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Behlen Mfg. Co.
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Let’s start with a couple of questions:

  1. What was last year like?
  2. How was your customer base?
    a. Less demanding or more demanding?

In a recent survey conducted by McGladrey late in 2012, it would tell us the following about the business climate. Of those surveyed in manufacturing 55.3% of you thought your business was holding steady while 39.5% would say their business is thriving. Now that is some good news – but the challenge is how do we make money?

In this same survey, the question asked was what strategies are being used to maintain profit margins? (The reason that we come to work) Here is how a few of you answered:

  1. Increasing prices – 40%
  2. Lowering costs through operating efficiencies – 93.1%
  3. Working with suppliers and / or customers to improve their process and costs – 56.7%

 

I don’t know about your business but increasing prices is a hard thing to do and you will more than likely get some push back and possibly lose business – we have adopted a strategy with our customer base utilizing numbers 2 & 3. The first thing that we encourage our customer base to do is start with creating a value stream and setting goals:

  • One piece continuous flow, no stopping, no slowing down
  • Distefano Dispatch Jan. ’13 http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2890922f4a284bccdb1353128&id…
  • 1 of 3 2/5/2013 1:28 PM
  • Zero defects
  • Zero inventory
  • Zero downtime
  • Zero communication gaps
  • Shortest leadtime (for smaller WIP Inv and faster delivery)
  • Simplest “IPO” – Input Process Output
  • Maximum (daily) cash flow
  • EPE – Every products everyday
  • Better measurable value to the customer everyday
  • Quality, Delivery, Cost

The next couple of months we start looking at ways to implement numbers 2 & 3 – until next month!