From Factory to Customer: How to Smooth out a Rough Sales Process

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It can be difficult trying to find the bottleneck in your sales process. It could be a flaw in your factory’s production line, a disgruntled employee who’s being lazy with customer support, or perhaps a terrible distribution center that’s severely affecting delivery times.

From start to finish, here are points to consider when trying to weed out bottlenecks to improve the efficiency in your entire sales process.

Manufacturing Process

If you run your own factory, then you’ll know that every machine and staff member on the production line has to work in harmony. If any gear turns too slowly, it could spell disaster and completely destroy an entire batch of your product. Whether you like it or not, you need to examine your manufacturing line. Everything from safety checks to machine inspections has to be carried out, and you need to receive regular employee reports to determine if they’re the ones slowing down the manufacturing process.

Distribution Woes

A truck driver that makes regular stops on a long-distance transport journey could be the sole reason why your entire sales process has ground to a halt. Make sure that your driver meets their quota and reaches their destination in a fairly allotted time, but don’t give them free reign on how long it should take. Ensure that your products are being tracked in real-time so you can see if the route is slow, if they are taking detours or if it’s simply just a long route and that your expectations are higher than they should be.

Warehouse Troubles

An efficient warehouse is a productive one. Some companies employ the use of robots that automatically grab stock whenever needed, but that’s only needed if you have the time, money and effort to program them and organise your warehouse to support it. Otherwise, it’s down to a combination of a man and computer to correctly organise, count and grab stock from the shelves to prepare.

Retail Meltdown

Whether you run a food service or a clothing store, assuming you have a well-oiled POS system and plenty of staff, you shouldn’t ever encounter problems until you have an extremely high volume of customers coming in and out of your store. In some cases, your online orders might exceed your expectations and forecasts. While it’s a good thing you are making more sales, you might want to consider increasing production levels or opening a second production line if you find nothing wrong with your sales process. Occasionally, disgruntled staff or poor customer service might be the bottleneck that’s causing more failed sales than you’d like. In this case, it’s a good idea to speak with your staff to determine the issue.

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Know When to Expand

Sometimes, you just have to give yourself a pat on the back and realize you’re not equipped to handle your current volume of orders. This is a good sign because it means you’re expanding and exceeding expectations, but it’s also a stressful time because it means you are forced to expand to keep up with demand. So hire more employees, build a second manufacturing line or open a second location to continue growing your brand.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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