How Manufacturers Can Enhance Customer Service Through Operational Visibility

Posted by Reha Raja on Mon, May 13, 2019

Using ERP software within your manufacturing business provides operational visibility -- the best tool for excellent customer service.


How manufacturers can enhance customer service through operational visibility

As the manufacturing market becomes more competitive and customers’ demands increase, outdated technology can become an obstacle as your company strives to deliver the best customer experience. Older systems often involve manual inputs, standalone spreadsheets, and workarounds that make locating the necessary information time-consuming and frustrating.

Inefficient software can prevent you from having an accurate overview of your business, which in turn affects decision-making. And it may also affect the quality of customer service you can provide, as it takes longer to respond to queries about orders, purchases, and returns.

A modern ERP solution should cover all processes from enquiry to dispatch, so you always have up to date, accurate information about your operations. The right system will allow you to work more efficiently, make better decisions and - more importantly - it can improve visibility across your company so that there are fewer errors to remedy and your customers have a smoother, more satisfying experience.

A single, dedicated solution

With traditional software, it’s easy for different parts of a business to find themselves working in silos. Information from different packages, spreadsheets, and even hard-copy records tend to get dispersed across departments. It takes time to assemble this data, analyse it, and use it whenever there’s a problem to solve or an important decision to make.

Dedicated software, with the right modules, can make sure that information is available from a single source. That data will be collected in real-time so that it’s possible to monitor what’s happening on the factory floor, which in turn makes it easier to identify any pitfalls or potential delays and react to them quickly.

An effective solution to optimise operations allows managers to make smarter decisions and plan ahead, avoiding possible difficulties. The decision-makers in your business will be better placed to establish their priorities, manage their workflows, and avoid the type of issues that can sour relationships with your customers.


Visibility = OTIF; to specification, to profitable price

Improving visibility across your operations benefits customers, as you’ll be able to provide a slicker, more informative service, with managers having progress data at their finger-tips and in real-time.

With a fit for purpose modern system, gone are the days of the morning meetings where the business plays catch-up with what actually happened in production so that planners can re-plan to get back on track, and when progress chasers were sent off to find out where all the elements of a critical customer delivery were.

With increased visibility, the customer enjoys a more responsive experience, as your business will be able to address any queries quickly and provide instant information about how an order is progressing. Equally, the chances of mistakes arising are minimised, orders are likely to be fulfilled on time, and the potential for rework is reduced.

An integrated ERP system can send out notifications automatically to your management team if and when any issues arise that require their attention. The emphasis is on knowing what’s happening in your processes at any given time and responding appropriately.

Breaking down silos 

Your business can increase operational visibility by implementing a system that puts all of the information you require at your fingertips and also allows customers to interact with your company in modern, fuss-free ways. An effective solution will be fully integrated, using a series of joined-up modules to give you complete control of your business.

Operations functionality allows you to optimise stock, scheduling, production, and quality control, with the most sophisticated systems including touch-screen technology on the factory floor. Supply chain capabilities manage the performance of suppliers, improving purchasing efficiency, and providing important data about your supply chain.

Commerce functionality will allow effective quotations and sales, while also enabling you to take charge of your relationship with customers. Through customer portals, they can access important information, interact with your sales team, and check details; all of this will be underpinned by a functionality-rich finance capability.

The right solution and the right partner

To take complete control of your operational visibility, you need not only to find effective software that works for your manufacturing business, but also a reliable partner, who will form an ongoing relationship with you to help you get the most out of your new system. The right partner will offer a personalised service, help with implementation and great ongoing support.            

In a competitive market, older systems can result in your business getting left behind, while off-the-shelf software may offer a quick fix but most likely one that will often leave longer term problems unresolved. A configurable, all-in-one manufacturing solution can give you genuine control of what’s happening in your business, allowing you to boost production, reduce waste and deliver excellent customer service resulting in on time and in full product delivery.

The Fundamentals of Operational Visibility

Topics: Customer Service, Operational visibility