How to Effectively Communicate With a Manufacturing Company
Excellent communication is an essential foundation for any relationship. The same also applies to your relationship with your manufacturer. They play a crucial role in the success of your business. By learning how to communicate with them effectively, you send the message that their role matters to you.
What is the basis of great communication? We dive into how to communicate with manufacturers and practices to be mindful of.
Treating Your Manufacturer as a Partner
When you hire a manufacturer, you are often in a position of power over them. It can become easy to let your power and control go to your head. However, you will have a better relationship with your manufacturer if you can avoid it. It can be easy to become demanding or controlling since your manufacturer affects your business, and you want it to succeed. Yet, doing so might make the relationship sour for both parties.
When approaching a relationship with a manufacturer, try to see it as a strategic partnership. But what is a strategic partnership? In business, it is when two companies collaborate to reach a common goal. Treating your manufacturer as a partner can help you both succeed. You can show your manufacturer you see them as equals by avoiding using negative language and condescending remarks.
If you see areas where the manufacturer is falling short, it might be easy to make snarky comments or get upset. You might not always intend this tone, but sarcastic comments generally appear unkind and disrespectful. These kinds of remarks can make the manufacturer’s job more difficult. They may also feel demotivated from doing their job and no longer want to work with you.
Treating a manufacturer as an equal means treating them like the valuable asset they are. Manufacturers have helpful insights that can help your business reach greater heights if you can give them a platform to share these insights. They can offer advice on areas your business can improve. These valuable insights can also help you provide more value to your customers.
Set Clear Expectations
Before partnering with a manufacturer, understand that you both have different practices. These practices will dictate how you handle processes. Thus, your practices and processes might need to change to align. Misalignment in any of these areas might create challenges in the future. Issues related to maintaining consistency can affect the level of efficiency of your business.
At the beginning of the partnership, set out how you plan to communicate and manage expectations. Doing so ensures a steady foundation for a successful business relationship. When both parties focus on clear communication, you can often avoid various issues, such as shortages, delivery problems and other general headaches related to partnerships.
Part of setting clear expectations means that everyone is sure about their role in the partnership. Understanding roles in the partnership makes status updates easier and helps you edit your processes and track where you are. Measuring progress also becomes more manageable, and you can more easily look at areas for improvement.
Share Appropriate Information
Communication in manufacturing is essential. If you share too little information or too much with your manufacturer, you run the risk of challenges occurring. Instead, lean into the right amount of information. A lack of information will affect the manufacturer’s final product. These mistakes can be expensive to resolve.
For instance, suppose you want white doors with brown handles but fail to communicate where the colors go. If the manufacturer thinks you wanted brown doors with white handles, it could pose issues to customers. Fixing this issue is not as easy if they have already produced the doors. You both lose time and money by providing little information.
This error might result in customer dissatisfaction, especially if the order is from a big client. The client might also decide to take their money elsewhere. It is difficult to rectify the issue once the damage is done. So, take the time to double-check that the manufacturer understands what you are saying. You can also check the progress of the work they are doing. If you are unhappy with the results, take the time to resolve these issues before they go too far.
Communication is about how you say things as much as what you say. One element to be mindful of is sarcasm. Sarcasm or verbal irony is all about tone and can be easy to miss. What you think is playful banter might translate as rude and condescending. It’s best to avoid sarcasm altogether.
You should also take care to remove destructive comments from conversations. Little remarks might seem like they are insignificant, but they can cause a lot of harm and pain. Though you may not intend it, these comments tell the other person their feelings do not matter to you. To avoid inflicting unnecessary pain, say things in the nicest way possible, even criticism. It may be challenging to do so initially, but speaking positively leaves no room for negativity and wrong interpretations.
Another aspect of excellent communication is listening. Always make it a priority to be an intentional listener. When you do not listen to a manufacturing partner, you clearly communicate that you do not care. Instead, show them you value their input. When they are speaking, make it a point to give them your full attention.
Listening is also essential when they share their insights. Be intentional about allowing them to share their opinion before you add any information. The same also applies to asking questions. Interrupting them as they speak will create feelings of frustration for your partner.
Multitasking is something to avoid when speaking to a manufacturing partner. Humans tend to multitask when doing things that do not need their full attention. However, think about how that comes across to your partner. It’s better to give them your undivided attention and do other tasks later.
Collaborate With a Knowledgeable Manufacturing Partner
Strategic partnerships are a powerful way to drive success for the businesses involved. Like any strong partnership, clear communication should be at the forefront of everything. In manufacturing, communication is essential to realizing the vision for the final products. So, following strategies for better communication is necessary.
At Manhattan Door Corporation, we understand that partnerships can have their hurdles. But they are always worth it when they lead to business success and beautiful doors. Contact us today to gain expertise in reliable door manufacturing. We have over 25 years of experience and can assist your business in meeting high customer demands.