Reflecting on your business’s processes, systems, and culture is not only important in identifying potential gaps, but can also uncover impacts on employee and customer retention. Don’t take the insight personally – it’s not a reflection on yourself, but it can help you see where improvements can be made. It’s hard to ignore that the incoming workforce is also challenging the manufacturing industry to evolve. Investing in updated systems and processes is about more than just you.
A common reason executives don’t invest in system upgrades is that their legacy system is getting the job done. You might be retrieving the information you need to make decisions, but how much time and effort is dedicated to that task? Maybe individuals in your organization are juggling multiple spreadsheets, which is a loss of productivity and efficiency. Executives also sometimes can’t relate to what other employees are experiencing because they aren’t in the day-to-day grind of using the system. Others can see it as a daunting effort to upgrade or implement something new, but the investment can be beneficial long term.
Employees want to be challenged, productive and show value; therefore, equipping them with the right technology is essential to execute job duties. Flexibility has a multitude of definitions when applied to company culture. Regarding technology systems, employees want personalized experiences, various communication channels, and the ability to easily access information from anywhere with multi-device capabilities (if WFH applies to your organization). An intuitive user experience with a modern interface will add to employee delight. Any system will require training, but you still want an easy-to-use design, so time spent understanding is minimized. New technology is an investment in your employees.
First, ensure your brand aligns throughout your customer’s journey. You don’t want a stellar sales experience and then have it fall apart down the road, affecting your overall customer satisfaction. In addition, customers want to access information. How easy is it to access the information they require? Is information only provided when interacting with a customer representative, or can they access it independently? It’s essential to provide customers with portals, websites, and EDI that contains information like order status and inventory availability. The easier it is to do business with you, the more likely customers will stay and return.
Overall, new, updated systems make your organization more attractive to work for and with. They can be used as a recruitment, retention, and sales tool that enhances your ability to make better decisions.