Toyota famously implemented Kaizen, the process of small but continuous and incremental improvements. Toyota today is a top brand that implemented the philosophy of improvement of processes through change. Six Sigma draws from this and enhances it with emphasis on teamwork, improved morale, quality circles, suggestions for improvement and personal discipline. Since collaboration and communication are essential for all these to work, manufacturing industries can achieve continuing improvements through the use of contact center software in their operations.
Sorting and interconnects
The principles of SEIRI and SEITION also apply to communications and collaboration. Employees need to sort out things and stay organized. This applies to communications in which one must have well-defined and ordered lists of vendors, customers and colleagues in various departments connected with manufacturing. The contact center software and its connected CRM helps keep such data well defined and accessible for fast connects with people who are involved.
A typical scenario in manufacturing is one in which a customer comes up with a requirement. This leads to sales people contacting production, design and vendors to coordinate matters in a conference held through the omnichannel contact center software audio-video conferencing feature. Others may be invited to join based on ongoing discussions. Being organized helps key personnel quickly rope in employees to join and arrive at a decision. No one wastes time searching for contacts or for documents that must be exchanged. Collaboration through call center software reduces chances of errors and leads to fast production and customer satisfaction.
Coordinating decentralized manufacturing
Manufacturing is not centralized and that leads to communication gaps between internal teams as well as with external stakeholders such as vendors, sub-contractors, suppliers of components and sub-assemblies as well as customers. Production side itself, putting aside customers, is complex. Timely delivery depends on timely supplies of raw materials as well as component parts and sub-assemblies. The difficulty of synchronizing all these decentralized activities becomes easy when you have contact center solution at the core for communication, interaction and collaboration.
A machine manufacturer depends on raw material inputs as well as bought out components and also sub-assemblies sourced from external vendors. Further, if the company has production going in different plants, then coordination becomes a challenge. This is easily overcome by the use of the contact center software that helps everyone chain stay in the loop. You have standardization of processes that assures superior quality product made in the shortest time and at the least expense.
How would key responsible persons know that those down the line are following standardized practices or not? Here again, the contact center software’s WebRTC video within video can prove to be an excellent training tool as well as monitoring tool. Production engineers need not move physically to the plant to know what is going on—the video shows it.
Collaborating with the customers
Many things can go wrong simply due to lack of proper communication pipeline. A customer may show a design to a sales executive who may or may not understand all that it implies and passes it on to the engineering section. They revert with comments and the process goes on entailing delay. Worse, the product may not be as specified by the customer and then the blame game starts. Short-circuit all these in your production by getting everyone together. You could even invite a remote consultant to offer comments. Using the contact center software for collaboration leads to customer delight.
The same applies in after sales service when the customer has to go through “channels” to find a solution. For instance, if there is a problem in a machine, the problems can be shown via video conference to engineers and they, in turn, can recommend solutions. You keep old customers and can conduct campaigns for new customers too.
Sales campaigns are vital to keep order books filled. Use the omnichannel contact center software’s outbound campaign feature to send out SMS broadcasts, cold call likely targets and spread promotions across social media through a single interface, capture leads and let sales people follow up. You gain insights from surveys and these, analyzed by the analytics module, help you in incremental improvements.
Employee training is part of the incremental improvement process. Should you be operating with branch offices spread across different locations then training could be difficult. However, with the conferencing feature of contact center software it becomes easy. Record a session and make it available for access. Conduct live sessions. Use one to one training or group training. The software permits it all to enhance incremental and continuous improvements.
Perfection is not easy to achieve in manufacturing but consistency and improvements are entirely achievable through better collaboration and speedy interaction. Contact center solutions are the hub around which your manufacturing operations can improve, evolve and grow.