In most manufacturing companies, a large portion of business is generated from resellers, distributors and dealers. Manufacturers sell to the distributors who in turn, sell to their end customers. In certain industries, distributors sell to dealers who sell to end customers. Although some CRM and ERP software have the ability to capture end customer information, there are a number of challenges to overcome in this area. Even when this data is captured, the question still remains how to turn this into valuable and usable information. We believe end customer information is critical in achieving the Customer 360 Degree Vision.
End customer information can be difficult to acquire because distributors lack the incentive to provide it to manufacturers. Even when distributors provide this data, it is challenging to uniquely identify end customers when multiple distributors are in business with the same end customer. Data quality is typically poor, often incomplete with misspelled names and differing address formats.
Manufacturer systems are typically geared towards order fulfilment, therefore capturing end customer information is not a necessity or priority. The self-service capabilities provided by the manufacturer either do not allow capturing end customer information or offer it is an optional feature.
Companies in different industries acquire end customer information by various methods including the following:
The benefits reaped by some of the companies who have been able to capture and cleanse end customer information are:
Many companies are coming closer to their Customer 360 Degree Vision, but still have a long way to go. Capturing, cleansing, and correctly identifying a unique customer record is a difficult task but worth the effort, if companies can put the information to good use.
We work with clients of all sizes and industries to develop business visions and strategies for their Sales and Service & Support organizations that achieve long term, measurable success through truly transformed customer relationships.