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Customer satisfaction is one of the main goals a business wants to reach for ensuring competitive advantage and revenue growth. As a seller of car parts and a provider of wrecking services, Hondwreck Partsheaven is looking to improve the quality of the provided services, optimize the inventory processes, and optimize the overall performance of the company. As found by Cheung and To, customers have a negative reaction to service failure (2524); thus, there is a need for designing a project plan that will be beneficial for the organization overall. The purpose of this project plan is to outline recommendations about inventory and customer service improvement in Hondwreck Partsheaven to reach high levels of customer satisfaction.
The first step in the project plan will be focused on the efforts to optimize the inventory in Hondwreck Partsheaven because an efficient usage of inventory has a positive impact on the cash flow of a company and thus continued liability (Lemke 14). One of the primary processes of optimization will involve a decrease of order fulfillment times. After analyzing the sales as well as the levels of demand for different services, a list of the most popular items should be made to ensure that the stock is being fulfilled instantly. While the company should have an extensive stock of those items that are used and sold regularly, the just-in-time inventory system can be applied to those products that do not have the same popularity.
Because just-in-time inventory is associated with risks such as unreliable supplier networks or the lack of immediate financial gains (Mazanai 5786), it is advised for Hondwreck only to implement the system concerning the less popular products that do not have the same effect on customers’ satisfaction as those sold on a regular basis. Such differentiation between inventory processes will allow the company to make evidence-based decisions and ensure that in-demand products never stock out nor that there is a risk of popular items not being delivered to customers due to unreliable supplier networks. The next process will be associated with making decisions about pricing since with the decrease of excess inventory there will be a decrease in inventory costs and thus a possibility to lower the prices for clients. This is directly linked to customers’ satisfaction as well as the company’s competitive advantage over the businesses that do not offer lower prices for great quality due to their lack of inventory optimization efforts.
Customer Services Improvement
The second step in the project plan will be dealing with customer services. As mentioned by Lemke, the provision of immaculate customer service is a crucial component in service delivery in today’s industry (60). Moreover, excellent customer services ensure competitiveness and stability because satisfied customers tend to refer their friends and family to a company that offered good services (Hoffman and Bateson 382). According to Steinkirchner from Forbes, there are many steps a company can make to enhance customer services:
- Letting customers get to know a business – being upfront about location, owners, customer support contacts, and other information that can enhance accessibility and trust.
- Being available – from picking up the phone at the office to traveling to other states for trade shows, a company should always make sure that its customers are valued.
- VIP – offering special discounts to loyal customers.
- Acquiring knowledge – take time for customer satisfaction surveys and online questionnaires to get valuable information about how a business can improve from the perspective of customers.
Customer improvement processes will be assigned to a team of employees that have a direct relation to working with clients. Ranging from sales assistants to call center operators, each employee will be encouraged to implement the mentioned above steps into their daily interactions with customers to reach high levels of satisfaction. In turn, the management will invest in conducting seminars, coaching, and training sessions to educate employees on the best practices of effective customer service as well as maintain the spirit of teamwork when it comes to catering to the needs of loyal clients (Kumar 48).
Aims and Timelines
While the purpose of the project plan is the enhancement of the operations for enhancing customers’ satisfaction with the products and services provided by Hondwreck Partsheaven, there is a list of specific aims that should be achieved with a certain timeframe. These aims are presented in the table below:
|Conduct an analysis of the inventory to identify the most popular products.||April 1st, 2017 – May 31st, 2017|
|Implement just-in-time inventory changes for the items of medium and low demand.||June 1st, 2017 – August 1st, 2017|
|Reduce prices after the reduction of inventory.||August 1st, 2017 – September 30th, 2017|
|Optimize customer service operations: more website information, VIP loyalty program, getting more data from customers.||April 1st, 2017 – July 1st, 2017|
|Establish a practice of coaching for better customer service: at least one session a month.||July 31st, 2017 – October 1st, 2017|
|Analysis of the project’s results.||October 31st, 2017|
Cheung, Fung Yi Millissa, and Wai Ming to. “A Customer-Dominant Logic on Service Recovery and Customer Satisfaction.” Management Decision, vol. 54, no. 10, 2016, pp. 2524-2543.
Hoffman, Douglas, and John Bateson. Services Marketing: Concepts, Strategies, & Cases. 5th ed., Cengage Learning, 2017.
Kumar, V. Profitable Customer Engagement: Concept, Metrics and Strategies. Sage Publications, 2013.
Lemke, Scott William. “Inventory Optimization in Manufacturing Organizations.” Scholarworks, 2015, Web.
Mazanai, Musara. “Impact of Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory System on Efficiency, Quality and Flexibility Among Manufacturing Sector, Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) in South Africa.” African Journal of Business Management, vol. 6, no. 17, 2012, pp. 5786-5791.
Steinkirchner, Sunday. “5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service.” Forbes. 2012, Web.