According to Marc Murphy, CEO of Atlatl software, “Prior to Industry 4.0, production was the bottleneck to growing a successful company and customer base. Now, the bottleneck in manufacturing is the front end sales process.”
He’s right – the traditional siloed structures often found in manufacturing companies must be broken down. The risk of failing to match customer expectations is simply too high. To improve visibility, manufacturing companies must integrate all parts of the manufacturing cycle – from sourcing to production, sales, and customer service.
This high level of visibility cannot be achieved without a shop-floor-to-top-floor software solution that combines technologies, integrations, customization, and professional services to give a 360-degree view into your production floor, ERP, and CRM.
Provide your Sales Team with Insights
At one time, investments in such technologies were prohibitively expensive to midsize manufacturers. However, times have changed. The time has come for manufacturers of all sizes to consider investments into customer relations and sales enablement software, if they are to have a fighting chance in today’s high-stakes business environment.
Until recently, manufacturers treated the production floor and the CRM as two distinct universes. However, with a 360-degree view, sales and support reps can access production data in real time to ensure that they have full visibility at every stage of production.
According to a recent analysis, there is a strong positive correlation between overall customer satisfaction and company growth, return on investment, and overall market share. It is safe to assume that to succeed, manufacturers must adopt a strategy that puts customer satisfaction at the forefront of company-wide efforts.
For manufacturers who aim to achieve profitability and increase their market share within an increasingly competitive environment, maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is an undisputed priority.
Manufacturing Visibility is Key to Customer-Centricity
Here is an essential piece of the puzzle–visibility leads to happy customers. Customers demand to stay connected; they expect real-time updates on the status of their orders and they will stay loyal to a company that provides them with the data they have come to expect. To maintain high levels of customer satisfaction that are necessary to succeed in today’s competitive markets, manufacturers must find efficient ways to keep consumers in the loop.
Customer-centricity cannot be achieved if your frontline troops don’t have full visibility into the production process. To succeed in the era of Industry 4.0 and meet sky-high customer expectations, manufacturers must break down silos and create data flows and feedback loops between the production floor and customer-facing teams.
Visibility Creates a Proactive Sales Process
The 360-degree view into production conditions and delivery logistics empowers sales reps to proactively manage customer relations and quickly address unexpected situations, improve responsiveness and they have the ability to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. With the real-time data from the production floor visible in the CRM, customer-facing teams can take proactive measures to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. The end-users will appreciate the timely updates, so they can make adjustments and keep their partners and customers down the supply chain in the loop.
Manufacturing Visibility Improves Sales and Quoting Processes
In the Industry 4.0 era, real-time manufacturing visibility is critical for optimal performance of your sales team from quote to delivery. Access to production data leads to greater efficiency within the quoting process. Quite often, the most common bottleneck in modern manufacturing companies “is an inefficient and antiquated quoting process that still involves manual procedures, with cumbersome back and forth, and as a result, multiple quote iterations.
With a 360-degree view, manufacturers can constantly maintain the connection to the shop floor and feed accurate data about the real costs of the goods delivered, including machine time and labor costs, into the CRM. Now the sales and support team can easily access the updated delivery date, the actual cost compared to their quote, and monitor where the order is in the production process – hence creating a connected environment for the company and its customers, improving sales accountability to their customers and increasing satisfaction.
Manufacturing visibility empowers sales teams to streamline quoting and configuration process based on the most up-to-date inputs from the factory floor, and ensures that production and inventory considerations are taken into account when quoting customers.
In addition, your sales reps can rely on the enhanced visibility to accurately handle inbound customer inquiries. It also determines how sales teams prioritize orders and set up delivery estimates relative to current job allocation and production line capacity.
The key to manufacturing visibility
For many years, manufacturers have sought shop-floor-to-top-floor transparency and visibility. Finally, the technology is catching up, and the integration of your production floor, ERP and CRM with a real 360-degree view is no longer beyond reach.
The key to customer satisfaction lies in combining customer-focused metrics with the real-time factory and plant-floor performance data into an integrated CRM, where your sales team can track important metrics, data, and KPIs.
Magic collects all data from your ERP, WMS, PLM, and data from machines on the production floor and integrates it to your CRM. This provides real 360-degree visibility and real-time insight into your business. It enables your sales and service reps to make proactive decisions based on the situation on your factory floor, keep your customers happy and maintain a competitive edge.
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