Manufacturing companies have evolved differently than other types of companies during the last decade and face specific challenges. In other words, manufacturing companies are switching from product-centric to consumer-centric strategies. Not so long ago, a company’s approach would be to make products and then try to sell them to customers. Nowadays, the approach is different: they first try to understand what the customer really needs and then design and create products accordingly. Traditionally, manufacturing business processes do not include the customer in all stages; but this is about to change.

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CRM vendors addressing manufacturing companies’ needs did not create specific functionalities for this industry, but enhanced existing ones. Here are some of them, which can be found in most CRM services, and are very important for CRM manufacturing companies:

1) Customer service allows CRM manufacturing companies to create, assign, escalate, and resolve issues, also called cases or tickets. Valuable information is provided by customers during this process, which can then be used to improve the quality of products and services.

2) A customer portal can be a very efficient tool to get feedback from customers about their consumption and usage habits. This information can be gathered into a single data source and then used to determine changes in customer behavior.

3) Reporting and analytics will provide both sales and production departments with the information needed to determine the real needs of customers and trends in their demands. Analyzing historical sales will not only allow sales to create customized campaigns, but will also influence future production volume.

4) A solutions knowledge base will help customer service representatives solve problems more easily, but will also allow the production department to understand what problems and challenges customers are facing when using the products.

5) Project management integration links tasks and processes from both departments, making them collaborate and work more efficiently.

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