectors is available to CATA members at no cost, non-members can purchase it at a nominal fee of $39.00.
Request a copy online at

About the Access Group
Access Group's "Kitchen Table Conversations" is a peer-to-peer networking program for senior executives, that guarantees the generation of new and actionable insights for faster business growth and provides a unique way of building relations with these decision makers. Access Group ensures that solutions are individualized, actionable and ongoing. Participants and Observers can share business challenges and solutions while clients strengthen business relationships by understanding business needs better. In today's environment everybody needs an edge to better understand the workplace and The Access Group helps build those insightful relationships. For more information see: