How Manufacturers Can Adapt to Changing Demands in a Crisis

How Manufacturers Can Adapt to Changing Demands in a Crisis

The world is changing fast, and it seems there’s no slowing down for the short-term. Manufacturers are no exception and many must adapt or face closing the doors. We’ve seen an increase in demand for manufacturers who need support to change their business practices. 

The pandemic has caused much of the change we are seeing right now however, there were already changes emerging prior to COVID19. A few examples of these changes include: more emphasis on sustainability; a focus on deploying lean manufacturing methods; increased regulation; and customer demands for building relationships. If you’re looking at your current situation and wondering how you can change your company so that you can meet these new demands, then read on!

Be Responsive to Opportunity

Many challenges also bring fresh opportunities so it’s important to remain responsive. You may need to set new short-term goals for your company. This means identifying what you want to accomplish in the next few months or years, depending on your manufacturing cycle and developing a plan to get there. What qualities will make your company sustainable? How can you reduce costs while still producing high-quality products? These are all questions that need answers. 

Supply Chain Resilience

During the global pandemic, manufacturers need to re-evaluate how they go about sourcing materials and managing inventories. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get the materials or parts that you need from elsewhere in the world. The global supply chain model is changing and may never return to what it once was. Companies are struggling with supply chains impacted by the pandemic. This can lead to long delays in getting key components for your products. 

Switched-on manufacturers are working towards making their supply chain more resilient.  Manufacturers are forecasting potential post-pandemic scenarios and anticipating the future needs of their customers and suppliers. To stay competitive, it’s crucial for you to plan ahead on how your company will react in any situation.

Expand into New Markets

While the emphasis should always be on minimising risk, sometimes it’s impossible to prevent so it’s best to adapt and innovate. It’s never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket. If you have too few customers or too few suppliers you are leaving your business vulnerable to changing circumstances.

For example, some manufacturers are expanding their product lines into new areas or looking at new sales models including ecommerce, to create new markets for the company. This can help you avoid disaster for the short-term and help your company survive through lean times.

Develop your Brand Proposition

A brand proposition is a common term used by marketers and understood by few. In today’s marketplace, it’s important to have a clear and distinct brand. It’s important to understand what value your brand provides to your customer.

It’s time to start talking in your customers language when positioning your brand. Consider your market segments and how you could potentially remove their supply chain risk and maximise their profits and sales. This is particularly important if you are branching out into new markets. Understand the new market and create a brand proposition that resonates.

The Australian Market

There has been an increased demand in some local manufacturing due to the difficulty in sourcing imported goods. These manufacturers can take this time as an opportunity to scale up operations. For other manufacturers who are primarily export-focused, it may be a time to consider the local market.

We Australians prides ourselves on being an innovative economy. Historically the Australian government has pushed for more local manufacturers to help create jobs and be competitive on a global scale. There is currently an $800m grants program designed to transform Australian manufacturing.

Conclusion

The old adage suggests that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” But for Australian manufacturers, an adapted version might be, “When the going gets tough, the tough get smart.” 

The world is changing and it’s time for manufacturers to change too. If you’d like support developing your brand and business strategy the Consult Group Company is here to help. Book a one-on-one coaching session today.

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