I’m hearing from more and more manufacturers that their business has bounced back from the “Great Recession” and in a lot of instances, is even booming.
Some of these manufacturers have put initiatives they were working on when times were slow on the back burner as they try to manage their new-found growth, including diversifying into other markets/industries. While these companies are focused on the “now,” there are some companies who realize that if they are going to “win the future,” now is the time to work on, build and implement key strategies which will position them for long-term success. Here are some examples of forward thinking manufacturers, who, while navigating through rough waters, have their eye firmly fixed on the horizon:
A medium sized manufacturer who worked with MAGNET to develop and implement a Strategic Plan which had a key strategy to diversify into new markets during the “Great Recession” has just enjoyed a $1-million increase in sales over the past year and has made in-roads into several new markets. Business looks to be up another 25% this year. So what are they doing now? Stepping back to enjoy and manage their success? No. They are re-doing their Strategic Plan to focus on the “new normal” and gearing up to find additional new markets for key products.
A small manufacturer that does a lot of work for the Oil and Gas industry started looking at the Aerospace market during the “Great Recession.” He attended key conferences, met with key customers and invested in equipment and AS9100 certification (the Aerospace ISO standard) to position himself to penetrate this market space. He hasn’t been successful yet in securing new business in this market segment and his own business has come roaring back. So what is he doing now? He’s investing again in his market diversification efforts by upgrading his AS9100 certification to AS9100C to ensure he stays compliant with the standard so he can make that market in-road when the opportunity presents itself.
A medium-sized manufacturer has enjoyed double digit growth for the past two years. At the end of January, their business was up 72% over the previous month. So what are they doing now? Looking at acquiring a company with complimentary product lines that would move them into new markets.
What do all of these companies have in common? In good times and bad, they have not lost their strategic focus. They recognize that market diversification is not just a survival tactic, but a key strategic growth initiative which will position their companies to stay strong during any economic cycle and enjoy long term success.
So what are you doing now? Leave a comment and tell us about it, or e-mail me! We’re interested.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for