As the economy continues to sputter along, many manufacturers are struggling to identify new revenue streams and profit sources. Karen Burns, partner and manufacturing specialist at consulting firm Sensiba San Filippo, says there are several key steps manufacturers can take to grow their business, even in slow economic periods.
Based on her interaction with C-level manufacturing clients in the Silicon Valley area, Burns says manufacturers can foster growth by:
Reducing market uncertainty. Investigate long-term contracts for raw materials and long-term contracts with customers, even at reduced margins.
Making safety a priority. Implement improvements to decrease down time and increase yield.
Encouraging innovation. Empower and motivate employees to make product and process improvements throughout the organization.
Considering near-sourcing. Reduce shipping costs and gain more control over manufacturing processes and costs by using suppliers closer to your manufacturing facility.
Focusing on value delivery. Find out what your customers value and focus on delivering what matters. Trim costs in areas which customers do not place value.
Communicating. Discuss costs and anticipated cost increase with customers. Work together to increase and decrease prices as commodities fluctuate.