How to Strengthen Your Manufacturing Business for Long Term Success

As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown and start to take small steps back towards some form of normality, many business owners will be left feeling
uncertain about the future, and even less sure of the next steps that they need to take. The last few months have had a devastating impact on both the lives and livelihoods of so many people across the world. The effects of the pandemic have been echoed around the globe, and have impacted every industry. There is no doubt that some industries have faced more severe consequences than others. The manufacturing industry has been seriously affected, with manufacturing businesses either feeling the effects first hand, such as in the aerospace industry or suffering the knock-on effect resulting from their clients’ businesses being in jeopardy. Navigating a company through these unsettling times, and nurturing it back to health is no easy task. It is a challenge that requires a proactive approach and the ability to adapt to changes effectively.

The coronavirus pandemic is something that no one could have predicted, or have adequately prepared for. There is no rule book for getting through this challenging time; unfortunately, every business must find its own way through the crisis as best they can. Finding ways to minimise the damage caused to your business, while trying to retain some semblance of control is the only way to move forward.

The only positives that can come from this situation are the lessons that can be learned from it. Taking the opportunity to assess this situation and to learn valuable lessons is vital. This is especially so if a second wave of the virus makes an appearance in the future. Putting together a strategy to help strengthen your business operation is crucial. Taking this opportunity to strengthen your business and to ensure that it is in the best position is essential to get it through both the short term and able to survive in the long run. Nurturing your business so that it is stronger than ever before and resilient to change is essential for its survival. 

To ensure that your business is as healthy as possible and performing at its very best requires a focused strategy. It makes sense to break down your plan into separate areas, as this will enable you to keep an eye on the detail as well as the ability to assess the bigger picture. 

When putting together your post-COVID strategy, you will need to look at the following areas of your operation; business efficiency, your brand, business relationships, and gaining an advantage over your competitors. Taking a comprehensive, detailed approach when creating your strategy is vital to ensure that you cover every aspect of your business and make the relevant adjustments as needed. The pandemic is an ever-changing situation, and its impact on your business will need to be assessed frequently so that you can respond quickly to challenges as and when they occur.


Improve Business Efficiency

All businesses need to run efficiently to reach their full potential. However, right now in this current climate efficiency isn’t just about making the odd cost-saving here and there; efficiency is now imperative for survival. 

Your business operation will need to be assessed to establish its efficiency and how this could be improved. Assessing efficiency requires an examination of many elements of your business, and can help you to make cost savings, improve productivity, and to reduce waste.

Changes to your day to day operations due to coronavirus may have highlighted some efficiency savings that you could continue to implement in the future. Although the changes were imposed on you rather than made through choice, the creative solutions and workarounds learned from this period could help you to find efficiency savings that you had never considered before. 

Efficiency is a word that often strikes fear into employees, as the implication is usually that there will be job losses. While redundancies and efficiency savings can occur together, finding ways to keep your employees is actually a better use of your resources, and more efficient in the long run. Retraining staff so that they can be re-deployed into roles that aid the efficiency of your business is a far better solution. The recruitment process is a task that is both costly and time-consuming, and there are no guarantees that you will find the right candidate for the job. Once you have recruited, you will then have the costs involved in the induction and training process. If you are able to retain your existing employees and ride out the current uncertainty, this will be extremely beneficial to you once business picks up and normality returns and will prove a more efficient use of resources and time. 



Protect Your Brand

With so much to think about right now, and business being anything but ordinary, it is easy to take your eye off the ball. There is no doubt that this is a hugely stressful time for businesses, and everything can feel like it is up in the air. However, ensuring that you are operating in the best way possible, and in a way that meets the demands of the current situation is essential. 

Protecting the hard work that you have put into building your business over the years is vital. Preventing your standards from slipping right now is critical, especially if you want to make your business stronger than ever. 

Working hard to ensure that you continue to manufacture the products to the highest standard will ensure that you continue to build on your reputation as a supplier of consistently high-quality products. 

Continuing to provide excellent customer service is also essential, even though it is likely to be more difficult to achieve right now. Finding alternative ways to keep your customers informed of how your business is adapting to meet their needs during the pandemic is vital for maintaining your relationship. Your customers will appreciate the reassurance of knowing that your company is still operating and open for business. 

It is also crucial to let your customers know that you are responding to the stricter hygiene measures that are necessary to help slow the spread of the virus. Reassuring your customers that the quality of your products and service is not impacted by current events is vital to maintain customer confidence and will encourage them to continue to order from you, both right now and in the future too.


The Importance of Relationships

Just as your business is under increased pressure in the current situation, so too are your suppliers and your customers. Now is the time to maintain your company’s relationships with both your suppliers and your customers. Keeping in touch with them will not only help you to build your relationship with them, but it will also help you to spot any potential issues. For example, if your suppliers are experiencing problems, it is best for you to be aware of this sooner rather than later so that you can make alternative arrangements. Otherwise, you may be stuck in a situation where you are unable to source the parts that you need to fulfil orders for your customers.

Building relationships with your customers is more critical now than ever before right now. During these tough times, you may both need to allow more room to manoeuvre, and make your arrangements more flexible. 

Once this tough time has passed, you want to ensure that you have your supply chain intact, and loyal customers that are still committed to working with you. Building relationships with both your customers and your suppliers and riding out the storm should help you to achieve this.


Gain a Competitive Advantage 

Gaining a competitive advantage is essential in these challenging times. To achieve success and security in the long term, your company needs to strengthen its position in the market and stand out from its competitors. Sounds simple, right? Maybe not. Knowing how to make your business stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons can be a difficult task, it’s hard to be objective, especially when you are so heavily involved, it makes it hard to see the wood for the trees. This is the reason that so many companies enlist the expert help of a B2B marketing agency

Selecting the best marketing agency for your business will help you to differentiate your company from your competitors. A specialist business to business marketing agency will be able to put together a strategy that communicates your unique offering effectively, and directly to your target audience. Having a marketing strategy in place that is tailored to ensure that your business gets noticed by key decision-makers, and communicates the correct message can help you to gain new contracts and secure existing customers. 

Business to business marketing can deliver significant results if it is done correctly. A successful marketing campaign can catapult your business from obscurity to an established name in your industry, which will help to secure your company’s future for years to come.

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