June 15, 2018
Did you know that the manufacturing units in the UK contribute up to 11% to the total GVA? This means that the recent record downfall of 1.4%, which is the lowest in five years in the manufacturing output, has much greater implications than first determined.
However, if we take a look at the bigger picture, this fall is just a mere symptom of other underlying issues that the manufacturing industry has been struggling with since the start of large-scale production and the globalisation age, thin margins, dynamic market, and global competition. The struggle, however, is more intense for the industries that have direct associations with technology, or at least the industries wherein technology has become a driving force in winning over competition.
Manufacturers are now compelled to invest in Big Data applications and AI/ML-based solutions to gain a competitive edge over their peers. However, the most successful manufacturers know that the solution could be much simpler. The answer is the underrated yet powerful CRM application.
CRMs, thanks to the transformative advances in data analytics, have become more reliable tools for businesses. Strategic manufacturers understand the sheer effectiveness of these applications and so utilise these systems to create a more successful data-driven system that keeps the manufacturers ahead of the competition.
Better Relationship with Customers
Created with the chief objective of maintaining healthy relationships with customers, CRMs are rapidly advancing to reach the aforementioned objective with more efficiency and effectiveness. The best CRM solutions today are able to consolidate all the updated information from across the varied departments of the business. This leads the customer relationship teams to have more accurate knowledge of the entire manufacturing process and the progress of the consignment, which then can be relayed to the inquiring clients. The transfer of accurate information often leads to greater trust, which in turn ensures long-term relationships with customers.
CRMs are also known for automating various functions like sales and inventory management that allow the personnel in the respective teams to focus their time more on researching the market trends and their customers’ prospective demands. The streamlined business processes also ensure that the teams would have enough time and information to cultivate the best practices, both in terms of market and customer management, for improved customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, CRM also assists in the creation of dedicated customer portals that enables a more transparent view of the entire manufacturing process. This would not only free up a lot of the enterprises’ resources by giving the information directly to the customers, but will also generate greater levels of trust and customer loyalty.
Planning with Accurate Forecasting
CRMs are some of the most important building blocks of data-driven culture. They can help unravel some really elusive relationships in data and accurately forecast the upcoming market trends as well as the predictable change in needs and tastes of the customer base. This would help manufacturers to make better preparations in terms of precise stock management, which, in turn, leads to less waste, better management of the supply and demand ratio, and greater profits.
Furthermore, if the company has invested in custom CRMs with integrated ERPs, many of the regular operations could easily become automated, with better and more accurate data available for direct processing. This way, CRMs can also enable the managers to make better-informed and, presumably, more effective decisions on the basis of the forecasted data.
Therefore, when it comes to optimising business operations for success in the manufacturing industry, CRMs are often considered to be the most contributing and rather an inevitable factor of the entire process.