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Five Proven Success Factors for Manufacturing Growth

As a modern manufacturer, you know that growth isn't just a business goal-it's an imperative for staying in business given the intense competition you face. So it probably won't surprise you that a recent survey  by Epicor and MORAR Consulting showed that most manufacturers expect to grow their businesses in the next 12 months.

However, what probably will surprise you is business growth itself. It's true: surprises are bound to happen as a business grows regardless of how prepared an organization may be (or thinks it is). The good news is that despite the uncertainty involved in growth, there are several proven factors you can count on to help you weather the unexpected and grow successfully-if you implement them.

A Successful Manufacturer's Checklist for Managing Growth

The survey by Epicor and MORAR uncovered five factors that manufacturers who reported growth in the past 12 months said were essential to their success. Use these five keys as a starting point to help determine whether your organization is set for success-or has room for improvement:

1. Good planning. According to 60% of respondents, thorough planning was the top factor in their successful growth. What drives good planning is having ready access to accurate and timely information. Without the right data, it's impossible to fully understand what's happening in your business, and this leads to mistakes and bad decision-making. 

2. Hard work and determination. Nearly half of manufacturers cited good old hard work and determination as key to their success. Without these fundamental aspects in place, the other items on the list fall flat-with the exception of number four on the list. Without the right technology, it doesn't matter how hard you work.

3. Agility and response to market demands. As global competition increases, responding to customers and adapting to market changes fast are essential to staying ahead. A lack of agility can lead to non-existent growth, lost revenue, and missed opportunities as your business is unable to add new products and services, enter new markets, or retain customers.

4. Right technology in place. IT drives businesses everywhere, manufacturing included. Without it, outdated, standalone systems and organizational silos will waste time and energy. Managing overseas operations will be difficult and time-consuming, and scaling your business operations will be challenging-thus limiting growth potential.

5. Staff with the right skills. Developing and retaining skilled staff is essential to business growth. This also ties in with having the right technology -you don't want employees struggling with complex systems which lack desirable features such as mobile access, or leaving the company because they feel burdened with non-value add tasks.

Uncertainty may be inevitable in business growth, but paying close attention to these five key areas will go a long way toward ensuring your company's successful growth now and in the future.

Read our new eBook to learn more about what it takes for manufacturers to grow successfully today.

Posted by Celia Fleischaker, SVP, Global Marketing at Epicor


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