September 10, 2019 by Siobhan Climer
The centralized versus decentralized manufacturing debate has raged for almost a century. In June 2011, McKinsey featured at article illustrating how centralization has been central (pun intended, thank you very much) to the industrial world. “To centralize or not to centralize?” references the influential philosophy of Alfred Sloan of General Motors (GM) and his views on decentralization as elucidated from a series of memos in the 1920s.
While manufacturers struggle to determine if a centralized manufacturing facility and multiple distribution centers (centralized manufacturing) is superior or inferior to location-specific manufacturing facilities that manufacture and distribute close to customers (decentralized manufacturing), they must also contend with how communications with customers change given these operational decisions.
How do customers place orders? Do they need to track orders? Where do they submit questions or provide feedback? Understanding the customer journey is key to supporting manufacturing customers.
Decentralized Vs Centralized Call Centers In Manufacturing
The communications customers share with or require from your business are important to track. However you operate, customers need to reach out to you for a variety of reasons.
In decentralized call centers, customers call a different contact center depending on where they are located. There are certainly benefits to a decentralized call center; they tend to be more personal, accountable, and familiar with the customer.
However, contact center technology has progressed to facilitate these same benefits via a centralized contact center – which has the added benefits of reduced cost, decreased legal risk, scalability, and sustainability.
The Difference Is The Contact Center Technology
In decentralized contact centers, a customer might call up their long-time account representative – “Bob” or “Cindy” – and leave a message requesting another shipment of X or a tracking on Y. Customers like that “Bob” and “Cindy” know them, their business, and are invested in the local community.
The problem is, “Bob” is out visiting a new customer and “Cindy” is on her summer vacation. Now, the customer must wait for the information they need and possibly suffer delays or lost profits.
Contact center technology has come a long way, and instead of simply routing customers through an IVR or directing them to an extension voicemail box, contact center platforms can queue, redirect, and facilitate the personal customer journey your clients want while also providing them the information they need – immediately.
How Contact Centers Personalize Centralized Call Center Communications
Today’s contact center technology still enables a customer to have a relationship with “Bob” or “Cindy”, but the technology also supports those account representatives’ busy lives. Is the representative unavailable? The contact center platform can route the customer to an assistant or team-representative, who can provide the needed information.
Or, perhaps the customer doesn’t need to call at all. Contact center platforms can help businesses provide knowledge articles and integrated tracking information, so customers can engage in self-help, putting less strain on your team. Then, when the customer does talk with “Bob” and “Cindy”, the focus can be on the relationship and positive customer interactions.
Learn More About Contact Center Platforms
At Mindsight, we continue to support Cisco and Genesys platforms because we know these deliver the best technologies to our clients. From analytics to collaboration, innovation to omnichannel, Cisco and Genesys help you deliver a personalized customer experience.
See these contact center platforms in action via a live demo or contact us to learn more today.
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.