For SME manufacturers, growth can be a real challenge. Increase demand for your products too quickly – before your systems, finances and people are in a position to be able to cope – and you risk sinking your business before you even start.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day challenges of running a business, but if you’re serious about growth, developing a structured manufacturing strategy for the next three to five years is vital – which is why you should speak to the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) when you visit Kent 2020 Vision LIVE on 25th March..
Planning for growth takes focus, commitment, and a willingness to listen to people from all areas of your business. Everyone involved needs to know where the business is heading, why, and most importantly, what is required of them as individuals to help get you there.
By identifying where your company is currently, where you want to be and what’s stopping you, you can prepare to grow in a structured and controlled way across a determined time period.
Isn’t it just common sense stuff?
It’s true to say most people think they know what they ‘should’ be doing to grow their company, but pulling together the issues and priorities from across different areas of a manufacturing business and making sure everyone is working towards the same goal is no easy task. Strategic planning certainly isn’t a ‘one person job’. You’ll need to get input and buy-in from all areas of the business to make this work.
On the face of it, planning the future direction of the business seems simple … but what are the potential issues and problems, how do you tackle them in a structured way and how do you ensure your staff share your sense of ambition?
How are you currently perceived by your customers and competitors, and what are they expecting of you in the next three years? What are they planning, and do your ideas compliment theirs?
Muddy waters by anyone’s standards.
Can I develop a strategic plan myself?
You can certainly develop a strategic plan yourself, but it requires a real commitment and ability to see your business objectively and impartially. Be prepared to listen to opinions from all areas of the business, not just your own.
Getting advice from an outsider who has ‘been there and done it’ can be invaluable.
Each company has its own set of issues and priorities, and who better to recognise those in your business than you. But an outsider can help you understand how others perceive you, and spot the cultural and practical issues you might miss as an ‘insider’.
They can also keep you on track and make sure you set aside regular time to focus implementing your growth plan.
How do I find the right help?
External support with strategic planning won’t just give you a true focus and direction for the business, but will also help you identify the priority projects that will overcome your barriers to growth.
An experienced Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Advisor, with a proven track record in manufacturing support, can work with you to:
- Identify your real barriers to growth
- Develop and test your current strategy
- Ensure team buy-in
- Create a meaningful Action Plan
- Support you to implement your Action Plan
- Put suitable measures in place to monitor your performance
- Be on-hand for regular advice as a ‘sounding board’ for future ideas/decisions
If you’re an SME manufacturer, MAS could also provide grant funding of up to 50% towards your project (to a maximum of £300 per day).
Does the MAS approach work?
Some recent MAS clients:
“Aside from bottom line savings and increased efficiency and productivity levels since working with MAS, we have been equipped to achieved an above standard growth rate, employing more staff to cope with this increase. Perhaps more importantly communication amongst staff has improved tenfold and individuals are now encouraged to ‘take ownership’ of the products and improvements in their area – there is real team spirit amongst the shopfloor and our sales department that could be considered of more benefit than any monetary gain that can be identified.”
– James Clephan, Production Director, B-Loony
“Working with MAS provided support and expertise in areas that I had no or limited experience in which was invaluable in terms of gaining a competitive edge in the market and growing my business during a challenging climate.”
– Jacob Marsh, Director, ModMyPi LTD
What will developing a manufacturing growth plan really give us?
- An agreed consensus on the future of the company
- Implementation of a rational three to five year growth strategy
- Prepare for growth in a controlled and structured way
- Operational objectives and action plans for each department
- Linkage between the personal objectives of your people and your growth plan
- Implementation of clear measures to monitor your performance
This isn’t a ‘Lean’ project so don’t expect the results to be immediate. Planning for growth is about the medium to long term. If you’re serious about growing your business, this is absolutely where you need to start.
If you’d like a confidential chat about strategic planning, visit MAS on Stand 763/765 at Kent 2020 Vision LIVE for a straightforward, no-nonsense discussion of your business needs.
FREE REGISTRATION: www.kent2020.co.uk