Repricing has long been a headache for manufacturers who rely on outdated, manual organizational tools like spreadsheets. Simply finding information can pose a time-consuming challenge; employees might need to sift through dozens of documents to find the information they need for a single price update.
In the past, manufacturers could put off fixing this issue because repricing was an annual task. However, the advent of COVID-19 led to labor shortages, material deficits, and transportation issues — and consequently, production costs skyrocketed, compelling manufacturing companies to reprice much more often to stay afloat.
With repricing becoming a more frequent task, manufacturers must update their outdated procedures. Automating their repricing via digitalization can help manufacturers reduce their exposure to inefficiency, human error, and revenue leaks.
The Pitfalls of Manual Repricing
Companies that use manual methods of repricing are substantially undermining their operational efficiency, customer service, and profits. As Gerent’s Manufacturing Practice Leader, Anandhi Narayanan, noted in a recent white paper, "Manual repricing isn't a lean process. It's cumbersome and messy; it lacks auditability."
Specifically, manual repricing has been found to cause three key issues:
Trackability Problems: Plutoshift, a performance monitoring software company in manufacturing, found that 48% of manufacturers “rely on spreadsheets or other ‘manual data entry documents’” instead of a centralized contract hub. As a result, these manufacturers are forced to sift through dozens of spreadsheets, PDFs, and emails when searching for a specific contract. This lack of automation causes inefficient repricing that is prone to human error.
Poor Customer Service: Today, good customer service is no longer a request but an outright expectation from consumers. However, trackability issues can make it difficult for manufacturing employees to locate information or even trust their findings. As a result, they may struggle to provide timely service to clients and could even give incorrect or outdated information. Given that consumers have reported that they would leave a brand after just two poor experiences, manufacturers must update these disorganized, manual methods or else risk losing business.
Reduced Revenue: Due to current increased production costs, manufacturers now have to update their prices near-monthly, according to Narayanan. Failure to do so could result in lower profits and even financial losses. However, completing a manual update often takes longer than a month. Narayanan estimates that some companies can require up to six to eight weeks, so “by the time [they] finish repricing for January, [they’re] already two or three weeks behind on February rates."
Thus, manufacturers should consider switching from manual to digitalized repricing — to increase efficiency, improve customer service, and reduce the likelihood of expensive human error.
How Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Can Help
Manufacturers can significantly streamline their repricing process by using a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to organize client information, institute process workflows, and even receive important updates in real time. However, not all CRMs offer the same benefits and functionalities.
For manufacturers, the top CRM is Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud. This specialized tool facilitates better, more efficient repricing efforts by providing:
- A Centralized Information Hub: Rather than generating a new contract for every price change, Manufacturing Cloud lets companies maintain and update a single shared document that all parties can access at any time.
- An Efficient Workflow Between Teams: With the centralized information hub, a company’s sales and operations team can better collaborate to fulfill sales orders.
- Automatic Reminders: Manufacturing Cloud gives companies the ability to set automatic reminders for important dates, e.g., for yearly renewals. Resultantly, employees can utilize their time elsewhere, and there is a lower risk for human error.
- Instant Access to Performance Reports: Manufacturing Cloud’s automated reporting notifies sales representatives when deals underperform, allowing them to quickly amend the issue by canceling or revising the contracts.
- Built-In Analytics Tools: Manufacturing Cloud comes with valuable tools that help companies identify trends, make informed decisions, and utilize their resources strategically.
With the current volatile market conditions, manufacturers can no longer afford to postpone revamping their repricing strategy. Thankfully, specialized solutions exist, and companies can receive expert assistance to help determine the best decision for them.
To learn more about the value Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can bring to your organization, read our white paper, ”Eliminate Revenue Leaks and Improve Contracting Efficiency with Digitalized Repricing,” or speak with one of our solution leaders today!