in Vol. 10 - May Issue - Year 2009
Seizing the day in spite of the crisis
The vibratory finishing industry has also been greatly impacted by the current economic crisis. Order volumes are declining and suddenly there is time left, which should be spent efficiently. Everybody thinks about the things that were left undone in the busy years of 2007 and 2008 due to a lack of time. Now, everybody is desperately looking for ways to spend this time efficiently.
However, taking your time for such considerations leads to suitable ideas. In all departments of a company, some important activities are abandoned during peak times and now it is time to focus on some measures:
- Clearing up
- Strategic realignment
- Relationship management
The following sections provide some tips on which tasks could be addressed in key business areas.
Sales department: When was the last time you really could go after potential prospects and analyse your overall market? Where are all the industrial fair contacts you wanted to call or visit again long ago? Now you have time to care for your customers and relationships to the latter. Now is the time for you to build trust by demonstrating reliability and confidence in times of crisis instead of complaining. What’s more: customers might also have time for you. They might remember open topics, uncompleted tasks and probably even an order they haven’t yet placed with you.
Purchase department: Are you sure you have the best suppliers, the lowest prices, the highest product quality or the perfect price/performance ratio? Now is the time to check all this. Challenge your purchase habits, talk to alternative suppliers, compare your prices, performance and quality. This is the time when your suppliers‘ marketing staff has time to establish update offers.
Research & Development: Which new procedures fit your company’s portfolio? This is the right time to intensively address new technologies in order to be in the right position for the future. This time is also right for reviewing all existing processes and procedures for reasonability, efficiency, profitability and optimisation potentials.
Production: It’s high time to spruce up the unutilised production department in order to be prepared for the next economic boom. Whether maintenance, inspection, repair, upgrading or modification – all this can be done now without having to sacrifice Sundays and public holidays.
Marketing department: Is our web presence up to date? Shouldn’t you have developed an action plan for reaching new markets and checked for the appropriate marketing tools and how to successfully train and motivate the responsible staff long ago?
Now is a good time for all this, when considering that the restructuring and optimisation of various company areas is a good reason for marketing the latter profitably.
All departments: Clearing up! Find accumulations of things nobody needs anymore. Identify paper stacks, jam-packed filing trays, blocked drawers. Find space that should be tidied up and cleared out. A large container in front of the door can be an extreme motivation to get rid of waste in all areas of the company.
Last but not least: Our beloved environment! Check the environment management status of your business. Still wasting energy? Do you use sustainable products? Does your staff adhere to your company’s environment guidelines? Does your cleaning staff contribute good ideas on how to improve the cleanliness of your company? Peak times of the economic cycle usually leave you with no time to address such issues. Clean up, become cleaner – cleanliness also provides a good marketing argument.
We wish you the best of luck and a quick implementation. The next economic boom will come for sure!
by Dirk Gather,
Contributing Editor MFN
and General Manager of