Flatten the curve: it is not the first time that the manufacturing industry hears this term. Stabilizing and estimating demand is the key to an efficient production. But how is that possible if your product portfolio keeps on expanding and becomes less and less clear?
Where previously the Dutch manufacturing industry could grow by standardizing their product range, the focus has by now shifted to offering customization. With customers demanding more and more, it is important for the industry to be able to adjust to these demands. In turn, it becomes more difficult to predict customer demand and to streamline production. Offering customization results in a long lasting and costly calculation- and quotation process. In many cases this has not been standardized, because of which every salesperson has to manually copy, edit, and write up quotations. This not only costs a lot of time and money, but is prone to errors too.
The Netherlands is an export country, ranked 5th export country in the world. And still growing. The export of agricultural machines saw a growth of 8%, and in 2018 a growth of more than 20% when compared to 2015 was realized in the area of exporting machines and parts. This growth was facilitated because Dutch manufacturing businesses react well to the constantly changing customer demands. Developing a product, producing and then marketing across the entire world comes with quite a challenge. The product must adhere to the demands, which differs quite a lot for each continent. The companies that offer customization in a standardized manner attain a big advantage when compared to the competition.
From the moment your customer starts orienting, you want to have insight in their need.
But at this moment the orientation mostly takes place through online channels or your dealer network. You do not have direct insight there and it makes it difficult for you to predict customer demand. Only direct quotation requests or orders through dealers reach you, and they would require your immediate attention. Often ambiguity lingers about what exactly the end customer wants, because they have not been guided adequately. Just to be sure, stocks are held to be able to serve your customer in the short term anyway.
Working in this way, an unclear quotation request can end up in a peak load within your organization, and as a result have an amplifying reaction on your own supply chain. This peak load can only be flattened if an early insight is gained in what composition, which options, and what functionalities your customer requires.
It should be possible to gain insight in this online orientation process and at the same time monitor your dealer-performance, right?
Precisely from this philosophy we have, through Elfsquad, created the sales- and product configurator for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Online visual customer orientation is directly accessible, a simple sales tool for your dealers results in direct insight into their quotation process for you, direct follow-up towards engineering and production becomes possible. Convenient, right?
Does all of this seem overly ambitious? Not if you ask us. We would love to provide a demo to showcase what we could mean to you. And this can easily be done online.
We let our innovative power in the manufacturing industry speak and are proud to say that we have received a number of prominent awards with Elfsquad. This motivates us further to fulfill our mission together with our customers: Ensure the manufacturing industry the right to exist.