Many manufacturing companies tend to forget about investing in a CRM system. While legacy tools like Outlook can still help companies in their manufacturing operations, nowadays, such tools aren’t enough to get the job done. In fact, such obsolete tools aren’t capable of providing users with an overview of customers’ needs and expectations, or being able to improve the overall customer experience.
The good news is, a well-functioning CRM can be beneficial to manufacturing businesses in the following ways:
- Improves the quality of products
- Accurately forecast the demand
- Ensures a smarter supply chain
- Helps businesses succeed in their endeavors
- Improves how businesses see the “ideal customer”
- Ensure better customer relationships, AND
- Helps businesses look at the numbers “after the sale”
Why CRM Matters
While there are several alternative types of software to CRM, they tend to be riddled with many problems, usually whenever they’re in use. CRM, on the other hand, is adaptable and has the capability to gain, keep, and grow profitable customers. A business-to-business (B2B) company must track all the necessary information about sales, marketing, and customer service for one system, which is what CRM can do.
In addition, CRM is an easy method to reorganize the “polluted” system of traditional accounting departments. In other words, it strives to give companies the ability to do the following:
- Choose the right products from a catalog with guided selling
- Quickly create quotes, AND
- Generate a proposal within an important quoting email
In this article, we’ll talk about the 8 reasons why CRM is important in the manufacturing industry.
1. Product Quality Improvement
Putting out high-quality products consistently and efficiently is essential. Poor-quality products will not only drive away your customers, but it’ll also ruin your chances of gaining more sales and revenue.
Essentially, manufacturing organizations must focus on producing high-quality products in a consistent and efficient manner. Poor-quality products will not only ruin your brand’s image, but you’ll also get a slew of unhappy customers that will eventually take off to your competitor(s). Thus, sales and revenues will reduce significantly.
But with CRM, manufacturing companies can gather and analyze data from many sources. And with that data, they can figure out any and every process error in real-time. Finding the errors right away can help them prevent any product defect before market launch.
2. Forecasting Demand More Accurately
In a fast-changing industry like manufacturing, there has to be a way to forecast the demand for certain products. The good news is, you don’t have to invest in various manufacturing planning software to meet this demand.
CRM can help manufacturers save on time needed for product development – from making the concept to delivering the product to market. In fact, CRM is a common practice for fast-changing industries such as electronics, retail, high-tech – the works.
As a result, companies will get more accurate demand forecasting along with improvement in production information, thus giving them a competitive edge against other companies in the industry.
3. Supply Chain Is Smarter
The supply chain changes depending on the demand; and failing to simplify and optimize business operations to accommodate the supply chain can result in complex and, perhaps, unnecessary processes. To make matters worse, traditional production management software not only costs so much to implement but can also have a negative effect on the company’s desire to make any returns on investment (ROI).
Therefore, having a more intelligent supply chain – thanks to CRM – can help you deliver desired results, especially with ROI. From managing production schedules to maintaining materials to transferring products efficiently from place to place, CRM makes it happen.
But with CRM, manufacturers can get detailed and useful insights about the following chains:
- Inventory management
- Order processing
- Warehousing, AND
Such insights can have the supply chain deliver phenomenal results while running on a well-managed production schedule. And, CRM lets you keep materials supply, and move products quickly from production to market.
4. Helping Businesses Sell And Win
Another great benefit from CRM software is that it helps manufacturing companies gain followers and customers in various departments:
- CRM enables their Marketing and Sales departments to make detailed reports on customer behavior.
- CRM lets the customer support team help customers right away, as it provides valuable insights that help improve product quality and operation processes. As a result, this software will speed up business operations, increase revenue, and lower costs.
- CRM allows payment departments to leverage Blockchain and streamline financial transactions while maintaining a transparent ledger system and keeping track of all digital payments.
In short, businesses can sell and win with CRM, no matter the department. CRM is the saving grace for businesses in more ways than one.
5. Re-Visualizing The Ideal Customer
Consumers aren’t just people who buy products and services – they’re humans. In other words, wouldn’t you want to know how people feel towards something? Wouldn’t you want to know what makes them cautious before buying something? Wouldn’t you want to reassure them that buying from your brand is the right decision? CRM lets you work towards a good customer experience. How? By looking at the “ideal customer.”
Here’s how CRM works when re-visualizing the ideal customer:
- First, a CRM system works to collect information about your customers, leads, and prospective buyers.
- This extended view of consumers will help you predict their buying behavior and preferences.
- Then, based on your findings, you and your team can come up with effective solutions to close the deal.
So, you see, re-visualizing the ideal customer is to look at your customer’s “requirements” – what they want, how they want it, and why.
6. More Enriched Customer Relationships
Manufacturing companies must appeal to the demands and inquiries of their customers. One of the leading factors of successful sales, customer experience should make a bold and positive statement on your company. That’s where CRM comes in!
CRM, when it comes to ensuring positive customer relationships, works as follows:
- CRM collects information about your customers, leads, and prospects.
- Next, it uses its 360-degree view of those factors to predict any buying trends and preferences.
- Then, your team can use the data to help them close sales.
- Finally, your customer support team can use the data to keep track of any warranty, repair, or service issues. And, they can use it to manage frequently-asked questions, inquiries, and service calls, thus resulting in fewer delays and penalties.
In hindsight, CRM helps companies learn everything they need to know about what their customers want, and how to go about their wants. Thus, CRM provides the right information to bring companies enrichment in their customer relationships.
7. Mobile Strides
While a manufacturing company will have inside sales support and field sales teams coming up with new ways to build strong relationships daily with prospective and current customers, there’s now a need for websites to be mobile-friendly. Why?
Since many people are using mobile devices worldwide, many companies are on board with selling to them online. Mobile sales reps will now use cloud-based CRM solutions while on the go with either a smartphone or tablet. Cloud-based solutions allow the manufacturing company to not worry about filing, backing up data, or any software updates. As a result, CRM lets you get in front of customers at a faster rate, where you can open their accounts, view any notes from their last meetings, and check to see if there are any issues that need to be resolved. This allows speed, accuracy, and real-time results to take effect as you serve customers.
8. After-Sale Analysis
Finally, the sales process doesn’t end, once a quote is approved. CRM helps you streamline what’s leftover from the sale:
- A sales order that’s converted from the opportunity
- A production order (without the pricing) is sent to the manufacturing floor
- The accounting department processes the order, AND
- The products sold or assets purchased are automatically recorded in the CRM system
Also, if any issues come up, customers are able to send a ticket to reps. Afterward, a CRM issue/ticket type system will work to find the best solution, depending on the customer. CRM even shows a timeline of the resolution, in case reps, need to go back and reassess what has been done for the customer so far. In this way, important data is recorded and summarized to determine what works and what doesn’t.
In closing, the manufacturing industry has had its fair share of transformations over the years. An industry that had once scrambled to meet the demands of consumers, has now evolved into a more customer-centric entity. In fact, no longer will companies be left to guess what their customers want; instead, they can actually forecast the demand, while keeping their supplies up, thus creating that stable supply-and-demand model.
As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, CRM is there to make it happen. As you saw from these 5 reasons, CRM is necessary to keep up with incoming opportunities that come with this evolution.
About the Author
George J. Newton is a writer and editor at Dissertation writing services. He is also a contributing writer for Next coursework. As a business development manager, he helps businesses improve their strategies and concepts.