17 Jul Reflections on Contract Manufacturing Engagement
Many business owners (not all) are technicians, that is, experts in their space. These technicians started their businesses based upon a skill or capability. This is particularly true in the contract manufacturing services industry.
Being a technician doesn’t always come in handy when it comes to planning for business growth and developing a go-to-market strategy. Owners definitely know their area of expertise whether it’s machining, materials, applications, tolerances and manufacturing but often, the big challenge for them is how to differentiate between their offerings and their competitors.
Today’s business climate is very different than it was in the past. Business owners must adapt to changing buyers and more. Evolving businesses will seek solutions to the following themes:
- Evaluate revenue coming from a core group of customers that hold an uncomfortably high percentage of overall business. The loss or decrease of revenue from these core clients can have a significantly adverse effect on a business. Planning for diversity is key.
- Develop a clear strategy for demand or revenue generation.
- Suppliers need to differentiate themselves from one another, especially within the contract manufacturing or ‘job shop’ sectors.
- Change is process though it can be met with resistance at times. Understand the reason for the resistance and whether it is coming from internal or external sources, and move toward lean adoption concepts to lighten stress.
If nothing else, just remember there are two periods in which you should always be marketing and selling your services: when business is booming and when it is slow. In short – you should always be looking for the next great client.
Be a trusted advisor for clients and prospects. Not someone that is going to promote the next best thing, but someone that has the best interests of their partner’s in mind and will help their clients find the best solution to solving for their business need. Within any contract manufacturing organization, there’s a process and measurement associated with production activity. The business development solution must do the same, fitting an organization’s model, market and goals. And of course, the solution must be measurable every step of the way.