3 Ways a Manufacturing Execution System Can Improve Customer Satisfaction
Implementing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can completely transform operations within a facility. By providing real-time communication between the manufacturing side of things and all other organizational functions, it can also have positive impacts beyond the shop floor. In fact, an MES can help significantly improve customer satisfaction for an organization. Most business leaders understand that retaining current customers is far less expensive than acquiring new ones. Consumers based their satisfaction levels on a variety of factors, including pricing, product quality, convenience, and speed of delivery.
Improved Delivery Time & Accuracy
Timing is everything in manufacturing, and whether those involved in the production process realize it or not, it can impact customer satisfaction as well. This is true in both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) sales. When customers place an order, they are generally given a timeline for when that order will be shipped and/or delivered. Delays in the manufacturing process can easily affect that timeline, and when customers do not receive their orders as promised, that can reflect on their overall opinion of the organization. Failure to receive shipments by the promised date is a major reason why consumers seek other companies from which to purchase.
According to a study by researchers with MESA, implementing a manufacturing execution system led to 66% of companies reporting a reduction in manufacturing time of 45% or greater. That impact was felt on the order and delivery side of things as well. In fact, 63% reported a reduced lead time of more than 35%. In our consumer-driven world, a short lead time is incredibly valuable and helps manufacturers stand out from others in the industry. Reducing the time to produce items and lead time for orders to make it through the production process and reach their recipients gives those utilizing an MES a big advantage.
Increased Product Quality = Fewer Returns
In addition to a faster production process, MES software also often helps the quality control side of manufacturing. This is because an MES improves a manufacturer’s ability to identify production errors that affect product quality and work order fulfillment. Errors can occur for several reasons, including equipment failure and operator error.
It’s important for customers to receive the item(s) they ordered and that they meet expected quality standards. Implementing an MES has consistently shown to improve customer rejects and returns by ensuring that all products leaving a facility meet those standards and that orders are fulfilled correctly in addition to on time. While some consumers are more understanding in times of mistakes, the majority view having to return an item as an unnecessary hassle. It increases the time needed to get them the correct product, which like other delivery delays, can negatively affect their overall satisfaction with the product and its manufacturer.
Having fewer returns also saves money on the production side of things. In rare cases, product errors can be fixed and returned to the customer. However, in most cases, successfully fulfilling a returned order means producing a new item rather than fixing the original. In either case, both production and fulfillment team members are spending more time than necessary filling an order than anticipated. This is costly in terms of both time and money.
Allows for Lower Product Pricing
Along with quality, price is another factor consumers take into consideration when making purchasing decisions. Manufacturers who are able to produce high-quality products at a lower cost are likely going to be more successful in terms of sales because the perceived value they are getting is higher than if they had to pay more for the same quality. Implementation of a manufacturing execution system and the operational improvements that tend to come with that have been shown to decrease the manufacturing cost per unit (by as much as 10%). Obviously, a lower cost of producing a product means a higher return on sales. It also keeps prices on the consumer side lower than they would need to be with less efficient production processes. It is no secret that price affects consumer purchasing decisions, so lower prices (without sacrificing quality) most often attract more buyers.
Other Benefits of a Manufacturing Execution System
In addition to improving customer satisfaction by getting higher quality products out to customers in a timely manner, an MES can have plenty of other transformational benefits for an organization. MESA found that implementing an MES solution led to an average rise in output by 15%, with the first pass yield increasing by 14%. What does this mean for manufacturers? Greater output and efficiencies throughout the manufacturing process then trickle down to increases in revenue and net profit margin.
Manufacturing Execution Systems allow organizations to gain greater control over different manufacturing processes. The real-time visibility this type of solution offers allows managers to minimize idle time, improve employee scheduling, and identify potential bottlenecks or issues well in advance. Overall, MES software gives leaders greater control throughout the process as it increases overall transparency, ease of communication, and efficiency.
If you’re looking for a way to transform your shop floor, prioritizing both productivity and customer satisfaction, implementing an MES solution may be a great solution. The team at IMCO software brings decades of experience helping manufacturers across industries find and implement solutions tailored to their needs. We would love to help you in your transformation. Contact us today to schedule a software demonstration to see how our proprietary software solutions and partner integrations can work together to create greater efficiencies and improve organizational health.
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