Essential Components to a Strategic Plan for a Manufacturing Facility

March 28, 2013 Selling Comments Off on Essential Components to a Strategic Plan for a Manufacturing Facility

Considering the “Top five essential components to a strategic plan for a manufacturing facility” from last month’s newsletter, let’s look at the first component, Define your product/service and your company’s value, “your value proposition”.  We have touched on this in the past and we work with all of our customers relentlessly to keep this in the forefront of what they do.  A business plan should be a living, breathing document; always adjusting and modifying to meet customer and market demands for what you do best.  Let’s consider this month’s component in two parts.  First, defining your product/service then secondly, defining your value proposition.

We find many business owners struggle to define clearly and simply the product or service they offer their customer.  While we agree it is not always easy we know it has to be done and the better it is done the better you can meet the needs these products and services solve.  Quite often owners and employees struggle to state in two to three sentences what they do best.  When this is the case we find that many of these people are trying to be too much to too many and this can lead to confusion and a lack of focus.  The simple question to ask and then answer is what do you do well?  What you need to answer here is “what are we experts at that we do better than anybody else”?  The key to a successful business is understanding your expertise and working to increase your skills so you are better at your core expertise than anybody else, anywhere at any time.  Another part to always stay focused on is making sure whatever you are experts at doing people really need and are willing to pay for.  History is full of great ideas to solve real world problems that never went anyplace because customers were not willing to pay enough to support a business for the great idea.

This takes us to the second part, the value proposition.  If you are experts at solving needs with your defined products and services it should be easy to state the value this brings to people that need these products and services.  Building off of your answer to “what we do well” you need to define why people will pay you to provide solutions to their needs.  This will lead you to your value proposition.  A dictionary defines value proposition as “a statement of the way a business proposes to use its resources to deliver superior value to its customers”.  Sound like a simple thing to do right?  Again, you need to be able to state quickly and in simple terms what your value is to your customers.

So to develop a plan effectively you need to start writing this down.  Create a list of your products and/or services (maybe there is only one or a couple) then next to each list the value you bring to your customers by solving needs associated with each of these products and/or services.  Now start refining and simplifying the message you will take to the market to tell them how you are experts in leveraging your products and/or services to solve needs they have.  Then the fun begins.  You and your team starts taking your value proposition to the market.  See what they think, see how they respond to what you tell them and see how your team reacts to all of this.

Remember two critical things.  First, no matter how hard you work to define everything you have to stay in tune with the market and your customer and continuously make adjustments accordingly.  This is why your business plan is a living, breathing document.  Secondly, you have to implement your plan.  Great plans have been created that have never seen the light of day because people did not do the hard work associated with implementation.  Coaching these skills is a critical part of what we do.  Let us help you develop and implement your Strategic Plan and coach and develop the skills to implement the plan successfully.

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Growth happens from an objective view. Strategen works with you to evaluate and identify the primary areas of your business that require improvement. Using our 6-point business planning process, we will develop and implement a custom-tailored strategy for your business.

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