In Scaling Up, Focus on 3Ps: Pricing, Partnership, and Pipeline
June 18, 2014
For manufacturers, a surefire method of securing opportunities for scaling up business is becoming a preferred supplier to a larger manufacturing organization. Here are the steps needed to ensure a smooth approach that sets the table for high growth. Positioning your small business to scale up As opposed to conventional capacity building, the ability to scale up is a part of the capability to reconfigure manufacturing systems and allow production capacity to be quickly adjusted to specific customer demands while maintaining cost efficiency -- in this case, being a preferred, strategic supplier to a particular large organization. Like any strategic growth plan, there are a number of steps that need to be taken early on to ensure a smooth scale-up. To get your business poised for rapid growth, consider the three Ps in this order: 1) Pricing "Your customer is a buyer first and a partner second." So says Buckley Brinkman, CEO of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership Providing better customer service does not always mean you get away with charging a higher price. In a strategic alliance, competitive pricing is a must. A savvy small company knows that getting in the door of a large organization before procurement takes place means that it has to offer a lower-price solution than the competition. This is what secures a front-row seat in the selection of preferred vendors in the future. 2) Partnership High-growth businesses realize that they must be more than just component or product providers to their customers; they must position themselves as valuable partners. One small manufacturer has used this very concept to successfully scale up to where its metalforming business now is comprised of a significant portion worldwide exports. Jeff Clark, CEO of Waukesha Metal Products RELATED: What to Expect from a Metal Stamping Provider 3) Pipeline Small businesses and entrepreneurial-style companies must constantly look to the future, knowing what is needed to grow the business, keep up with customers' needs, and ward off the competition. By looking ahead, Clark realized that he needed to begin developing a talent pipeline Waukesha Metal Products is an example of how a company can position itself not only to customers but also in the community to attract strong team members as it grows. Clark knew that getting students involved in the manufacturing industry early in their lives could positively impact the community while growing a talented workforce that his company needs for its future. It is a win-win strategy. To recap what it takes to scale up your business for sustainable success:
- Position yourself as a preferred vendor at the onset by providing not just impeccable customer service but also competitive pricing.
- Be a partner in thought and in action, instead of limiting your role to just a vendor.
- Develop a workforce pipeline. It takes a skilled, educated, and experienced team to grow a company into the future.