By tackling your manufacturing goals, you will help your business to achieve success. But which ones do you need to be aware of? This article highlights five goals your company needs to tackle and it offer you tips on how your business can smash them.
Manufacturing is a complex and demanding industry, where businesses must contend with challenges ranging from rapid developments in technology and customer expectations to skills shortages and rising costs.
If your business is targeting long term, sustainable growth in this sector, it’s crucial to have the right tools and strategies in place to ensure you can seize opportunities, reach your goals and negotiate any difficulties you might face.
To put this into perspective, here are some of the most common manufacturing goals and some tips to help you achieve them.
1. Bringing in new business
New business is essential fuel for the growth of any company. For your organisation to succeed in its efforts to expand the client base, your sales and marketing teams must be able to rely on methods and systems that have been shown to deliver results.
There are many distinct approaches to client acquisition, so it’s important to find the one that works for you. Asking existing and happy customers to act as advocates and give the business a positive review could prove beneficial for some, while others might get results from investing in paid search marketing.
Whatever approach you decide to take, it is always vital to showcase the benefits of your product offering and how it can help clients achieve their own goals.
Your business acquisition efforts can be optimised with the help of a dedicated sales and marketing management solution, which can provide the valuable data and insights required to identify new customers and manage ongoing relationships.
2. Balancing customer satisfaction and cost efficiency
Acquisition of new business is a vital function of any company but equally important is keeping existing customers happy. The key challenge in this regard is ensuring you continue to deliver the service standards and quality required to maintain client satisfaction, without losing control of costs.
The secret to success on this front is efficiency and in order to be efficient, your organisation must place an emphasis on core functions such as managing customer data, analysing business intelligence and making financial projections. In the manufacturing sector, processes such as warehouse management and inventory control are particularly crucial.
With the right software solutions and business support tools in place, your company can ensure it meets high standards in these areas and therefore consistently meets customer expectations – with maximum cost efficiency.
3. Workforce wellbeing
Even in sectors such as manufacturing, where robotics and automation are having an increasingly significant impact on how firms operate, no organisation can afford to overlook the importance of its people.
Workers who feel satisfied and engaged in their work, and have confidence that their employer is invested in looking after their needs, will be more productive and efficient, helping to deliver the best results for customers. Furthermore, strong staff loyalty helps to mitigate recruitment costs.
In May 2018, industry association EEF and Westfield Health published a study that urged British manufacturers to “grasp the opportunity of greater investment in the wellbeing of their workforce and reap [the] significant rewards of improved productivity and performance”.
Steve Jackson, director of health, safety and sustainability at EEF, said: “More and more companies are recognising the benefits and opportunities of promoting the wider wellbeing of their employees. This can bring significant benefit to companies with employees who are better motivated and engaged.”
Investment in the protection of your workforce and the management of your human resources will help to set up your organisation for future success through the effectiveness of its people.
4. Manageable growth
Consistent growth is a fundamental goal for most (if not all) businesses, but it’s important to be aware of some of the new challenges that can arise as your firm gets bigger.
Supported by a tried-and-tested business management solution, you can ensure your company is fully prepared for any obstacles it might encounter on its growth path.
One key aspect of business that can become increasingly complex as the organisation expands is supply chain management. It’s imperative that you are able to respond quickly to customer demands and fulfil orders on time. This requires reliable systems and methods that allow you to source raw materials when you need them, manage demanding delivery models and quickly resolve disputes.
Growth can also bring fresh challenges such as complying with new or more complicated regulations, and the extra work and investment required to get products to market in a timely, cost-effective way.
If your firm aspires to long-term international growth, you will need to spot these potential difficulties on the horizon and identify the strategies and solutions required to handle them.
5. Business agility
Business agility is a concept that is becoming increasingly important in many industries, including manufacturing.
Rather than settling for outdated, limited legacy software and systems, to succeed in the long term your business will need to make the most of new technologies that allow you to be on the forefront of change and to meet evolving client expectations.
To be agile, manufacturers need to have excellent financial visibility and access to detailed business intelligence. Availability of real-time data on cash flow, for example, could prove critical when it comes to making key strategic decisions.
Being open to change is also proving increasingly important on the frontline of manufacturing. Organisations have to ensure they are committing to the right business models and product offerings to stay relevant in an evolving industry.
A recent report from professional services group Capgemini predicted that the development and sale of smart, connected devices will deliver up to $685bn (£515.8bn) in value-added revenue for the industry by 2020.
Jean-Pierre Petit, head of digital manufacturing at the firm, said: “With the significant potential gains of smart, connected products and digital continuity predicted in the next two years, the requirement to invest in new technologies is too large for manufacturers to ignore.”
In this swiftly changing, increasingly demanding sector, it has never been more important for companies to future-proof their operations by investing in modern solutions to support sustainable growth.
With the help of powerful software and support systems to aid everything from stock and supply chain management to business intelligence and customer relationships, your organisation can overcome challenges, reach its goals and achieve lasting success.