5 Common Challenges Manufacturing Businesses Face Today

Published on Sep 17, 2014




© Stuart Miles - Fotolia.comFor generations, manufacturing has been a reliable career choice. Many manufacturing companies have been operating for decades. Over the years, there have been dramatic changes in the industry. From automation to technology to outsourcing, it can be a serious struggle to stay relevant in a rapidly changing climate. Failing to stay ahead of the curve could mean you are losing out on profitable business opportunities. Consider 5 major challenges manufacturing businesses face in a global marketplace.

1. Boosting Production

The key to having a successful manufacturing business is to produce enough products to meet current demand. The market can be unpredictable. Being unable to gauge market demand can lead to producing too much, which costs your money. Conversely, you might less than what is needed and the business goes to the competition. Conducting market research is essential to know what people want right now. You can hire a marketing professional to do research for your company. If you are on a budget, consider surveying your current and prospective customers on social media. This is a way to find out what to produce and how much to make without going overboard or giving away business to a competitor.

2. Training Employees

When methods of production change, you often need to teach a few old dogs some complicated new tricks. Training employees helps ensure your productive level from waning. Employees need to recognize changes in products and the market to comprehend why their jobs must be done differently. Schedule a group training session with a seasoned industry professional. Offer one-on-one training to those who need it. Spending time on training ultimately saves time in the long run. If there is no time during the work day, help employees cover the cost of taking training classes on their own time. Educating your employees improves the quality of work they do and builds loyalty to your business.

3. Cutting Costs

Everyone wants to bargain shop to get the best possible quality for the lowest price. This means your manufacturing business must find way to cut costs without compromising quality. Brainstorming sessions are a wise way to figure out where money can be saved. Enlist the assistance of product development specialists to help you find better ways to make products for less. One of the last resorts is to layoff employees that you might need just a few months later. However, sometimes layoffs are inevitable. These decisions should be made carefully with an eye on the future. Business Insider encourages manufacturing businesses to consider the gross margin.

4. Going Green

Going green is more than a pop phrase. Certain customers will only work with businesses that consider their environmental impact. Being a green business is an excellent way to promote yourself. Some customers are even willing to pay a little more to deal with a company that is dedicated to preserving the environment. Find out the most efficient ways to dispose of waste. Have an energy audit of your business done to determine ways to save on utility bills. Teach employees simple ways to go green such as recycling cans from the vending machine in the break room or turning off lights when they are done in a particular area. Every little bit adds up to defining your business as environmentally conscious. It can also help your company save money.

5. Effective Marketing Strategies

Savvy manufacturing businesses realize the importance of developing a cutting edge approach to marketing. Depending on an old advertisement in the yellow pages and word-of-mouth simply is not enough anymore. You manufacturing business needs a website and blog. This is the leading way to provide updated information to valued customers and associates. Strong content can even make your business an authority in certain areas. Your business should have dedicated social media accounts on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. All of your web content should focus on certain keywords that would be used to look for what you offer. A marketing specialist can help you refine your approach to get noticed in a modern business world.

Main Takeaway: Manufacturing businesses face 5 common challenges. It is important to boost production, cut costs and go green. It also makes a difference when you enlist updated marketing strategies and train your employees properly to compete in a changing business climate.