At B2B Next 2019 in Chicago this fall, Jason Taylor, vice president of Americas and Global Commercial Applications at Gates Industrial Corp., will speak on the practical, real-life use of AI in B2B ecommerce.
Gates, a manufacturer of power transmission belts and fluid power products for the automotive industry, has worked to make artificial intelligence a functional driver of results in its offering across channels, as Taylor will detail in a case study presentation, “From Acronyms to Action: Converting the Rhetoric of AI and IoT Into Reality.”
At any company, Taylor says, digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. “You have to get out of the ‘set it and forget it’ mode of years past in B2B practice,” he says. “Transformation is hard—and not for the faint of heart.”
B2BecNews interviewed Taylor recently to discuss the critical thinking on digital strategy that’s growing sales at Gates. The Denver-based company, private until its 2017 initial public offering of stock, closed its first full year as a public company last year with revenue of $3.35 billion.
Q: What is driving B2B companies like Gates Industrial to expand online?
Taylor: The key for all B2B companies is to constantly look at ways to better serve customers and provide quality self-service options. It is critical for B2B companies to provide relevant content and increase the number of channels for interaction and purchase.
Q: What are the biggest challenges?
Taylor: You need to be in a constant learning mode, stay on the cutting edge of processes, innovation, and technology, allowing for constant improvement and enhancement of customer experiences.
Q: What are the chief gains you’re realizing?
Taylor: Our efforts are helping us become more centralized and as a result, is creating more efficiency. We launched our rebrand in Dec. 2017 and are continuously working to streamline our digital presence with consistency across the globe.
Q: What is the biggest thing B2B companies still need to realize about ecommerce?
Taylor: B2B companies need to meet customers where they are and stay ahead of expectations. We are thinking about this at Gates, and working to stay ahead of what customers need and how we can make that experience best for them. B2B users want the same experiences we all have in B2C in our everyday lives.
Q: What is your most valuable piece of advice for B2B companies looking to add online sales or increase them?
Taylor: You need a drive and passion for not only what’s changing in the industry, but what customers need and want. Drive new ways of increasing demand. Constantly try new things. It’s OK if you fail, just fail fast and learn from it. Constant innovation is a core piece of Gates DNA. It drives what we do. It is important for me, to stay on top of my career growth, to continuously innovate and modernize. It’s great being at a company that does the same. Once a company makes this leap, there is never a moment in time where you should sit back.
Registration for B2B Next is open: Click here to register.
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