Complex manufacturing involves the creation of highly engineered products that are made to order such as machine parts and castings. It involves longer cycle times and the creation of multiple Bills of Materials (BOM). Its complexity extends beyond design and production areas, to the sales department. Let’s examine 5 pressures of managing complex manufacturing sales.
1. Addition of New Players
Technological revolution has contributed to rapid development in the areas of new innovation and product customization, enabling faster growth of newcomers in the manufacturing segment. This has increased the challenges for complex manufacturing sales in terms of searching for new markets in developing nations, and setting up processes to suit each region’s demand.
2. Mass Customization Demands
With the digital revolution connecting people, places, and processes, the market place has become more competitive than ever before. In this highly competitive scenario, it is necessary to cater to customer demands for highly customized products. Complex manufacturing requires a highly flexible order management process that allows for customizations at any point in the production cycle. This necessitates offering engineering expertise at the required time and complete visibility of the pipeline. Therefore, complex manufacturing sales needs to focus on delivering the right product at the right time, within budget. Margin pressures tend to build up, which means sales teams must improve warranty and service management, while focusing on the growth of the customer base, as well.
3. Fierce Competition
Although manufacturers work out ways to lower costs and increase productivity, the market is biased towards those offering competitive pricing compared to other factors like brand loyalty or newly upgraded features. The pressure lies in offering both innovative value-added services to beat the competition, and marketing them at best prices to retain old clients, and find new buyers. Sales also has to monitor distributor and dealer activities to garner partner loyalty.
4. Streamlining of Processes
In the same way that manufacturers deal with complexity and growth, they need to deal with the sales team’s complexity that arises out of not streamlining the entire production process. Integrating production with the sales division can enable consistent and faster time-to-delivery. There is the pressure of creating robust service lifecycle management processes (customer contact, warranty and claims, AMCs, maintenance, repair and overhaul, and service-hub detailing) to bring visibility to the other end of the spectrum, consisting of dealers and suppliers.
5. Transformation from Legacy Systems and Strategies
Manufacturers across the globe are choosing cloud computing for a centralized system that facilitates faster data retrieval and sharing. It is the foundation for implementing other new technologies and helps drive seamless data transfers between networks. Complex manufacturing sales needs to find the best option for cloud computing leases and work on pricing, milestones, and software updation costs. Additionally, there is also the pressure of choosing the right sales strategy for each channel (website, dealers, sales reps) of product marketing.
It is imperative for manufacturers to look into these five pressures that affect complex manufacturing sales and its various channels. Doing so, companies can expect to grow without any impediments and lower risk considerably.
Effective complex manufacturing sales can transform your business into a profit-generating one. Infor LN (previously known as Baan) is a purposefully engineered ERP system for complex manufacturing that offers best-in-class solutions to the entire spectrum – from design to sales and service. Infoways offers utility packages to address your specific business needs. If you’re interested in knowing more about Infor LN, schedule a demo now.