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Manufacturing Web Portals: Their Uses and Capabilities

More than ever, manufacturers face increasing challenges in a dynamic marketplace. To differentiate from competitors, many have taken steps to transform the user experience for customers and suppliers. In particular, enterprise-wide manufacturing web portals have been critical in connecting people and platforms.

Still, it’s vitally important to note the difference between intranet web pages and web portals.

Websites Versus Web Portals

According to Techopedia, “A website is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business or organization to serve a variety of purposes. Together, all publicly accessible websites constitute the World Wide Web.”

Another way to define a website is as an interlinked group of web pages. In more technical terms, web pages are digital documents formatted in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).

At this point, things may get a tad bit confusing. After all, both websites and web portals provide visitors with information gathered from sources such as search engines, online forums, and social media posts. The difference is that web portals are user-centric in nature. While anyone can see information on a website, a user must log in to a web portal to access data. And, information on a web portal can change, depending on the user. Essentially, a web portal is a customized library that aids users in navigating information from various sources. Web portals also include advanced features that facilitate collaboration, task management, and social networking.

How a Web Portal Can Benefit Your Manufacturing Enterprise

In essence, a web portal is one of the best ways to upgrade your website. It will help you convey information to suppliers and employees in the most efficient way. Some of the benefits of having your own web portal are as follows:

  • Self-service portals decrease Opex costs by providing customers with the means of resolving issues on their own. As a result, you can reduce the required personnel needed to handle customer service issues. You also won’t have to expand your customer service department as your organization scales.
  • Web portals increase productivity levels since employees need to handle fewer support tickets. This allows them to invest more time with customers who can’t resolve their issues via the web portal. Essentially, your enterprise can provide better customer service when it counts.
  • Self-service portals educate suppliers while giving them the tools for resolving supply chain challenges. With features such as demand forecasting, procurement management, event-triggered notifications, and role-based content delivery, manufacturers can achieve enterprise-level supply chain efficiency.
  • Web portals are great at boosting web traffic on your regular website. It indicates that a manufacturing company is a reliable source of information as well as a thought leader. In turn, this increases trust and visibility for your manufacturing enterprise.

Vertical Versus Horizontal Web Portals

Web portals are classified into two types: vertical and horizontal.

To understand what a vertical web portal is, one must first understand the definition of a vertical market. According to Investopedia, a vertical market encompasses a group of companies focused on a specific niche. Essentially, companies in a vertical market cater to that “market’s specialized needs and generally do not serve a broader market.”

Vertical Portals (Vortals)

These portals connect people to niche content relating to specific vertical markets. Known as “vortals,” they provide industry solutions, related industry news, and market research. They also facilitate collaborative efforts through digital forums. Meanwhile, business intelligence tools provide actionable insights into the integrity of your supply chain.

Vortals are perfect for a diverse range of manufacturing sectors. Additionally, since many of these sectors specialize in particular niches, a majority of manufacturing web portals are vortals.

Horizontal Portals

Horizontal portals differ from their vertical counterparts in that they focus on a wide range of industries. Other than not focusing on a particular niche, horizontal portals offer many of the same features as vertical portals.

At Entrance, we’re focused on helping your employees and suppliers find information and perform industry-related tasks. In addition, we take an agile approach to web portal development. This means we can add new features as your enterprise changes or adapts to market conditions. If you’re interested in developing a dynamic portal that serves the evolving needs of your customers and suppliers, chat with us today.

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