I was contacted by a salesperson the other day. He works for a major database company that sells lists of contacts for sales organizations, so he knows the importance of data for his job. He uses data for his own call lists and is selling data as well. For him, accuracy is important.

So I was a little chagrined for him and somewhat upset (for myself) that he started down the “it looks like we haven’t contacted you and I’m surprised that we haven’t. Your business needs our product…” when I know that various salespeople from his company call us at least twice per year.

I had to call him on it.

I realize that I have an aside with every blog and here it comes. As a person who has done sales for years and might even call myself a salesperson some days, I have to say that I do not admire someone who starts a pitch off with something that is false. I knew his statement was categorically false and, therefore, I also knew I was never going to do business with him. I need to trust who I do business with and I want to do the same for those I serve.

I wasn’t buying it.

So I asked him. “I know we get at least 2 or 3 calls a year from your team. Knowing that you sell databases, I’m going to say that I would trust your information a whole lot more if I knew that you knew that.” He then admitted that they had recently updated their CRM system and lost all prospect call data.


I was at a loss for words. First, I was beginning to respect him a little more for owning up to that. And, I was feeling for him. With an entire team of salespeople and no call data, my heart went out to him. I know that our team claims prospects and works with the same prospect until closure. Most teams do. If you lose all data, though, how do you know what prospect belongs to which team member?

You have a data and a personnel issue.

Your salespeople are slowed down having to start all over again with all efforts. That’s demoralizing for sure, but prospects for whom you do not remember the details of what they’ve shared may also be less likely to buy from you as you no longer “know” them.

You also have a sales issue. This is not different from what we see in manufacturing. Problems with data cascade. Inventory errors can make work stop on the shop floor, make shipments late and even drive your costs up. Scheduling errors can cause an avalanche of issues in your personnel, work, inventory, time and costs. Everything affects everything.

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So for manufacturers, data is that much more critical. While it’s an inconvenience for the sales team and somewhat embarrassing, it’s more about safety and rejections and production records for you. Data is the key to everything we do these days. We rely on technology to get us there faster, cheaper and more reliably. (More about that vendor that left my telemarketing “friend” with no data on a later blog.) One section of data missing can be the end of a customer order / job, a line of work or even a project. It’s simply inexcusable to not have data to support whatever work you’re doing. Shoot, even as I write this, I know I’m at the bottom of the page and I’ve just written 553 words. (Now 556.) It’s a simple trailer at the bottom of the Word screen but it’s very helpful at times like this. And it represents a functionality that many of us don’t use and most of us might not even know exists.

You need data almost as much as you need people. You can’t do the work without the data to know what to do and you can’t give your management reports without the data of what you made and how. Data is the air you breathe. It’s how you make your money and how you lose it to.

And that brings me full circle to our friend the telemarketer. Without data, he’s not going to close that sale with me. I don’t trust what he’s selling. (Admittedly, I wasn’t feeling the trust before that anyway, but this certainly closed the book for me.)

Learn more about a data-driven shop


Ask yourself a few key questions to find out how you're doing on data capture if you don't have a good way to assess that. Where are you missing data in your organization? How is it affecting you? Is it inventory, people, materials, tools or jobs that you don’t know about? Do you have the details you need to know production throughput, ship dates or quantities complete? How about quality? Should I even ask whether you know how your quality team is doing and how many non-conforming issues they noted in the last week / month?

These are things we talk with prospects about daily. We want to see the process and knowledge gaps in the work they do and help them eliminate them.

Interested in further engaging your team with your production and what that means in relation to efficiency and capacity? Ask us at info@cimx.com. Or better yet, schedule a demo or move even faster towards Complete Production Control with a Process Gap Analysis of your shop. You decide, and we look forward to meeting you.



Contact CIMx Software to see how a Manufacturing Execution System can improve production control for you.


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