Suppliers require customers to provide them with data in order to start off or at least complete innovative development processes. This may be in the form of specifications, details of other mating components, CAD data, dimensions or test requirements.
But what do you do if your customer has requested delivery of product or components by a certain date but is dragging their heals when it comes to supplying you with vital information required to get started on your development process?
You can read more here to know about Innovative Ways to Deal With Difficult Customers in New Product Development in Ontario.
This is a common problem across manufacturing but is often accepted as fact and that nothing can be done about it.
If you are an innovation led manufacturer, you could benefit from taking a hard look at your customer base and identifying which customers are good and which cause problems on a regular basis. Which are the customers that give you a good rate of return and which are eroding your margins? Next, be brave and dump your bad customers. This will do two things for you. It will enable you to focus on getting more good customers and the old customer will go to one of your competitors and drag them down instead.
But what if you really do want to retain these customers? Well there are things which you can do. Most of it is related to the idea of helping them to understand the additional costs that you charge in order to deal with their lack of timeliness. When you quote can you give split quotes based on whether they deliver information on time? This goes further than just saying that you will charge more if they are late.