7 Ways to Drive Sales and Increase Profit in the Manufacturing Industry

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While the manufacturing industry is pretty straightforward (compared to some modern, digital industries), understanding how to increase its profits is far from simple. The manufacturing industry heavily relies on different sectors and factors, most of which get overlooked for higher production.

Here’s how to avoid this mistake and drive higher sales in the manufacturing industry. 

1. Improve the quality of the product

In the manufacturing industry, the public only values you by the quality of your products. Sure, a manufacturing team is doing a great job if they can develop enough units in a limited time, but individual buyers always focus on their products.

If your product is of higher quality, they’ll praise you, spread word of mouth and even give you positive reviews. They are also more likely to buy from you again, which may turn them into return customers. Just 20% of these return customers can make 80% of your profit. Most importantly, if you persevere enough, you may turn some return customers into brand ambassadors.

Another thing to understand is that the quality of your product has a positive effect on your pricing strategy. If your product is of higher quality than all your immediate competitors, you have the justification to charge more.

If you decide not to charge more, you’ll give your customers the impression of getting more value for the same money. This is one of the best USPs in the market and will make your marketing department’s job much easier. 

The only challenge is increasing the product quality without increasing the production cost too much. Otherwise, you risk damaging your profit. 

2. Develop a better e-commerce integration

Making many products is not a problem if you have a market for it. Sure, it takes more negotiation with your strategic vendors, better organization, and a scalable business model, but it’s doable. However, you need to ensure that it’s not in vain, and the best way to do so is with e‑commerce integrations for the manufacturing industry

With e-commerce integration, you’ll create direct-to-consumer sales. This is the dropshipping of the manufacturing industry. There’s no need to store these items and no time to worry about your ability to sell them. All you have to do is make them and send them straight from the assembly line to the customer.

Another great thing you get this way is a chance to reinvent and diversify your manufacturing. With great e-commerce integration, you’ll easily identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities. 

This means that you get an idea of what to make next. Remember, you don’t have to make everything. You can partner with other manufacturers to make bundles or turn them into strategic vendors. This way, you can keep a surplus of these items in your storage and use them to bolster your sales. 

3. Research the market 

Marketers are not the only ones creating a USP in the manufacturing industry. You see, when it comes to the USP in marketing, it’s a marketer’s job to convince the audience that the product is worth buying as it is. 

This is like taking a labyrinth puzzle and solving it by starting from the exit and tracing your way back to the entrance. We all did this as kids, and now, as an entrepreneur, you have the privilege of doing it again. 

However, in the manufacturing industry, you can research the market and see what type of product your customers want to buy and adjust your process to their needs. Keep in mind that this won’t always be doable. 

Everyone would want to make a product for $10 and sell it for $1,000, but is this possible? Why wouldn’t someone else make and sell that same product for $900, completely driving you out of the market? In other words, market research can help you set a viable pricing strategy. It could keep you informed of the price dynamics within the industry and help you stay ahead of the curve. 

4. Streamline your production process

One of the most important things to understand is that downtime costs money. The sooner you can make the product, the better. You cannot accept a new order before finishing the last one. You can accept it but risk penalty fees and reputational damage if you fail to deliver.

Streamlining will also increase your capacity. In other words, if we’re still talking about the scenario from the previous passage, you’ll even be able to accept (and complete) more work than before. By producing more items, your inventory will have a higher total value. Also, you’ll have a higher potential profit

Then, your profit is heavily affected by the cost of your manufacturing process. You’re significantly affecting your bottom line by cutting it down, making it more efficient, and reducing the time it takes. With a performance-driven manufacturing execution system, you get to earn a lot more. 

With a streamlined process, you’ll have an easier time making changes/adjustments when needed. Customer needs and market standards will evolve in time. You may not know when this will happen, but it’s inevitable. So, you’re aiming for a system that is responsive and easy to alter when the need arises.

5. Build stronger relationships with customers

When managing your production, you have some projections you hope will stay true. Sometimes you make a preordered batch, but this won’t always happen. When making 100 units, you hope to sell as many as possible (ideally all of them). Loyal customers play a huge role in this projection. 

Another thing to understand is that return customers progressively place larger orders over time. Sometimes, their first purchase is more of a reputation check. Even outside of this, all the stats indicate that the purchase value might increase with each new purchase. 

Only satisfied customers will praise you, but there’s a difference between those who will give you praise when asked directly and those who will go out of their way to mention you in a positive light. 

With loyal customers, you don’t even have to spend that much more on marketing. According to some estimates, converting a new customer costs you five times more than making an old (satisfied) customer return. 

Most importantly, many customers won’t leave feedback, even if they have valuable insight. They need to care enough to comment. 

6. Continuously develop

Simply put, in the manufacturing business, your development determines your competitiveness. If your product is stuck in the past, it won’t take long until consumers replace it with something else. 

The same goes for your production process since if someone else finds a way to make the same product in a simpler (cheaper) manner; it won’t be long until they completely outproduce you. Therefore, you can protect your manufacturing process (or business model) as intellectual property.

Keep in mind that it won’t always be the customers that change. Sometimes, market conditions will change. A material may run scarce, and you may have to switch to something else. Your R&D team will be responsible for figuring out if something like this is even doable. However, you can’t just get them on the case. To keep your R&D alive, you must invest in them over the years, hire talent, and ensure they have the necessary conditions.

7. Emphasize greater customer service

With better customer service, you’ll find yourself in an advantageous position. Your product doesn’t have to be perfect or flawless as long as you have great customer service.

The thing is that your manufacturing process doesn’t end when the customer buys the product. What if the product has a flaw? They’re unlikely to return the product or ask for a refund if it’s a minor one. Instead, they’ll contact your customer service to try and resolve an issue.

If your customer service manages to solve the issue, this will be a huge step toward building higher customer loyalty. Sometimes, it will be even better than if a problem never existed. No one expects things to run smoothly all the time, and it’s reassuring that they learn that if there is a more serious problem, someone can solve the issue.

Finally, they’ll gather this feedback and send it to the manufacturing department. There, the problem can be analyzed and solved on all future products. This way, your cost-effectiveness will go through the roof. 

Once you understand the role of manufacturing in the bigger picture, you won’t have trouble driving higher sales and profit

Your sales are determined by the quality of your product almost as much as by your marketing and USP. Unless you’re in the one-purchase industry (selling chess sets, for instance), you’ll depend on your reputation. Also, manufacturing is quickly evolving, and you need to keep up. This is the only way to drive sales and increase your profits. 

 

Author Bio: Srdjan Gombar is a veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.