Is your business’s shop floor taking full advantage of a customer relationship management (CRM) system? If not, you might not only be failing to earn your clients’ loyalty, you might also outright be losing them. CIS Magazine found this topic so important that it recently ran a feature article titled “Top Ten Tips to Build and Keep Customer Loyalty with CRM.”

Before delving into some of those strategies, let’s get a better picture of CRM. Short for customer relationship management, CRM is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) module that is a key element to factory floor efficiency. A “company-wide computer software system” ERP is “used to manage and coordinate all the resources, information, and functions of a business from shared data stores,” explains Wikipedia.

Shop floor managers can get the most out of ERP (and CRM) with a real-time data collection system that utilizes touch screen capabilities. That’s because such a scheduling system visually improves the sequencing of production (and raw materials) through a PC-based system that is completely interfaced with most ERP and MRP systems.

Now that you know what ERP and CRM are, let’s get back to their customer loyalty advantages according to the experts at CIS Magazine.

1. “One experience does not fit all.” – Software switches inside a real-time data collection system allow shop floor managers to configure the product to match the way they do business.

2. “Don’t wait, anticipate.” – A solid factory floor management system enables managers to touch, monitor and adapt every one of their specific shop processes for real-time improvement that delivers greater profitability.

3. “Strive for ‘first experience’ resolution.” – A high-quality management system helps factory floor managers discover and resolve problems faster. Reminders appear to inform of special instructions. Shift-to-shift information is contained on screen. An easy-to-use email system distributes messages to specific areas or persons. Automatic notification of a floor problem is displayed so action can be taken immediately.

4. “Respond fact to critical interactions.” – A shop floor management system allows businesses to compete on speed. While traditional planning systems are accounting based – meaning they measure cost, but do nothing to improve performance and increase production speed – a real-time management system is based on the actual “activity” of the floor. It modifies and adjusts work in progress based on actual “real world” production events, with the goal of improved performance.

5. “Increase access to real-time information.” – A shop floor management system delivers real-time, continuous improvement for greater profitability and faster delivery to customers. By blending planning technology with new, factory floor activity technology, such a system affords employees the opportunity to use touch screen computers right where they need them – on the factory floor. As a result, they can enter and retrieve data on the spot, providing their clients with new instantaneous updates. They simply touch-in current job data in a real-time environment that improves accuracy and provides a faster time to discovery of problems.

To get the competitive edge that keeps you in touch with your factory floor – and that builds customer loyalty and retention – look for a reputable enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that implements a solid customer relationship management (CRM) module.

By analia

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