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5 Ways Your Inventory and Supply Chain Management Impact Customer Service

Customers are every business’ most valuable asset. Without the customer, there would be no business to speak of. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to keep your customers happy, ensuring that old ones return to you for their wares and finding new ones to expose your products to.

When many people consider customer service, they think of customer facing employees: sales representatives, customer service representatives, call center representatives, and anyone else who directly interacts with the customer. But everything your business does has an impact on the customer somewhere down the line.

When considering the customer, consider these five ways that your inventory and supply chain management can impact your service.

Backorders Hurt Your Customer Base
Any discreet manufacturing operation has the potential to suffer from lengthy backorders. Through proper management and utilizing an excellent enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite, you can ensure that backorders are kept to the bare minimum. After all, if you don’t have the product they want when they want it, they will go find a competitor that has a similar product now.

Ensuring that your products are available for immediate shipment will keep customers happy and your business healthy.

Customers Love Honest Sellers
This is especially pertinent to discreet manufacturing operations that specialize in some sort of customizable product. Keep your customers aware of what is going to occur and when. If your product needs to be manufactured specifically for a customer and it will be three weeks until you are able to ship it, tell them before they agree to buy. If you tell them too early, they may avoid buying altogether. If you tell them after they’ve paid, they’ll feel cheated.

Ultimately, customers love honest, up front retailers and manufacturers.

Keeping Items On Hand Keeps the Gears Moving
Obviously, you’ll want to keep some of your finished goods on hand for influxes in purchases, but you’ll also want to keep a few on hand in case of a manufacturer defect. If a customer has a product that doesn’t work properly, through no fault of their own, they’ll want a replacement very quickly. That’s where your inventory can have a huge impact on whether that customer becomes a happy customer once again or harbors resentment and won’t be returning for their next product.

Slim Down Your Inventory to Reduce Customer Costs
Customers love a great deal. They’re delighted when they see a price that is lower for a similar product. To compete with other, possibly lower priced, competitors, you’ll want to keep the cost to the customer as low as possible.

Slimming down your inventory on both the product side and materials side will help reduce inventory costs and prevent any time-sensitive materials from becoming part of your waste. This not only reduces the price for the customers and drives more business; it also increases your profit margin dramatically.

Customers Benefit from Streamlined and Standardized Processes
Unless you’re in the business of manufacturing handcrafted items, customers expect every item put out to be of the exact same quality. To avoid manufacturer defects, and therefore unhappy customers, use an ERP software suite to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your production line and manufacturing process.

Ensuring that your standard practices are optimal will help your customers receive a reliable product. In the future, they’ll rely on you because of this.

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