25. August 2016
Being an IMTS year, it is to be expected that most of us are focused on technology. I'm here to tell you that to get the most out of the products and equipment you invest in, you must also focus on the "business" of moldmaking. This reminds me of an article series we did in the late 1990s, called Working on My Business.
Many of us work in our businesses, but do we work on our businesses? There is quite a distinction between the two. The articles in this series beg mold builders to start asking themselves some basic questions to assess where they are today and where they are headed in the future.
- How much time did you spend today thinking about and planning for the future?
- What have you done today that will create a better tomorrow?
- What five core competencies that your people now possess can be leveraged in the market to catapult your sales growth?
- What one or two core competencies that your people do not now possess, but if they did, could change the value equation in the market and give your company a quantum leap in competitive advantage?
- What is the number one bottleneck in your system of processes that is holding back your growth in sales, profit or both? What are you doing to resolve the bottleneck?
- If you had to itemize price everything (Yes, everything!) that your employees and you do each day on an invoice that you submit to your customers for payment, how many of these items would your customer recognize as value-added and be willing to pay for?
- If you were your biggest competitor and you know what you now know about your company, how would you put your company out of business?
- How do you recognize an opportunity for growth? What are the parameters? Where do you find these opportunities?
- Has the company's annual revenue dollars per employee and annual profit dollars per employee increased, held fairly constant or decreased during the past five years? What is the trend and what specifically are the top two reasons why this trend is occurring?
- How do your company's performance figures (as defined in number nine above) measure up against those same figures of your competitor?
- Why is there a difference (regardless of the direction and trend)? What are you doing to change them now?
- When was the last time you saw a co-worker do something really great? What did you do?
- If you were a mouse in a corner in your customer's conference room, what would you like to hear them say about your company as a supplier? What are you doing to ensure that they are saying those words?
- How many new customers did you acquire last year?
- What would happen to your business if your two largest customers were to be acquired by another company outside of your sphere of influence?