6th Day

6 important pain points you need to improve

Today’s post will be more manufacturing business focused – but this can be adapted to your workplace… The 6 important pain points in the process – what are they? 

Usually there are 6 areas within the business where there are pain points; process areas end to end that could be improved, adapted and transformed (remember those 8 wastes!) 

We are going to run you through our Process Map and identify those areas, why they are important to know, how these areas affect your interactions with potential or current clients and how to go about arranging your digital process improvement plan. 

Pain Points
Enquiry and quote logo

Enquiry & Quote – The start of your manufacturing process

This is a KEY process; if at this stage there are issues, customers will not stick around. You have all heard of first impressions right? Everyone wants it to be as easy as a click of the button and be able to enquire, contact and get quotes efficiently.

An example of a pain point:

Difficult to track a quote as it has only been recorded via paper/email and not inputted into a system; which leads to no organised turnaround of quotes and tracking how many are coming through.  

Order logo

Order – Where the magic begins…

This is where you need to be accurate as mistakes are easy to make here.. But at a cost if it messes up your inventory

An example of a pain point: 

Orders usually manually inputted which leads to no transparency and difficult to measure quote to order conversions. These figures and KPI’s are super important to gain for reports; to see where you need to improve and stay ahead of the competition.  

Production, maintenance, warehouse logo

Production, Maintenance and Warehouse Management –

You’ve got to this stage, this is where you start producing the product… You want as little mistakes and as accurate results as ever with fulfilling the orders.

An example of a pain point: 

A stand-alone production system which is difficult to track work in progress, machine performance, a time lag in monitoring stock levels if at all able to monitor them and a reactive maintenance system. All of these can cause a huge problem with the TIME waste, as well as not having visibility of what is happening at what time… if you don’t know what is going on it doesn’t put much faith in your customers! People will lean towards a efficiently run business rather than a poorly run one every day.  

Despatch logo

Despatch –

This is always an area of frustration and possible complaints from your end and the customer’s end throughout the processes. Especially if you are an SME, complaints is not a good thing of course… as it’s a known fact people look at reviews. What’s the first thing you do when you’re researching a product, restaurant or service? Read the reviews, or even sometimes read the bad ones. Getting your despatch process right could make or break a business.

An example of a pain point: 

Third party despatching with no transparency of goods tracking for you or your customer. If you don’t have visibility, this is very risky as this leaves you with no answers to give to your customer who’s receiving the product. If you DO have visibility of tracking but your customer doesn’t, at least you can contact and keep them updated, although this falls into the wastes of unneccessary contacting when an automated tracking system for both parties would be suffice.  

After service logo

After service –

Leading on from your despatch, these go hand in hand. Without providing your customer with tracking details, despatch notes or any other information this leads to the customer contacting you

An example of a pain point: 

Manual customer service processes with no information to provide to the customer. As discussed in Despatch, if your customer has no information then this leads to frustration, lack of trust and bad reviews. Also, the timing of after service is vital, nobody likes it when you get a response 7 days later – however if you are having to manually search and find a despatch this can be time consuming.  

Invoice and Payment logo

Invoice and Payment –

Finally the last step, sending out those invoices and receiving payments. This is detrimental to both parties as after all, the end goal is payment.

An example of a pain point:  

Manual processing of invoice and invoice queries, with pressure building up around month ends and end of tax years with cash often held up in order to cash process. Every process relies on the other and if we are waiting for invoices to be manually processes, payments will then get held and everything will be backlogged. A lot of processes lead back to time management, as once you adapt and improve your processes time is saved and your business runs smoothly.

Why over process?

Something like your invoices can be automated, saving your admin much more time and being able to complete other tasks. As well as that, it also ensures your customer you are on the ball, providing them with everything they need quickly.  

You can use this Process Map for your own business whether it is a steel factory or an online clothing store, but it’s important to review your processes regularly in time with current events.

Gather feedback from customers and even just the public on what they want to see, but also go one step ahead and provide a spectacular service which outshines your competitors. If YOU need some help identifying your business pain points, why not speak to us! We can organise a Digital Baseline Review and start your journey of digital process improvement to transform your business! 

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about Hana:

When Hana founded HanaTech her vision was clear: to support local businesses to improve their efficiency and competitiveness through increasing their use of technology. She is passionate about making technology simple, accessible and enabling, to offer a baseline from which to truly innovate, and supporting Traditional Factories to become Factories of the Future, one quick win at a time.

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At HanaTech we specialise in Digital Process Improvement in the West Midlands and beyond. We support local business within UK Manufacturing to become more successful at competing and surviving in a Digital World, transforming Traditional Factories towards Factories of the Future, One Quick Win at a Time…


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