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Having spent last decade helping manufacturers streamline processes, reduce waste, become more energy efficient and ultimately achieve growth, MAS has distilled its considerable knowledge and expertise into a ten-point action plan for 2013:
- Decide on your company’s key objectives– Much as we’d like to, we can’t focus everything. Decide on your strategy (be it growth or survival) and concentrate on three or four key objectives for 2013. You can then prepare to grow in a controlled way across a determined time period, ensuring you give your key priorities the attention they deserve
- If you haven’t started the lean journey, do it now– (your competitors will be) Even if you have, there are always new ways to improve. You can’t afford unnecessary bottlenecks and inefficient processes. Strip out any inefficiencies and free up cash/resources for new investment
- Don’t overlook your office processes – 60 percent of potential inefficiencies are found in office and administration processes rather than production. Map your product journey from the point the initial order is placed, right through to dispatch – you’ll be surprised! This exercise could prove crucial to reducing your lead times
- Review your sales and marketing strategy– Do you have one? What are the most successful ways in which your business attracts and wins new business? Is e-commerce working as hard for you as it could be? Is your corporate brand and image clear and consistent?
- Examine your customers– Where do your orders currently come from and what’s preventing you from reaching new markets? Think about your structure, standards, certifications, policies and processes. Consider developing a separate strategy for each current/potential market
- Develop your new ideas– What more could you do with your existing skills and capabilities? New products? New markets? Invest in R&D and make sure you have a robust process for collecting and testing new ideas. Protect your IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and ensure you’re using it to its full advantage
- Work pro-actively with your supply chain– Work together to reduce bottlenecks that influence the end-user. Seek out and develop joint opportunities for growth
- Keep service levels high– Retaining your client base is crucial and word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful method there is. Keep your reputation credible and it will serve you well
- Keep internal communications fluid– This point is often overlooked but is one of the most crucial elements to keeping your business strategy on track. Every member of your team needs to feel involved, valued and know where the business is going so they can contribute to its success. Visibility is a true motivator
- Raise your profile– Get your business known in the local, national and trade press. Share your good news stories with clients, suppliers, industry bodies and via social media. Look at putting your business forward for relevant industry award schemes, such as the MX Awards, which can also help you benchmark your current performance
Funded by the BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills), the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) provides manufacturing business support in order for companies to improve and grow.
If you want FREE advice on how to push your business forward in 2013, speak to one of MAS’ impartial manufacturing advisors now on 0870 125 3311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org