Organizations in process manufacturing, or chemical manufacturing, are the catalysts for creating just about everything we know and love. Whether it’s the chemical that makes your paint stick to the wall or the additives that keep your food fresh longer, chemical manufacturing is involved in it all. Altogether, the industry logged over $765 billion in sales and utilized over $99 billion of R&D investments in 2017. But for an industry so well off and integral to every other manufacturer out there, there’s one glaring omission from most CRMs in the subsector: sample management.
For many companies in process manufacturing, a lead is a sample, and a sample is a lead. Sending out samples tends to be the kickstart behind new relationships, as the manufacturers develop new catalysts, chemicals, and compounds for dropping into a multitude of processing refineries. New research leads to new chemicals, which leads to new samples that are ready to be tested and evaluated by potential customers. The challenge manufacturers in this sub-industry face is proving that their latest and greatest chemical will achieve the outcome they say it will. Thus, the origin of a request for a sample.
But many manufacturers are not adequately prepared to qualify, track, follow-up on, or deliver these samples in a way that will satisfy the expectations of both their internal team and their would-be customers. That’s why there’s a big opportunity to transform the sample experience entirely with some CRM integration. Here are three big reasons process manufacturers need a customer-centric sample management setup:
Sending out samples includes many potential points of failure
Unlike those Friday nights having a meal of Costco samples or trying every flavor of ice cream before finally picking a scoop, samples for process manufacturing are not seamless. By the very nature of what chemical/process manufacturers do, it’s inherently complicated. According to McKinsey, “[chemical companies] must manage an enormous amount of complexity: volatile costs and prices, multiple plants, and products that can be made in various ways from diverse combinations of materials, involving output of different combinations of coproduct of varying values, as well as managing by-product flows.” That’s a lot. Let’s take a look at just how involved the sample segment of that process alone is
A prospect submits a request for a sample, or the manufacturer offers to send a sample out to a lead it would like to nurture. That’s great, but coordinating everything after that initial request can quickly become a nightmare:
– What temperature does the chemical need to be kept at while in transit?
– How long can the chemical spend in transit?
– What time will the delivery site be ready for a sample? (Many sites only have adequate plant shutdown times once every few years, making the timing for samples all the more critical.)
– When will the appropriate technicians be on call?
– Does the prospect have the right tools on hand to properly test this sample?
– Who will document the testing conditions?
The questions go on. Clearly, the amount of capital and resources required to…
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