Flowlens & the Plant and Machinery Industry
Flowlens is an integrated, cloud based ERP, CRM and Service platform. This joined-up thinking ensures that you have full visibility of the sales and production processes. This increases profit margins, and reduces wastage while providing an improved customer experience. Plant & Machinery 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 visibility of key processes. Flowlens’ solution includes many features that enable Plant & Machinery firms to unleash their potential such as:
- Enquiry and Sales Pipeline Management
- Real-time Inventory Management
- Real-time Dashboard Analytics and Reporting
Sales & Marketing
Due to the customised element of design and manufacture of plant and/or equipment, Plant & Machinery organisations require its sales staff to have a level of technical competence at the sales stage. This results in:
- Significant liaison between sales executives and operations teams to prepare designs, proposals and costings
- Sales executives talking to lots of potential customers, often keeping their own manual progress records in spreadsheets
- Other siloed spreadsheets and documentation such as quotations (including multiple revisions), order acknowledgements and contract agreements
The challenges for plant and machinery organisations and manufacturing businesses in general, are:
- Avoiding pre-sales technical/design resource becoming overloaded by poorly qualified requests for drawings and quotations
- Ensuring sales staff have the information required to create accurate proposals for the customer.
Flowlens brings best practice and understanding of manufacturing businesses to streamline processes, reduce wasted effort and reduce data duplication by removing silos and sharing information to provide complete visibility.
The visibility Flowlens 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.
As Flowlens is built around a central contact database, information gathered in the sales process is automatically shared with our ERP (operations) module and forms the basis for production scheduling, including:
- Confirming the bill of materials for the order and the date(s) needed
- Ordering parts that are out of stock
- Commissioning any customised pre-production fabrication
- Manufacturing sub-assemblies
Operations have the challenge of fulfilling the promises made by sales, within budget and on time. At departmental level, Operations can view the pipeline, trust the information in it and understand what leads are likely to convert. This allows them to plan ahead in terms of purchasing and people.
Many manufacturing companies, particularly smaller firms, do not capitalise on potential revenue streams by proactively marketing and selling:
- Service & Maintenance contracts
- Spare/replacement parts
- Operator training
Customer contract management provides a holistic customer experience, creating an additional revenue stream that’s easy to manage. Customers appreciate value-added assistance for their plant, e.g. services, spare parts and information on other plant that they may require in the future which in turn, builds brand loyalty.
With Flowlens, manufacturing businesses can be a partner 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, request training, log feedback and much more through the online customer portal.