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manufacturing industry

Taming Sales Complexity in the Manufacturing Industry

As the growth of the manufacturing industry continues to soar, it is natural that the buying processes involved have consequently become more complicated, lengthier, and involving more stakeholders in the sales cycle. While growing manufacturing companies make supplier collaboration and diligence on the manufacturing floor a top priority, eliminating complexity from customer-facing processes often takes a backseat. Furthermore, as product portfolios grow broader, multi-year service contracts are becoming the new normal and shorter product lifecycles are bound to make the sales manager’s job in the manufacturing industry even more challenging. Based on our expertise in helping manufacturing sector clients to overcome similar challenges, we have listed out some ways by which sales managers in the manufacturing industry can overcome complexities.

Want to learn more on how sellers in the manufacturing sector can better keep up with the rapid changes in buyer behavior? Request a free proposal for comprehensive insights on our solutions for companies in the manufacturing industry.

Communicate with decision-makers

Generally, most B2B purchases in the manufacturing sector involve at least five or more people. Each of these stakeholders will also be in charge of different teams that could influence their key decision-making. It is vital for the sales team in the manufacturing sector to be able to gain a comprehensive understanding on the company including its culture, goals, and what support their primary contact needs in order to get others onboard. A best practice here is to think through the mind of the buyer and how they would convince their team about your products. If the key questions of the key stakeholders can be effectively taken care of, then it becomes for easier for sales managers to close the deal.

Customize based on the requirement

Different internal stakeholders in a buying organization will have different requirements. As such, the one-size-fits-all approach here could prove to be ineffective. Therefore, it becomes essential for manufacturers to tailor experiences for different stakeholders. A good majority of B2B buyers will be willing to pay more for a great experience while making a purchase, making this a crucial factor for companies in the manufacturing industry to consider.

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Leverage consumer insights

Sales managers in the manufacturing industry must leverage appropriate customer relationship management tools. This will help them prevent losing valuable customers to competitors. Modern CRM systems have the ability to track which content has been sent to a contact, and when coupled with a sales Enablement platform, can track which parts of this content have been read and which works best for certain sectors. When used together, CRM and sales Enablement can help marketers and the sales team to analyze and understand how best to influence prospects.

How can you accelerate your company towards more strategic initiatives in the manufacturing industry? Get in touch with an expert to find out.

manufacturing industry

US Manufacturing Industry: How to Improve Scalability and Compete in Future

The US manufacturing industry is quite different from what it was probably a decade or two ago. The erosion of American manufacturing companies has contributed to approximately two-thirds of the fall in labor share of US GDP. This is primarily due to the fact that the output growth in the US manufacturing industry has been largely concentrated on a few industries such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace. Despite the headwinds in the sector, some of the largest US manufacturers have managed to thrive, but several small and mid-size manufacturing companies are facing the heat. The United States must now focus on positioning its manufacturing sector to leverage existing opportunities and prepare to compete in the future rather than making attempts to recreate the past or maintain status quo.

Small and midsize companies in the US manufacturing industry need more mentorship and strategic guidance to understand the market opportunities at stake. Request a free proposal for more insights from our experts.

US manufacturing industryStrengthen supplier base

Keeping suppliers at arms-length often has an impact on the bottom-line of large manufacturers. For instance, take the case of automobile manufacturing. The inefficiencies in interactions between OEM and suppliers can add up to development, tooling, and product costs. These costs are generally seen to be higher for US manufacturing companies when compared to their Asian counterparts. Similar inefficiencies can also impact other industries and are more likely to increase as the need to expand product portfolios and reduce turnaround times increases. Seeking lower bids from suppliers can result in diminishing returns over time. Procurement should be viewed as a source of value rather than simply a means to cut costs. Companies in the manufacturing industry can also benefit from identifying the suppliers that provide critical, high-value components and these may not be the largest suppliers. Rather than restricting themselves to only monitoring suppliers, US manufacturing industry companies must make efforts to solicit their ideas, invest in their capabilities, and build trust to enhance supplier relationships.

Many manufacturers, particularly in advanced industries, often report difficulties in identifying and capitalizing on opportunities before their counterparts in the market. Get in touch with our experts to know how our solutions can help companies grab opportunities and gain a better foothold.

Deeper global engagement

Emerging markets open up new opportunities for companies in the US manufacturing industry to win customer loyalty and build their customer base. However, the number of US companies that sell abroad are much lesser when compared to other developed economies. Small and mid-size companies in the US manufacturing industry must gain a deeper and strategic understanding of the opportunities that their counterparts enjoy in advanced economies and turn it to their advantage.

Improve adoption of digital technology

The US manufacturing industry has been relatively slow in the adoption of digital technologies. This has caused a significant impact on the industry’s productivity performance. When compared to nations such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea the adoption of advanced technologies and robotics in the manufacturing industry has been comparatively lower in the United States. In order to capitalize on modern technology, manufacturers have to capture, analyze, and integrate data flows across operations. Also, consider upgrading and replacing some outdated machinery with the latest ones.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for business

manufacturing industry in Latin America

Why Top US Brands are Turning to the Manufacturing Industry in Latin America

Earlier, many top manufacturing companies in the US heavily relied on Chinese manufacturers due to the availability of low-cost labor. However, with the rapid economic growth in China and a larger section of the Chinese population moving to middle-class and demanding higher wages, several global brands are turning away from China in search of lower-cost alternatives from emerging markets. The manufacturing industry in Latin America is one such market that has become highly lucrative for companies in the US. Everything from medical supplies, to pharmaceuticals, to apparel, aircraft and computer machinery is now manufactured in Latin America, and the political and economic policy adjustments have significantly contributed to the manufacturing industry growth in Latin America.

A lot goes into finding the right balance in terms of economy and quality while manufacturing a product. Request a free proposal to know how our solutions can help you achieve this!

Benefits of manufacturing in Latin America

manufacturing industry in Latin AmericaProximity

One of the key benefits of manufacturing industry in Latin America is its proximity to the US. When American brands do business with suppliers in overseas regions like Asia, it requires officials from the company to travel to the foreign nation. This is primarily because they may want to gain a firsthand view of where and how their products are manufactured.  One of the key benefits of manufacturing in Latin America for companies in the US is their proximity to Central America. Another challenge that proximity helps solve is the disconnect from the manufacturing process.

Lower turnaround time

By relying on the manufacturing industry in Latin America, companies in the US can ensure faster shipping of the final products than that from overseas. Often, businesses that have their manufacturing units in Asian countries like China re-stock only once a quarter it takes at least a month for an order to ship overseas. This lack of flexibility in ordering can lead to over- or under-stocking of products. Shipping from the manufacturing industry in Latin America gives a lot more flexibility to companies in the US when it comes to placing orders.

Get in touch with our experts to stay updated on the latest manufacturing industry trends, challenges, and opportunities and learn how our solutions can help your business stay ahead of the game.

Vast labor pool

One of the biggest advantages of turning to the manufacturing industry in Latin America is the high labor pool available. With China’s economy on the upswing, the labor costs of manufacturing industry in Latin America would prove to be much cheaper for brands in the United States. Moreover, in changing economies, Like China, where a greater number of people are rapidly entering the middle class, the manufacturing industry is booming due to the rise in demand by the local population. This means that manufacturers are utilizing their own resources to meet local demands. In some places, it is required for them to do so. This could lead to longer turnaround times and higher cost of labor overseas, making the manufacturing industry in Latin America highly attractive for American companies.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for business.

smart manufacturing

Answering 4 Key Questions About Smart Manufacturing

Over the past couple of years, smart manufacturing has been the trending topic of discussion amongst manufacturing experts, strategists, and industry thought leaders. Despite smart manufacturing garnering increasing popularity, many in the manufacturing industry aren’t quite sure of what it entails, its benefits, and how it is relevant in their organization. Smart manufacturing is a powerful force with the potential to restructure the existing competitive landscape and produce a new set of market leaders. Companies that are slow to adopt such advanced technologies and processes could be left behind.  In this blog, experts at Infiniti answer four key questions relating to smart manufacturing and how it is transforming the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

smart manufacturing

What is smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing involves the use of fully-integrated and collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time for catering to the rapidly changing demands and conditions in the factory, the supply network, and customer needs. It is a broad concept that cannot be implemented directly in the production concept. It employs computer controls, modeling, big data, and other automation to enhance manufacturing efficiencies.

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What are the benefits of smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing opens up new avenues of innovation that will optimize the creation of higher quality products, improve productivity, sustain safer plant floors, and improve energy efficiency. Furthermore, it will give manufacturers the opportunity to boost employment rates over the current national manufacturing workforce. With the adoption of smart manufacturing techniques, more technology based manufacturing job positions will be available, creating direct manufacturing as well as non-manufacturing positions.

What does smart manufacturing mean for manufacturers?

For small manufacturing companies leveraging any type of business intelligence solution from legacy systems has been extremely limited.  Generally, these systems are not interoperable. As business models are increasingly becoming non-scalable, non-replicable, overly complex, and costly, it is increasing the difficulties for small manufacturing firms. Using smart manufacturing technology, small and medium companies in the manufacturing industry will gain access to new and growing forms of business intelligence. It can also be used to analyze data and test simulations that play a significant role in improving products, design, and performance.

Need more information on the key opportunities and challenges facing the manufacturing industry right now and the strategies to overcome them? Get in touch with our experts.

How does data drive smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing primarily revolves around harnessing data. Since smart factories are built on the foundation of data, cybersecurity will play a key role in the entire manufacturing ecosystem. While enabling advanced techniques such as smart manufacturing, data security is imperative. Machines, smart sensors and robotic platforms on the shop floor generate data that is necessary for monitoring, maintenance, and the basic management of the production line. However, much of this data remains in information silos within the factory. Greater integration of context data coming from several different data sources can enhance efficiency and increase the speed of production processes.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry.

Competitive Landscape Analysis

Critical Challenges facing small manufacturing companies in the U.S.

The U.S. manufacturing industry is facing unprecedented challenges. The sector stands at a critical point in its long history wherein the future of the big and small manufacturing companies will largely depend on how industry leaders view and react to the changing landscape. That being said, small manufacturers in particular face a fair number of challenges, including competition from large domestic businesses in the U.S. as well as from other global players. As the technological, demographic, and economic climate shifts, small manufacturing companies must innovate themselves in order to stay competitive. Let’s take a look at some of the issues facing small manufacturing companies through the lens of industry experts at Infiniti Research.

Challenges faced by small manufacturing companies

small manufacturing companiesCompetition from foreign companies

Small manufacturing companies in the U.S. are currently facing steady competition from several players around the globe. The competitive pressure is particularly high from Asian countries such as China where similar products can be produced for a fraction of the price it would cost to produce similar products in America. The low labor costs in countries like China enables manufacturers to produce and sell at extremely low prices, posing severe challenges for small manufacturing companies in the U.S.

Despite recurring challenges, small manufacturing companies can leverage advanced business intelligence solutions to face these challenges head-on and continue their upward momentum without any disruption. Request a free proposal to know more.

Regulations and compliance issues

One of the major roadblocks for U.S. based small manufacturing companies to compete with their offshore counterparts in terms of price is the labor costs and stringent government regulations. The U.S. is also constantly changing their regulatory and compliance policies that can force small manufacturing companies to make adjustments, causing them to spend even more on monitoring compliance.

Increasing quality of offshore manufacturing

A decade or two ago, the foreign quality of production was poor when compared to the U.S. However, now not only are the products manufactured outside the U.S. cheaper but over the years the quality of these products has also risen drastically. This has resulted in intense competition for small manufacturing companies. In order to survive such growing manufacturing industry challenges, companies in the manufacturing industry, especially small manufacturers must focus on improving their quality of production while maintaining their costs.

Get in touch with our industry experts to know how small manufacturing companies can tackle critical manufacturing challenges, turn them into opportunities, and eventually grow the business.

Shortage of skilled labor

Skilled workforce is highly essential in the manufacturing industry to complete various specialized tasks ranging from welding to programming automation systems. There has been a decline in the number of people enrolling for such skilled courses in universities over the past couple of years. To add on to this dilemma, a major portion of the existing workforce in the U.S. manufacturing industry are almost on the verge of retirement.  Consequently, there is a shortage of skilled workforce across large and small manufacturing companies. Manufacturers now need to identify new ways to incentivize and attract talent into the industry.

Competition from on-shoring

Apart from competing with offshore firms, small manufacturing companies are now also facing increased competition due to the growing trend of on-shoring. Foreign companies that primarily cater to U.S. customers are finding it more cost effective to manufacture in the states because of the cost of storage, transportation, and tariffs. Such companies act as an extra competition in the already difficult market, especially for small manufacturing companies.

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