Knowing Your Paper Inventory: The Key to Customer Service
By: Erin Mahan
Pretend you take orders for a converting company. It’s about 10:00 a.m., your second cup of coffee is starting to finally kick in, and you’re beginning to settle into your daily routine. The phone rings. It’s one of your company’s most important customers calling to place an order. Acme Printing tells you they need 10,000 pounds of a product right away. No problem. After checking the computer to see if you have what your client needs, you eagerly assure him that you will fill the order right away, and that they can expect to receive it within a couple of days. No sweat, right?
Well, a few hours later, you find out that the core of the roll is damaged, rendering the majority of the roll unusable. Suddenly, you realize that you are unable to fill an order for one of your most valued customers. What do you do now?
This is an unfortunate situation. Not being able to process and fill orders for customers in a timely matter will do serious damage to company-client relations, and in the long run, damage a company’s reputation. Like every business, converters rely on the customer to be successful, and so customer service is of the utmost importance. Customers should be able to rely on their converter to have what they need, when they need it. This includes being able to provide quality, reliable service every time, and avoiding incidents like the one mentioned.
In order to provide excellent customer service, converters must be able to process and fill orders without any problems. Knowing exactly what materials are on the lot, the material’s condition, and how much is readily available is the only way to guarantee an order, and keep customers satisfied. Thus, the only way to know exactly what is available is to have absolute visibility to the lot and on-hand inventory. Complete visibility to inventory allows the film converter to know without a doubt what is on the floor, and whether there are any problems with the material. Being able to spot a damaged good before it is too late, and simply knowing at all times what condition the materials are in is vital to the order taking process and also the functionality of the company as a whole.
Achieving total visibility and control of all materials is not impossible. It can be easily accomplished by using a software program that tracks materials by allowing for detailed searches and thorough descriptions of all inventory. It eliminates all visibility problems, including overlooked damage. Unfortunately, generic software lacks this capability. Only a fully integrated software program that tracks inventory perpetually can provide converters with the ability to see and efficiently utilize all aspects of their operations. Full integration reveals the full extent of the converter’s resources, helps avoid errors, and most important, allows companies to better serve their customers.
PaperSoft Inc. is a global provider of ERP software applications developed exclusively for the converting industry. PaperSoft helps converting companies reduce waste, labor costs, downtime, and allows revenue growth without adding personnel. These improvements are achieved through integrating functions into one system that are typically maintained in multiple systems, i.e., Microsoft Excel and other third party generic accounting packages.