Manufacturers are keenly attuned to productivity and profitability. Many have embraced enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), business intelligence software (BI), customer relationship management (CRM) and many other technological solutions to improve efficiency and revenues.
Are you getting the most from your software? These tips can help you continuously improve productivity and attain higher profits from the smart use of your new BI, ERP, and CRM software.
Inventory management remains one of the most troublesome areas for manufacturers. Inventory is always a balancing act between too much inventory, which risks profitability if demand in the market shifts. As well as not enough, which risks “out of stock” messages for customers, leading to poor customer experiences.
The solution? Use the data from your business systems along with frequent communications with your sales and marketing teams to better manage inventory. Data from your BI, ERP, and CRM systems can help you better predict orders for the next quarter. From there, you can conclude how much inventory is needed to fulfill the market demand.
By working from data in your system, you can improve inventory management and maintain your balance on the seesaw between ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’ inventory.
Enhance Data Management
Improve and enhance your data management through the use of data centers. A data center is a repository for all of the data streaming in from points throughout your company. Such a center houses and stores data so that it can be served back to each individual system, collecting, augmenting, and supplementing data in each contrasting system.
When you collect data throughout your company, it can be combined in different ways through each system to produce better reports. This, in turn, allows you to make informed decisions based on data collected throughout your company.
Improving Gross Margin
BI, ERP and other software provide vital information. From this information, you can get a good grasp on how your business is performing. Reviewing gross margin figures is an important step to improve company revenues.
Maintaining strong margins starts with virtuous supplier relationships and good cost control of materials. Cost control with vendors leads to lower costs of goods, which in result can boosts gross margin. Reviewing the data in your ERP and BI systems can help you pinpoint areas to renegotiate.
Balancing lucrative markup with appealing prices is also a challenge. On the one hand, your markup must be enough to attain a good profit, but on the other hand, too high of a markup can turn away potential customers. Examining sales figures and reports from your BI and ERP systems can help you determine whether you’re in the ballpark with your profit margin. Then, talk to your sales and marketing teams to find out how your company stacks against the competition.
CRM data can also tell you whether or not customers are complaining about prices or comparing your goods unfavorable to the competition. Review lists of calls, complaints, and information obtained from customer service to gather more insights into competitor intelligence.