Any business that makes any type of product; whether it is used by other businesses as spare parts or components assembled into something else; or a product that is directly used, eaten or otherwise consumed by the general public; cannot survive very long if their customers are not satisfied with the product. From the day that a product is first introduced and comes off the production line it has cost money to make and needs to move on into the hands of a customer, who is willing to pay for it, if it is to earn its maker any return on the production investment.
Finding Customers For Your Product
Businessmen can and many do spend a lot of money on things like public relations, market research, advertising and sending out sales persons; all with one aim in mind – to find customers and take orders from them. If this is successful, the orders start to flow in to the production facility; the workforce have plenty of work to do making the products that have been ordered.
Retaining Your Customers
Quality control and inspection procedures ensure that the product will live up to customer expectations and fulfill their needs. Remember, a satisfied customer is more than likely to be a repeat customer. Your business does all of this and, at first, you were rewarded by an ever growing order book; but, then, there was a noticeable drop off in order levels – what were you doing wrong?
Customers want more than just the product they are buying; they want it at a price they can afford; but, more importantly, they want to have it in their possession no later than the time when they intend to use it. Suppliers who deliver late are unlikely to retain customers.
Don’t Be Late
Lateness may result if your incoming order volume exceeds your production capacity; expansion might be needed and there are production planning and stockholding systems that will also assist you to complete orders on time. However, once you have finished producing a customer’s order (or filled it as we often say); the product is still not delivered into the customer’s hands; so you have not reached actual customer fulfillment.
Maybe your business is not large enough to have the resources to invest in a total Product Fulfillment Service for the benefit of your customers? However, without it, you may lose your customers; maybe you should consider out sourcing this part of your business?
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