If you are primarily a manufacturing business, you may think that you don’t need CRM. Whether you’re currently getting by on just an ERP system or (heaven forbid) mere Excel sheets to track your data, many businesses don’t see the point of adding sales software on top of your current system. After all, CRM is for sales and front-facing teams, and your focus needs to be on the quality of your product, right? However, there is a major flaw with this kind of thinking. You could be an ERP superstar, making the highest quality product possible while cutting back on shop floor waste. But where will you be if you have no way to market that product to potential customers or even keep tracking your current ones? Customer satisfaction should be one of the main priorities of your business model and use CRM can help you improve upon it, and your manufacturing processes, tenfold. Are you still on the fence about the utility of CRM for manufacturing businesses? Here are 3 of the top reasons why a CRM system could be vital to your manufacturing success.
Properly integrated CRM will empower your sales team to provide clients with a comprehensive and detailed insight onto your shop floor. That means your skilled employees can paint a full picture of the whole thing that goes into the product or service they are trying to sell. Your team can trace the origin and life cycle of all the products being made on your shop floor and then utilize the CRM to communicate this data to your clients. For the modern, origin-conscious customer this kind of connectivity can be crucial when it comes to satisfaction and loyalty rates.
When you integrate your ERP with CRM for manufacturing processes, the true power of both pieces of software truly emerges. Potential and current customers can track when your products pass through certain stages of the manufacturing or shipping process so they can know exactly what’s happening when it comes to their order, and your sales people can communicate proposed production and shipment dates more precisely than ever.
By storing and organizing all your sales data in a single system, you can wield your CRM for manufacturing to become a lean enterprise. That means eliminating waste in all aspects of your business: including production, storage, and shipment. For example, the data can help your team structure a pull-scheduling system that allows you to build your production and inventory in time with demand. You’ll be pulling resources through the production process as they are needed rather than stockpiling them for rough predictions of demand. The result: a huge reduction in inventory waste.
A sophisticated and well-implemented CRM system can compile reports on historical order and demand data for specific customers or the entire company so that you can assign production lines and work hours for the times you need it the most. This prevents an overstock in your inventory when demand is lowered. Because CRM as software is inherently focused on sales, demand and customer relationships, you can refocus your shop floor operations with this crucial data in mind. This is when using CRM for manufacturing reveals its true value providing a complete picture of your operations to potential and current clients and getting an overview of their activities in return.
Customer service portals allow your clients to interact directly with your shop floor team, and sales reps can facilitate relationships between production and customer-facing interactions. The strengthening of each link in your supply chain makes your business more powerful Once you have organized and streamlined your processes to focus on the client and clear communication with them, customers will naturally be more satisfied with your services, and you can keep them returning. Your CRM allows you to store key contact information, sales data and purchase history so that you can run your manufacturing processes with a confident knowledge of demand and scheduling.
Furthermore, by implementing CRM and then integrating it with your enterprise management system, you can truly take hold of your business and its processes, and then leverage CRM for manufacturing greatness. The future of the manufacturer is that of the interconnected enterprise, and a manufacturing business that doesn't seek to implement a CRM and then integrates it with their ERP system risks falling behind.