When it comes to building lists of decision makers and expanding a marketing database, every vertical comes with its unique set of challenges. As a company that builds customized lists of decision makers, we've had the opportunity to work across several of these verticals and has been exposed to quite a few challenging ones and one that comes to mind instantly is manufacturing. On the bright side, those who work in production or manufacturing are not exposed to quite as many sales calls as some other departments get which makes them in some ways, easier to approach and perhaps more co-operative in terms of sharing information.
If you are looking for a very specific person within the manufacturing organization and happen to connect to someone else within the department, more often than not, he or she will help you find who you're looking for. However, that is IF you manage to connect to someone at that facility or connect to anyone in manufacturing at all! Manufacturing can be a difficult department to navigate through on the phone. Whether one is looking for plant managers, production managers, process managers, quality control, quality assurance, compliance, safety, engineers, distribution, materials, purchasing or floor managers, the physical nature and the working of the manufacturing department make it very challenging to locate specific decision-makers within manufacturing units.
Here are some common challenges with building a list of manufacturing units and decision makers:
- Plants of large companies are often scattered across geography and have multiple locations. This makes it hard to pinpoint locations of specific decision makers and determine at which location they are based.
- Contact information such as location phone numbers and postal addresses of manufacturing locations are not often as easily available as contact details for corporate and regional offices online.
- People move around a lot more in manufacturing units and are rarely found behind desks as one would expect in corporate offices and hence its difficult to connect with decision makers and personnel within the factory or manufacturing unit.
- Factories and manufacturing plants are spread across wide areas and it's often possible that you would need multiple phone numbers within a single location to get connected to the right building to locate the decision maker you are looking for.
- Limited email access and phone access at all times of the day is another common problem as many don't check emails regularly and are not reachable on the phone through all hours of the day.
- Research and carefully map out each and every factory/manufacturing unit location within a company along with as much detail in terms of contact information and contact details for these locations as possible before starting the process of trying to identify contacts.
- For the locations which don't have easily available contact information such as addresses and phone numbers on the web, call into the corporate office, speak to an administrative assistant to find out how to get in touch with someone at a particular unit location. The corporate office usually has direct contact numbers for these locations.
- Contact these locations and ask for the role you are looking to for. If the admin refuses to co-operate it's always useful to research or know at least one higher level manager such as the plant manager to try and connect with them and then ask for the role you are looking for.
- Try to time calls into the manufacturing units during the start and end of a working day as that's when you're more likely to find decision makers at their desk or more accessible.
- Remember to confirm which is the best contact number to reach them on, a number of companies will be willing to provide a mobile number for decision makers who are constantly on the move.
- If getting an email address is a problem, try to get an email address of an assistant or admin who will have more constant access to email and note down their email address.
- Don't go specifically by job title as they are subjective and very often, for example, a line unit manager maybe the process quality manager for a particular unit or a quality and responsibilities are managed by someone with a different title in different companies.
- Be patient as it is a long and challenging process to build an accurate list but the quality will pay off.