Learn how to create an environment in which sales and production teams work together for the benefit of the company as a whole.
By Mark Coudray
This is the beauty of a proactively conceived business model. You’re anticipating the needs and wants of the customer or market. By crafting value points around these wants and needs, your company is seen as the ideal match or solution. To this you also add the confidence of knowing what you propose in your offer is absolutely attainable and achievable. There is no cross-your-fingers hope or get-it-done promise—both of which lead to failed expectations and disappointments. If anything, you have the opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations, and that is always a good thing for you.
From the production side, when every job that comes through fits perfectly, they have the opportunity to continuously learn and refine. Custom manufacturing is one of the most difficult kinds of processes to manage because every situation is unique and it’s very hard to identify opportunities, trends, and patterns. When you work within a controlled variable environment, all of these areas become readily apparent and you overcome the learning curve quickly.
On top of all this is the reduction of tension, stress, and resentment for having to continually figure out how to get the job done. Production begins to anticipate orders rather than dread them. Production meetings, associated expediting, and customer contact decrease as well, meaning saved time and resources.
Moving forward, both production and sales have the opportunity to add capabilities and services to further enhance the value to the market. Within a short period of time your company is seen as the dominant market leader with more knowledge and expertise in your particular area.
Lastly, you don’t need to limit the area of specialization to just one market or niche. Segmenting two to four areas reduces the business’s overall financial and marketing exposure. This helps to insulate the operation as normal business or seasonal cycles affect demand. Risk is diminished and overall performance enhanced. Going one step further, it’s possible to include the same value propositions to multiple market segments. This shortens the learning curve and reduces the cost to implement each new sales or marketing model.
Mark A. Coudray is president of Coudray Graphic Technologies, San Luis Obispo, CA. He has served as a director of (SGIA) and as chairman of the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. Coudray has authored more than 250 papers and articles over the last 20 years, and he received the SGIA’s Swormstedt Award in 1992 and 1994. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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