Prospects, customers, and channel partners choose who they’re going to do business with based on product quality, trust, and speed. Every manufacturer has a reputation for quality that speaks louder than any other aspect of their operations.
Making that reputation a solid one your company can grow on for years to become starts by focusing on customer-driven quality metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Striking a balance between external, customer-driven quality metrics and internal, efficiency-oriented ones is a challenge every manufacturer confronts as they grow. Excelling on both is a challenge and creates a strong foundation for growing a manufacturing business today. Making manufacturing quality what you’re most known for is also the quickest way to increase revenue.
B2B buyers rely more on independent articles, industry analyst and crowdsourced product reviews than ever before. According to Forrester, 74% of B2B buyers research half or more of their work purchases online before buying. The same study found that 30% make half or more of their work purchases online today, and 56% expect to make half or more of their work purchases online in 3 years.
Making quality so ingrained and a part of manufacturing operations that the analyst, industry press and review sites show up on the front page of search results when prospects Google your company & product names is a must-have to compete today.
The following are the seven ways product quality is winning more customers today:
1. Build a reputation for excelling at the most challenging, stringent quality standards in your industry, especially if you produce medical devices.
Marketing, lead generation, and selling programs that show measurable results help prospects see themselves accomplishing the same, attaining their quality goals.
In medical device manufacturing expertise in FDA, 21 CFR Part II, and ISO standards are invaluable in attracting new prospects who are willing to pay a premium price for the highest quality products. Excelling at meeting and exceeding quality standards pays in these highly regulated and compliance-based prospect segments.
2. Look to find ways for your customers to validate your product quality by arranging calls with industry analysts, industry press and encourage them to leave reviews online.
A strong reputation for quality validated by customers is what industry analysts, the press, and the blogging community need to keep producing content. All three of these groups of influencers are looking for compelling stories of how B2B products and services are solving customer problems.
Add to this the proliferation of review sites that bring Amazon and Yelp-like features to product reviews, and the implications are clear. Excelling on this dimension of product quality generates new opportunities.
3. Use the strong product quality foundation to create new products for new markets, attracting entirely new prospects and customers.
Every manufacturer knows about the areas of opportunity in their markets and industries no one has the production capacity to focus on. The more customer-driven quality is, the more opportunities there are to invest the time savings into new product development, spin off product line extensions, and creating entirely new markets.
Using product quality strengths as a foundation, manufacturers are successfully opening up new markets adjacent to those they are in today.
4. When product quality becomes a core strength of any manufacturing business, faster response times, greater accuracy, and the potential to improve every customer interaction is possible.
Getting in control of product quality and minimizing its potential to disrupt operations is the first step in accelerating any manufacturer’s ability to compete. There are too many benefits to list here of how much product quality accelerates a production operation.
The bottom line is that it leads to excelling on the dimensions that matter most, and that is the customer’s expectations and needs for on-time delivery and perfect order performance.
5. Trust is the most powerful sales accelerator there is, and it‘s earned every time a product or service delivers more than is expected, earning praise from customers and new prospects via word of mouth.
Making a greater level of trust happen starts by revolutionizing quality and making it so strong it redefines daily customer experiences. Manufacturers often use Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to measure the relative level of customer satisfaction in their customer bases.
Knowing how customers perceive quality and which areas are the most in need of improvement is essential. NPS also has a word of mouth index which is a great way to track how quality is impacting referrals and new prospects.
6. Improving product quality reduces Return Material Authorizations (RMA), warranty costs, service recovery and recall costs all leading to less customer churn.
Customers leave when product quality drops below their minimum expectations. They also leave when a manufacturer’s services department becomes too difficult to deal with due to outdated, bureaucratic procedures and when product recalls making items worthless.
Of the seven areas where product quality makes the most measurable impact, these areas are the most measurable. Manufacturing Intelligence software is capable of providing insights into which points of failure are driving the worst possible outcomes for customers.
7. Launching Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) as a growth strategy requires product quality be the most scalable, high-speed process in manufacturing.
Pursuing a CPQ strategy that provides a range of products customizable by customers requires each phase of product quality management and compliance be fine-tuned and very efficient. It’s possible to launch a CPQ strategy anytime.
Quality processes and systems must be scalable, quick, integrated and reliable to excel and realize the potential this product and selling strategy offers.
Learn how North Industrial Manufacturing uses IQMS to maintain a defects quality standard of zero parts per million (ppm) and achieve General Motors Co.’s Supplier Quality Excellence Award:
Arefi, M. F., Tavakoli, G., Heidari, O., & Lashkajani, M. M. (2016). Towards a Conceptual Model of Customer Satisfaction for Manufacturing Organizations and Presenting a Three-Phases Approach. International Journal Of Management, Accounting & Economics, 3(7), 411-443.
Chavez, R., Yu, W., Jacobs, M. A., & Feng, M. (2017). Data-driven supply chains, manufacturing capability, and customer satisfaction. Production Planning & Control, 28(11/12), 906-918.
Romdhane, T. B., Badreddine, A., & Sansa, M. (2017). A new model to implement Six Sigma in small- and medium-sized enterprises. International Journal Of Production Research, 55(15), 4319-4340.
Suchánek, P., & Králová, M. (2015). The Influence of Customer Satisfaction on Corporate Performance. Proceedings Of The European Conference On Management, Leadership & Governance, 454-461.