It’s 2020 and buying has fundamentally changed from the buyer perspective. B2B customers demand speed in their buying journey, no more waiting. That’s why manufacturers need to focus on speeding up processes and adding value to every aspect of the customer journey.
We’re not talking about your typical waste that comes with manufacturing, but any inefficient process that doesn’t add to the customer journey. This new trend of improving operations for your customers is called Lean Manufacturing.
A quick definition:
Originating in Japan, Lean Manufacturing attempts to reduce waste within a manufacturing operation by getting rid of the inefficient processes for ones that save time and money. Doing this isn’t a quick or easy process but using the right solutions can go a long way to increase operational efficiencies.
A common acronym to describe the issues Lean Manufacturing attempts to address is DOWNTIME. This stands for defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion and extra–processing.
The waiting is the hardest part:
With DOWNTIME in mind let’s focus on the parts that most likely harm your customer experience. Waiting for your teams to get aligned with one another costs the company time and annoys your customers who want their products now. This waiting can come from slow quoting processes between sales and engineering or incorrect product configurations that aren’t up to the specificity of your customer.
Imagine your customer is ready and willing to buy your product, but your teams aren’t ready to produce a quote because they are waiting on one another for certain items. This leads to frustration from your teams and your customers thinking about taking their buying power elsewhere. This frustration is a common trend in manufacturing. With so many options out there, why would a customer wait around for you?
Maximize your employees’ output:
Non-utilized talent is something plagues manufacturing companies who want to get quotes and orders out quickly to their customers. For example, if your engineering team is doing administrative tasks to get data right for your customers instead of focusing on innovation for your company you may be underutilizing their strengths. Cutting down on administrative tasks can take your products to the next level.
This goes for sales as well, instead of meeting with new leads and selling to existing customers they are stuck doing tasks for one order instead of managing multiple accounts. Your sales teams also are sick of going back and forth between your CRM and quoting system. That’s why having integrations to your CRM systems can aid in your Lean Manufacturing goals.
Lean Manufacturing and CPQ:
Remaining competitive means delivering more value to your customers than other businesses. Keeping your business lean could make all the difference. With lean operations here to stay, it’s important to your goals to adhere to the latest trends. Has your company been looking for new ways to save money and still have the same product output? All of that is possible using CPQ. With CPQ it’s possible to cut down on DOWNTIME.
Start your journey to Lean Manufacturing goals today and schedule a demo.