Flowlens & the Agricultural Machinery Industry
Flowlens is a user-friendly and joined-up software system that manages your Sales, Production, Purchasing and Service in one place. This joined-up thinking ensures that you have full visibility of the whole customer lifecycle. Flowlens helps increase profit margins, and reduces waste while providing an improved customer experience. Agricultural Machinery companies often have issues with:
- Manual Tracking of Sales Enquiries and Leads
- Scheduling Parts or People against a Project
- Working out Project Profitability
Flowlens has worked with organisations such as Niagri Engineering and David Harrisons Handling Solutions. Flowlens software includes many features that enable Agricultural Machinery firms to unleash their potential such as:
- Enquiry and Sales Pipeline Management.
- Project Stock Allocation, Job Cards & Time Tracking.
- Real-time Project Profitability Reporting.
Sales & Marketing
The sales process for managing enquiries, sales pipeline, sales leads and sales orders typically involve manual processes, paper and spreadsheets. This often results in:
- Paper-based methods to capture enquiries and project requirements.
- Large amounts of data duplication and wasted effort
- Meetings and emails required to discuss the sales pipeline
- Paper-based processes to capture project requirements
- A lack of visibility for operations
Agri Machinery often has a bespoke or customised element to design and manufacture. This means that sales staff need to have a level of pre-sales technical competence, resulting in:
- Sales members speaking to many potential customers while keeping their own manual progress records in spreadsheets and other documents
- On-site visits to discuss requirements
- Significant liaison between sales executives and operations teams to prepare designs, proposals and costings
- Other spreadsheets and documentation such as quotations, order acknowledgements and contract agreements
By bringing best practice and understanding of manufacturing businesses, Flowlens can streamline processes, reduce wasted effort and duplication. It does this by removing silos and sharing information to provide visibility across all departments.
This visibility our CRM provides reduces risk as it brings clarity to the sales process with an overview of what qualified leads are in the pipeline and what is likely to convert. It also enables more accurate production forecasting with visibility of progress on projects and current workload.
Typically, Operations also have issues with wasted effort and data duplication. Each part of the process tends to be siloed as sales order processing (SOP), project requirements, bill of materials (BoM), purchase order processing (POP), stock/inventory levels, and work in progress (WiP) are managed through different spreadsheets and paper documentation. This causes a range of issues from time-consuming manual profitability calculations to manual part number transfer from stock-room to project sheet.
Due to Flowlens’ joined-up central contact databases, information gathered in the sales process is shared with our ERP module and forms the basis for operations, including:
- Clarifying the project’s requirements, shared from the sales process
- Generation of a BoM for the project including the date(s) each part is required
- Automatically update stock levels, with alerts to re-order when a minimum threshold is reached.
- Sharing data with accounts packages such as Xero, Sage and Quickbooks Online.
- Commissioning any customised pre-production fabrication
- Project Scheduling
- Real-time automatic project profitability calculations
As information is shared, Operations can view the pipeline, trust the information in it and understand what leads are likely to convert. This allows Operations to plan ahead in terms of purchasing and people scheduling.
Real-time analytics and reports also allow management to make decisions based on more reliable and accurate data ensuring a slick and leaner operation.
Many agricultural machinery companies, rarely capitalise on potential revenue streams by proactively marketing and selling service contracts and spare parts.
Customer contract management creates an additional revenue stream that’s easy to manage. Customers appreciate value-added assistance for their equipment, improving brand loyalty.
By adopting Flowlens, manufacturing businesses can be partners to their customers and address their ongoing needs online. Regardless of whether they buy direct or through a dealer, customers can download manuals, request spare parts, log feedback and much more through the online customer portal.