Just a few years ago, the ability to react in a timely manner was considered a hallmark of strategic prowess. Today, however, simply responding to rapidly changing market conditions is not enough.

In order to claim a position in the forefront of the market, a manufacturer must anticipate and be well prepared for market changes long before they happen. Success today is all about being proactive, not reactive.

In today's manufacturing market, anticipation is critical to being prepared and beating the competition to any opportunity that may surface. Hungry competitors are eagerly awaiting those same inklings of economic recovery, emerging niches and new customer RFPs.

The manufacturer that is first to release an appropriate product, establish a supply chain that taps into a new geographic area, or launch a marketing promotion aimed at a surfacing demographic is more likely to stake claim to the opportunity.

The first to arrive in a market is often the one who ends up owning the dominating market share.

Recognizing a trend is too little, too late. There will already be a line of other manufacturers who have the new customized product, flexible supply chain and tailored pricing structure in place.

Anticipating market evolution is the first step in being proactive and beating the competition to emerging opportunities.

Engineering, Design and Product Innovation.

Product introduction is the real test of a manufacturer’s ability to respond in a nimble, agile manner to today’s fast changing market conditions.

The innovation must not only meet the demographics’ expectations (perhaps even before the intended audience knows what it wants), but it must also be engineered in a way that anticipates the availability of raw materials and costs.

Gambling on availability of resources, costs and supply chain avenues is risky, at best. A vague plan is not sufficient either. Prospective customers, even in an emerging marketing or niche demographic, want proven solutions.