According to the World Economic Forum’s article on manufacturing’s role in the global recovery, manufacturing is a sector that accounts for 16% of the global GDP and 23% of global employment. COVID-19 served as a reminder that the manufacturing and production sectors — and their parts in enabling supply chain ecosystems — are among the most significant forces in the global economy.
As manufacturers, it is now time for us to push towards growth. By transforming and accelerating the industry, we can strengthen supply chains and drive worldwide progress even during these unique times. To this end, here are five business growth tips for manufacturers to heed:
1. Learn more about the industry
Growth can only happen if you dedicate time and resources to improving your business. Hosting growth meetings with key personnel, attending trade shows or exhibitions, and keeping track of your competitors will allow you to gain new insights that inform your strategy. For instance, what do you know about the manufacturing outlook in 2022? According to a report presented during the International Economic Outlook Conference, manufacturing will see a slow ascent next year as supply chain issues ease. However, the growing emphasis on climate change and a powerful workforce are dynamic factors you’ll need to consider for years to come.
2. Invest in recruiting and retaining talent
One of the biggest challenges to manufacturing growth is the lack of skilled labor. As automation technologies expand, manufacturers need more workers with higher levels of education than in the past — and finding expert programmers or operators is no small feat. In addition to investing in in-house technical training, manufacturers also need to spend money to hold on to talent. Recently, a feature from Industry Week on staff retention noted that the average staff turnover rate is 40% per year, which is enough to disrupt operations and discourage remaining staff. While managers often cite pay as the leading reason for employees leaving, culture matters as well. The safety of the physical workplace is a significant priority moving forward, while competitive salaries, benefits packages, and other perks can also boost employee retention.
3. Leverage your connections
Networking is essential for individuals and businesses alike –– especially if they want to find new opportunities for clients, suppliers, or partnerships. But in some respects, it’s also easier. As an article from LHH on maximizing network connections points out, the process of building a professional network has been expanded and simplified by social media. Building online connections that lead to real-life relationships can give you a tremendous advantage over your competitors. By offering value to the community — through advice, insights, or introductions — you can impress and engage the right people. This strong industry position may eventually lead to profitable acquisitions or mergers, which can further develop your operations as you combine forces with other organizations.
4. Diversify products and services
You likely know what your strengths are, and aim to perfect what you already have. However, the expansion will be difficult if your products are only in one market. To grow larger faster, it’s important to diversify your current product line. Look at your offerings and see if you can go one step deeper. Identify complementary or adjacent items, products, and services that mesh well with your brand so you can put your eggs in multiple, fruitful baskets. Otherwise, you risk getting left behind. One tip is to ask your existing customers about what else they need, then try to adjust to provide it.
5. Expand your tech capacity
Some manufacturers think technological advancements are an avoidable cost, but these people are simply impeding their own growth. Technology not only improves the machines on the factory floor, but also drives manufacturing forward with Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, and automation — all of which is increasingly important given shifting expectations among consumers. In our write-up about the ‘5 Keys to Automated Quality Inspection’, we discussed that quality should not be compromised. Rather, quality processes should be taken seriously and supported by modern technologies. To that point, you can stay ahead of the curve with world-class automation products from Qualitas; contact us today to learn more.