Manufacturers tend to mine data from disparate systems in order to make decisions about their products. You pull historical numbers in order to predict what may happen if you change something or decide to launch a new SKU. It truly is the stuff of crystal balls and magic lanterns.
Looking in from the outside, the inherent problem is that fact that past performance is called on to predict future behavior. While there is something to be said about trend lines, this prediction method ignores thousands of other data points that could paint a better picture.
The Problem is the Source
Today, data is sourced from actual orders. That’s great for knowing where the customer settled, but ignores all of the iterations that came before. It is in that data that true market decisions must be made.
Since we know that we live in a world of people changing their mind, and actually have data that an average kitchen endures between three and eleven iterations before an order is made, why would we trend from the order?
Back the Process Up
If you hired the right software to take your dealer orders, you could have this information at your fingertips. You see, the magic is in the quote, not the order.
Some earth-shattering data to consider:
- What styles, finishes and species win or lose
- Where movement between these selections takes the consumer up and down your product line
- Where a quote disappears from your product (perhaps to be won by a competitor)
- What modifications tend to get removed
- Where a back-log of quotes tends to sit; allowing pin-point promotions to dislodge
- Where pricing may be an obstacle in your line
What if that software could give you these quote trends in a feed that actually allowed you to make meaningful business decisions based on actual customer needs?
This model employee actually exists. And, with minimum effort, can send you clean, electronic orders that you can consume as a key-able order, or to be entered directly to production.
The truth is, you don’t need a crystal ball or a magic lantern to position your product in the 21st century. You just need the right software hire to manage it for you.