Monday, August 4, 2014

Customer Service Matters

Through hardware, software and service offerings, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can provide a portfolio of solutions to help manufacturers and distributors streamline production, operate more efficiently, improve planning and scheduling and implement more fine-grained and flexible decision-making processes.  Solution providers are helping businesses optimize their technology and make the most of their ERP and supply chain applications by extending analytic capabilities, making better decisions, improving order management and purchasing, plus many other capabilities.

The driving factor for many organizations often starts with “there ought to be a better way”, “our overhead is too high”, “we have too many errors”, “there is no observability”, “it takes too long” to name but a few.  There are also some that rationalize not addressing the issues by saying “that’s the way we have always done ‘it’”.  Find any challenge and add “too much” or “too little” to it and it will become the seed to change when someone tacks a price tag on it.

What type of benefits should a solution have?

Ultimately manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others need to make better, quicker decisions and act faster in complex markets. They need solutions that deliver powerful advantages which includes the ability to find the right information, from the right place, at the right time.  This includes workflow tools and notifications. 

Higher productivity. 

When you can help your employees avoid the clutter and overload of increasingly complex solutions to be able to focus on the information they need to make decisions and move their workload forward.  You empower your employees to attend to more important tasks first.

Easy Access to systems.

The definition of mobility has evolved in recent years to mean any device, any time, any where.  While this is the evolving definition for the mobile sales force, many companies are single location based and their devices are desktop computers.  What they find with newer solutions is that they can take advantage of mobile solutions at client meetings or when they count, receive, or pick-pack-ship inventory.  The theme of the ivory tower and dished-out information no longer works in competitive industries.  Businesses must improve the efficiency of the way they collect and deliver information to their employees, suppliers and customers.


Newer solutions must increasingly bridge the gap between the traditional ERP solution and other web based solutions such as social media.  This integration creates new opportunities for employees to collaborate in real time with colleagues, suppliers, and most importantly customers.  Empowering employees to answer questions more quickly is a key component in customer service.  Meetings can be planned and coordinated more quickly.  Complex tasks can be divided and delegated with greater efficiency.

Customer Service.
Overall we should be investing a lot more time and energy in solutions that drive customer service.  Whether that is an updated ERP solution, integration with social media, contact management, or other solution.   It does not matter if the solutions are on premise or hosted in the cloud as long as the integration is tight and does not increase errors.  ERP Vendor integrated solutions potentially have the greatest Return on Investment (ROI).  Sometimes the upfront costs seem higher, but when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) fully integrated solutions, that you did not have to integrate, are the best buy.

Your organization needs the tools and applications that empower them.  Solutions that give them access to the information that your customers need, like how long until I receive my order, or being confident when you tell them what they want is in stock and doubly sure they will actually receive what they ordered.

Your customers have questions.  They want to know you care. 

Your suppliers need information.  They want to serve you better.

Your employees need to bridge the gap between the internal and external worlds.

What is your organization doing to empower your employees?  Our readers would like to know.  Please share your ideas and what changes you have or are in the process of implementing.  Are you considering a new or upgrade to your ERP solution?  What new modules are you considering?  What third party solutions would you like to integrate and why?  Are you planning on small incremental steps or a major overhaul?

At Dolvin Consulting we work with industry experts to find the right solutions that will fulfill your goals to drive your efficiency in your operations.  Share your ideas here with our readers and then contact us to see how we can help you serve your customers better.


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