The nine-foot-long Steinway Model D concert grand piano is a masterpiece of art, craftsmanship and engineering excellence. In almost every way imaginable, this instrument sets the bar for performance-grade grand pianos. It takes just about one year for Steinway to turn one of these out.
The people who ultimately buy these instruments are typically representing teaching institutions, concert venues and perhaps a few performing artists. They understand the requirements that drive this protracted production cycle and they expect it as a necessary part of achieving the quality-end product they demand.
In most manufacturing markets, companies are not given that kind of latitude. Most companies have to wrestle with the competing requirements of rapid response to customer orders and reduction of costs associated with inventory and manufacturing processes. When you throw in the need for high levels of customization, you’re talking about a very large challenge.
Speed is the new differentiator. High quality and low price are now baseline requirements. If you don’t build quality and price competitively, the point is moot because you are likely on your way out of business. Speed is a key comparative element in the buyer’s decision-making process.
Why do we like Amazon? Why do we like online shopping? It is for convenience and for speed. Look what people give up by not buying from brick and mortar institutions. They can’t really see the product; they can’t feel it or observe it in action. They see photos, read descriptions and maybe look at reviews.
They click on the buy button and immediately start tracking the shipping of their new widget. It is delivered to their door the following day.
Where is Speed Important?
Speed now is impacting nearly every phase of business. Products must be conceived, designed, prototyped and produced quickly. Once in the market, consumers and business purchasers alike want a highly customized or personalized product accurately quoted, built and delivered in the least amount of time possible.
This means the ordering system must facilitate high level s of configuration management. The inventory system must provide low stock outs and high availability of parts and supplies. The pricing system must quickly and accurately track and build quotes. The manufacturing process must be able to accommodate mixed models on a single line without building in additional constraints for the rest of the manufacturing operation.
Who Needs Speed?
Everyone along the way is requiring faster response. The sales people want instant pricing for highly customized products. Inventory managers want systems that assure adequate inventory without incurring larger costs and few inventory turns. Plant managers want to see “specials” built quickly and profitably without negatively impacting the rest of their production schedule.
How Does Control Facilitate Speed?
Control ERP from Cincom is a thoroughbred system that delivers speed, agility and responsiveness throughout the production process and across the entire Order-to-Value cycle. Each critical process is essentially “souped up” to deliver the ultimate in customer responsiveness in the complex manufacturing arena.
Starting with the best configuration technology in the industry, Control provides the sales operation and engineering group with a direct line of collaborative communication. This is tied-in with essential back-office functions such as pricing, inventory and scheduling. The field-based sales rep can effectively build a proposal right in the customer office.
Control also delivers accelerated processes via its acclaimed role-tailored user experience. Everyone using the system, chief clerks to chief executives, have a presentation screen that presents exactly what the individual needs to do their job. Performance metrics, predictive analytics, workflow access, KPIs and alerts are each customized to the needs of the user.
This reduces the time required to gather data for decision-making and to execute tasks based on real information. The system is built to enhance collaboration through the integration of people, processes and information.
The end result is accelerated business processes that still facilitate the highest quality and compliance requirements along with exceptional operational economies.
Speed can be a powerful differentiator. Control will help you achieve customer satisfaction by making your customer experience more responsive.
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