Flowlens & the Materials Handling Industry
Flowlens is an integrated, cloud based CRM, ERP and Service platform. This joined-up thinking ensures that you have full visibility of the whole customer and asset lifecycle. This increases profit margins, improves asset yield and upsell, and reduces wastage whilst providing an improved customer experience. Materials Handling companies often have issues with:
- Manual Tracking of Sales Enquiries and Leads
- Visibility of the Sales Pipeline for Inventory Management
- Manual or Non-Existent Reporting
Flowlens has worked with organisations such as Maximus and Kiverco to provide a solution that enables them to have full visibility and control of the asset lifecycle. Flowlens’ solution includes many features that enable Materials Handling firms to unleash their potential such as:
- Enquiry and Sales Pipeline Management
- Real-time Inventory Management
- Real-time Dashboard Analytics and Reporting
Sales & Marketing
With variances in the type and quantity of materials being processed, plant location and layout as well as each customer’s requirements, materials handling companies require an adequate level of technical competence at the sales stage. This often means:
- Substantial liaison between salespeople and design and/or operations teams to prepare proposal design solutions and costings
- Lots of salespeople talking to lots of potential customers with each keeping their own manual progress records
- Siloed spreadsheets and other documentation such as quotations (and multiple revisions), Order Acknowledgements and Contract Agreements
The challenges for materials handling companies and manufacturing businesses in general, are:
- to reduce wastage of key personnel on unqualified enquiries at the pre sales stage, and
- to ensure the sales team have the information to generate accurate proposals for the customer.
To do this, leads must be suitably qualified, and salespeople must be equipped with the general information required for preparing a proposal, such as realistic lead time.
Flowlens brings best practice and understanding of manufacturing businesses which results in eradicating wasted effort and duplication by streamlining processes. It joins up the process, entering data once, giving visibility across all departments.
This visibility provided by our CRM reduces risk by bringing clarity to the sales process with an overview of what qualified leads are in the pipeline and what the likely sales conversion rate is. Likewise, more accurate production forecasting is facilitated with visibility of progress on projects and current workload.
Because Flowlens is built around contact databases, information gathered in the sales process is automatically shared with our ERP (operations) module. This forms the basis for production planning and scheduling, including:
- Confirming the bill of materials for the order and the date(s) needed
- Ordering parts not already in stock
- Commissioning any bespoke pre-production fabrication
The challenge for the Operations and Purchasing teams is to fulfil the promises made by sales, within budget and on time.
At departmental level, Flowlens allows Operations to view the pipeline, trust the information in it and understand what leads are likely to convert. This enables them to plan ahead in terms of purchasing. At a higher level, management can also make informed decisions such as staffing arrangements based on upcoming workloads.
Many manufacturing companies, particularly small firms, are not capitalising on potential revenue streams by proactively marketing and selling:
- service contracts
- spare parts
- preventative maintenance, and
- ongoing training to keep operators up to date.
With Flowlens, manufacturing businesses can be a partner to their customers and address their ongoing needs more effectively.