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Over the recent years, manufacturing companies have experienced a dramatic shift towards the implementation of innovative technologies into their processes, including those related to customer relationship management. On their way to becoming even more customer-centric, manufacturers don’t just wait for people to tell them directly what they want and need, but take advantage of software solutions that allow making predictions on products that will be demanded in the coming months. This approach is used not only by large players of the market but also by small and medium-sized businesses willing to keep pace with modern times and outperform their competitors.
One of the most popular and beneficial solutions manufacturing requires is CRM software that allows businesses to take advantage of such effective techniques as lean production and automation to meet future demand. Considering the highly dynamic nature of the time we live in, the importance of CRM software in manufacturing cannot be overstated. Streamlined business processes, delivery of unparalleled customer service, improved sales management — these and other benefits become available for those who decided to invest in CRM implementation.
Why Leverage CRM in Manufacturing?
To survive in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, manufacturers need to think beyond one-size-fits-all mass production. They now need to engage their customers in a personalized way. To do that, they need deep, timely insights into customer needs. CRM for manufacturers provides a 360-degree view of the customer, making it possible to configure the right solutions at the right price, and exactly in the demanded volumes.
In addition, CRM allows manufacturers to engage customers and channel partners and distributors across the manufacturing lifecycle, in this way creating an end-to-end experience that is consistent for their B2B customers.
What’s more important, is that the customer experience doesn’t end when a sale is complete. A CRM system can provide useful insights that help businesses to understand the entire lifespan of a sold product: these include support, repairs, installation, upgrades, handling inspections, add-ons, training, and customization. Insights that derive from this understanding can help to effectively compete with global, third-party competitors.
Key Benefits of Using CRM in the Manufacturing Industry
Continuing the list of reasons why manufacturers need a CRM, let’s dive deeper into the key benefits such systems have on offer.
Accurate Demand Forecasting
This benefit is extremely useful for companies operating in fast-changing industries such as high-tech, electronics, retail, etc. A Manufacturing CRM solution can help manufacturers cut the time required to develop a product from the concept phase to market delivery. Allowing for the elimination of the need to invest in other manufacturing planning software.
Enhanced Product Quality
To stay in business, a manufacturing company has to keep producing high-quality products consistently and efficiently. Defective products can not only harm the brand image but also result in unhappy and unsatisfied customers, leading to a reduction in sales and revenue.
Smart Supply Chain
When a business fails to simplify and optimize business operations, it can face the problem of overly complex processes. Moreover, costly implementations of production management software can have a detrimental effect on the company’s desired ROI.
Deploying CRM in the manufacturing sector can give manufacturers detailed and useful insights about operations, inventory management, order processing, warehousing, and distribution chains. And this delivers phenomenal results, empowering companies with everything needed to effectively manage their production schedules, maintain materials supply, and move products quickly from the production stage right to the market.
Stronger Customer Relationships
Customer relationship management in the manufacturing industry has proved to be a game-changer because safe delivery of a product and provision of quality after-sales services are no less important for a manufacturing company than closing a new deal.
Applicability to Different Areas
Unlike other manufacturing software solutions, CRM software is a valuable marketing tool, as it helps businesses to gain followers and customers. It enables the Marketing and Sales departments to make detailed reports, taking into consideration the customers’ behavior.
Manufacturing CRM systems let the support teams help the customer immediately and also provide valuable insights that help to improve product quality and business processes over time. This streamlines the operations, lowers costs, and increases profits.
It is also possible to leverage blockchain technology together with CRM to streamline financial transactions, maintain a transparent ledger system, and keep track of all digital payments.
Must-Have Features of Manufacturing CRM
There’s no secret that CRM systems are not created equal. The manufacturing industry is huge and has particular needs. And while the majority of CRM systems have core capabilities and features, like lead management and a database for storing contact info, manufacturers have some unique demands.
Here are several key features to look for in a manufacturing CRM:
CPQ (configure-price-quote) application
This is a must-have for selling highly customizable products. It includes features such as a product catalog, quote management, and inventory tracking.
Capabilities here range from activity streams to loyalty programs, enabling companies to manage relationships with distributors and other partners.
Algorithms can predict future demand, allowing operations to stay on top of inventory needs. Forecasting also opens up space for making sales projections.
If there is a need to connect your CRM with your ERP for a smooth data flow and holistic approach, integration options are a must.
Business process management (BPM)
This feature enables the creation of effective workflows and automation of various processes for more efficient operations.
The Bottom Line
CRM systems can be considered as a core part of many businesses but choosing the best one for your manufacturing business means careful consideration of some specific things, like those related to your vendor’s expertise in manufacturing and a presence of relevant cases in the portfolio.
At Emerline, with years of experience in the delivery of CRM solutions for manufacturers from all across the globe, we know exactly what a modern CRM system should be. CRM systems developed by our teams are:
- Easy to use and quick to learn for technologically savvy and less-astute team members and channel partners;
- Crafted to provide meaningful insight and accurate forecasts;
- Customizable for specific business needs;
- Cross-functional for departments and channel visibility;
- Scalable to encourage and manage channel growth;
- Align marketing and sales teams to have better interactions and provide consistent value to customers.
What’s more, being a part of LeverX with LeverX known to be a certified SAP partner, we can also offer our expertise in SAP CRM implementation. So regardless of your project complexity, we are capable of meeting all of your requirements with enthusiasm. Let’s take your business up to new heights together!
Feel free to contact us at any time, and thank you for reading.