Since the UK voted to leave the EU back in June, manufacturing has already slumped and, thanks to the weaker pound, risen again. The UK manufacturing industry needs European customers to stay customers, for global trade to take a second look, and for Foreign Direct Investment to continue to use the UK as a base.
Perhaps the UK construction and manufacturing industries will look within the UK more and more for suppliers but what happens next will be dictated by the negotiated terms of the exit with the manufacturing battlegrounds of red tape, tariffs, currency values, immigration and legal frameworks all crucial to creating a favourable landscape to do business in.
For an industry that is already facing the investment challenges brought about by the pace of technology and skills shortages, long term thinking needs to be done now.
There’s a temptation not to spend on IT, to simply batten down the hatches and go about business quietly as you are. Or, perhaps to only invest in technology that improves the products being manufactured.
Yet customer service is one of the most crucial success factors in profitable, growing companies. And excellent customer service can only be delivered where efficient communication channels exist within an organisation, and between that organisation and its customers.
And here’s where CRM comes in.
• Customer Service Is A Method Of Differentiation
With the possibility of fewer contracts, prices are often the biggest factor in decision-making. But within an industry where people value ‘you get what you pay for’, customer service is hugely important. The best customer service can only be delivered with insight on each and every customer, their interactions with you, and knowledge of their expectations across the business and then meeting those expectations. Forget the dropped batons, happy customers = follow on sales.
• Business Focus
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘busy fool’. CRM provides the insight needed to identify the priorities and to focus efforts in the right directions, with the right information.
• Transparent Business Development
Using CRM not only helps you look after live business better, it helps you win new business. In a more competitive market, sales efforts have to be highly managed and effective. Knowledge of a potential customer’s every interaction with you and specific areas of concern makes for more meaningful and successful conversations.
• Make Marketing More Meaningful
In the current digital environment, there’s no excuse for generic emails or mailshots. If your marketing efforts are suffering low response rates, you need to look at the relevance of the content, the method of delivery and the handling of any resulting responses. CRM lets you segment your database, create targeted messages based on previous sales knowledge and manage the campaign from start to finish with every interaction recorded and traceable.
• Departmental harmony
A 360-degree view of a customer’s project or relationship with the business improves communication. Those times when the sales team could have done with knowing that a customer had already received a brochure. Or, when a project manager could really have benefited from knowing that there was a query with an invoice affecting a project. Removing the silos can only ever be a good thing.
• Make geography irrelevant
With MS Dynamics CRM, your workforce can communicate and make things happen quickly, easily and effectively from wherever they are.
• User Adoption
The MS Dynamics’ intuitive and familiar user interface and integration with other Microsoft products mean that everyone in the business can get to grips with it. MS Dynamics has one of the highest adoptions rates in the category.
Regardless of whether you want to keep systems on site or use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, your CRM will always be running and secure so that you don’t lose everything at the touch of a button. Microsoft Cloud’s recent UK Data Centres creation offers a security for UK customers that are perhaps unsure what Brexit will do to their data protection laws and prices.
Every business is different. Every MS Dynamics implementation is different. Your solution will closely meet the communication, marketing, sales and project management needs of your business.
Microsoft is spending more money than you can imagine continually evolving Microsoft Dynamics to meet the needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes across the world. It recently understood the need for UK data-centres and was one of the first Cloud providers to do just that. It’s in a great position to understand the needs of businesses both pre and post Brexit.
CRM is about engagement. The EU is the perfect example of what happens when that breaks down. If the UK is to face a decline in manufacturing, or in construction output, a drive to just be the cheapest may just put you in the running of the race to the bottom. The companies that survive are the ones that will deliver value beyond the invoice.
We’ll be hosting a free webinar about CRM in the manufacturing industry on the 20th October at 11:00am. Join us and discover our view of how CRM and other Cloud technologies are going to change the way manufacturing does business.