Episode 110: Transcript

Three Tips to Manufacturing Success in a Post COVID-19 World

— Speaker 0 00:00:04.9200000 Make It Right. The manufacturing podcast. In recent months, the world has gone through a dramatic shift and the repercussions will be felt for a long time. As the manufacturing industry begins to ramp up again and the machinery gets rolling. What does your business look like? How has it changed? What do you need to do as a manufacturing leader to get your business aligned in a post COVID world on welcome to make a right over the last number of weeks. I’ve been speaking to leadership and marketing experts. Who’ve shared their expertise in an effort to help business, whether the COVID-19 storm this week on the show, I’ve curated some of their key comments with the hope they may trigger some ideas for you. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can go back and listen to the full episodes. So here are three tips to help you move your business forward in a post COVID world. And the first tip comes from award-winning online marketer, Scott Aaron. He was on episode 106 back in late May. And I asked Scott how a manufacturing company can make the most of the shift that’s taken place and stand out from the crowd in a postcode world. His key message was to serve the needs of your clients and customers and not just push your product. Speaker 1 00:01:23.6900000 Well, I think you have to ask yourself a question, you know, who am I looking to attract to my brand? Because I tell this to people all the time, even when you’re, you’re, you’re putting your brand out on social media, you’re talking about your company and the products and the goods that you sell out on social media. The problem that most people have Janet is they talk about things that they want to talk about, not actually what the end user consumer or customer wants to hear. So you really have to put yourself in the shoes of the end buyer. You have to put yourself in the shoes of that company that could utilize your product good or service that you’re manufacturing. Because when you can start to put yourself in the shoes of that individual of that company, then your brand will naturally start to come across as it should very genuinely, authentically and real where you’re not selling and telling you’re doing more asking and listening because we don’t know what people want until we ask them. Speaker 1 00:02:33.7800000 And prime example, I posted something on LinkedIn about a week ago, and I was talking about the aspects of how to grow a business and how to grow a brand. And I simply finished the video asking people, what is the number one thing that you are struggling with right now in your business? So what do you think that did that opened up the door to these other business owners that were sharing with me what they were struggling? And then what I can do is I can reverse engineer that and start developing content built around my brand that speaks directly to their problem. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. So, so for any manufacturing company, that’s the question that you need to start asking yourself, you know, what does my end user, whoever that is, whatever company that is, what do they actually want to hear instead of what do I want to say? So if you’re, if you’re a manufacturer and you manufacturer a good a product or a service that solves the problem, have someone else talk about it, what does your business do? Educate your audience. And this goes back to what I just said. If you really want to grow your business, you want to pivot. You want to take advantage of what’s going on with, COVID-19 Speaker 2 00:03:57.8900000 Be as visible as you can Speaker 1 00:04:00.0300000 Show up every single day on social media. Again, if it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, wherever you are, show up, educate your audience, let them know how you can help people, let them know that you’re available. Let them know what you do. How do you serve your clients? Because it’s not about you. It’s about them. It’s about how you can help other people. You want to make millions and you want to make billions. And if you have found a way to serve those, that many people, that’s how you can make millions and billions of dollars when you solve the problem of a lot of people. So making sure that you’re visible, you are present, you’re putting yourself out there and you’re letting people know the problems that you help solve. Speaker 0 00:04:41.8900000 That’s Scott, Aaron, he’s an award winning online marketer and he was my guest on episode 106 of make it right this week on the show. It’s three tips to help manufacturers and a post COVID world. James Soto is the founder of industrial strength marketing. They’re a B2B manufacturing company that focuses exclusively on the industrial sector. And his key tip was to determine your manufacturing, sweet spot and work to nail and own that niche. Here’s James Speaker 2 00:05:12.1200000 W one of the things you can do is like at you define your business by each job that comes in. So a job shop comes in and takes that job. They do a bid and they try to get a good bid to order ratio. You know, like I got a bid and Ooh, I got this one. And then if they kind of do something, let’s say like components around turbines w well, one of the things is all these pro products and components they produce are not made equal. They don’t get the best landed cost per part. Mmm. Or if it’s, or if it’s the machine tools that make those parts, whether it’s the equipment manufacturer, the company using them. One of the things that you have to really look at in nailing your niche is, wow, we’ve produced all these parts. What are the ones that maybe there’s only 200, 300, like that may quadruple on those? Speaker 2 00:06:02.0700000 Um, our, our team’s happier. It’s a premium, it’s not a race to the bottom on pricing. So, so, so really nailing a niche starts with know, truly creating almost like a startup. Again, you’re literally, you know, in the process of business model generation. So, you know, going back, you know, rewind to 2000, you know, in three, when I found it industrial strength marketing, I saw, you know, uh, you know, over 200,000 manufacturing companies, I was, I was managing a hoe over a hundred, about a hundred and close to 150 accounts, all manner of all companies, manufacturing, that’s supply chain, distribution, industrial services companies. And when you see a problem, problem, problem, and I didn’t see agencies there. I didn’t see anyone saying we’re unapologetically industrial. That’s literally what we say. Speaker 2 00:06:58.5400000 Um, and people saying, why would you go into that market? Because it wasn’t sexy. There’s not a lot of advertising. It’s more directive. Yeah. That’s that, that was our niche because you become the only guy there. Yeah. And, and, and, and over time that has changed. Um, um, so, you know, if you look at a manufacturer, they’re looking at the fact that, well, we have really differentiated capability. We do testing, we work on, you know, we’re working for, you know, circuit board manufacturers are folks making, you know, um, you know, they’re making, you know, CPU, chips, whatever it may be. And they understand the chemicals and the chemistry, and they’ve built specific niche testing capabilities. And so, so when you, when you get to that level of specialization or domain expertise, cause you know, so much about it, you start to, um, really show a difference between someone that just takes all jobs. Speaker 2 00:07:55.2100000 You may be producing the same component, but understanding the company’s application, the application engineering, it’s not just application engineering for everything. It’s we are actually, we understand what you’re dealing with. We understand the compliance, we understand the standards we have to work to. We understand how do we get to the complexities? How do we reduce costs through innovation approach to actually make how we make something? Those are the things that each business, if they would take the time to actually audit their work profitable, non-profitable good customer, not cust a bad customer. Um, and they can really look at where the best work is. If they’re willing to be brave enough and targeted enough and center their messaging and positioning, they could potentially find a niche. And if they nailed the niche, they have a narrative of the niche. They understand the key differentiating factors from them and they can articulate them at scale across their team. Speaker 2 00:08:51.2400000 Now, all of a sudden, they can not have to compete against the thousands competitors. It’s just them and a few. And what’s interesting is people say to me, James, like, well, Hey, you know, everybody knows us. There’s only four folks here that were making, you know, these, these sheets between, you know, sells for, you know, for EVs and battery technology. Oh my. Oh really? So you — — only have like three people to like kick their butt and we can provide more information. We can understand where they are on their journey. We can keep them up to speed on where the trends are on the technologies, where you are at an insider’s club and your innovation roadmap going into the science of it. How do they have their job? What are the risk factors that the ability for industrials in particular, um, is, is exponentially higher, I believe, than in the consumer segment, because we actually make the things we are actually engineers and we’re, we’re literally the experts on what we’re doing or trying to solve for. And because of that, I believe, you know, the, in the industrial sector and the folks that are committed to the marketing function have the best opportunity to be the best marketers. Certainly when it comes to content strategy, creating really engaging, useful, and actual content that can help their target niche, ideal customer, however they profile them or they persona them, or they look at them firmographic only, or demographically or psychographically once they know that sweet spot, that specificity and laser precision of targeting and message, is it game changer. Speaker 0 00:10:30.4300000 That’s James Sodo of industrial. And he was my guest on episodes 99 and 102 of make it right. I’m Janet Eastman. And this week on the show, we’re looking at three tips to help you move your manufacturing business forward in a post COVID-19 world. And tip number three comes from leadership consultant and author, Kevin Snook, whose proven aligned process helps manufacturing companies align their businesses from the frontline to the bottom line. And his key tip is to focus on supporting your team. Speaker 3 00:11:01.1000000 A in the align process is an aim from the hearts. And that means that the, the owners of the business need to have a super clear direction about where they’re going and why they going. And I think that’s a rallying cry for people at the moment because, um, you know, there’s going to be, it’s going to be some businesses that go under, there’s going to be other businesses that are concerned about going under. If you can have a very clear vision and people in the company know why, where we’re headed in that direction, then it’s a good rallying cry and people can rally around that. Mmm. But this, that the L in the aligned processes lead with the front line, know, this is a lot of what we’ve been talking about. The frontline people are the ones who do the work every minute of the day. Speaker 3 00:11:44.7400000 We need to ensure that we’re there to help and support them over these types of obstacles what’s going to happen is that the companies that I’m do extremely well standing by their front line, employees are the ones who are gonna get the loyalty ongoing. And that’s, again, that’s not only in manufacturing. I’ve seen in the hospitality industry, the, the hotels that are finding ways to adapt. You know, we have one hotel in, in Bangkok, Thailand, it is opened up their lobby, and there’s not an open restaurant in the, or an open cafe in their lobby to do takeaway food for people. And the staff are being able to keep their jobs because they’re, they’ve managed to pivot. And then now, you know, packing and preparing foods for people who, uh, who don’t have their own cooking facilities within their own houses. And so pivoting that way, allowing the staff to, to keep a sense of meaning and purpose Mmm. Speaker 3 00:12:44.9500000 Keeping them employed and keeping them paid that loyalty is going to pay off over, you know, over many years. And so that the second body L lead with the front line, I think is also very critical. So people can manage through these next few months. So a lot of people are talking about a new normal, and I never want anybody to feel normal anyway, I want to be extraordinary. Um, so I don’t want people to slip back into old practices. I don’t want them to try to be normal, I guess. I always think that in terms of crisis, rather than bouncing back, I want people to bounce forward. And so you use the momentum from the difficult times to be able to give you that step forward on the path. So what I’m looking for for people is what, what can we really learn? What can we learn about the organization? Speaker 3 00:13:36.5800000 What can we learn about the people? What can we learn about, uh, communication systems or support structures, et — — cetera, they give us, you know, a step up on the ladder when this all, or sort of hello. Okay. We don’t know whether it’s going to be two months or six months or whatever. Mmm. But learning is critical. Uh, there’s, there’s a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of fear at the moment. There’s a lot of negative media. Mmm. The more we can block that out from ourselves and look at, okay, the situation is, as it is, this is a great place to start. What did we learn? How do we get the most from that, putting new practice, not back to normal, but new practices that are really going to help elevate us. So over the next three to six months, that to me is the critical factor. Speaker 3 00:14:30.8900000 And I know that it’s, you know, this is not, uh, in any way, demeaning, that the challenge of the situation that we’re in, but when you can pull people together and use those challenging times, really Mmm. To come up with creative solutions that take you forward, that’s what entrepreneurial-ism is all about it. You know, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and the smartest people on the planet, and they’re the only people that ever I’ve taken really difficult situations and propel them forward. Mmm. So I’m looking for the entrepreneurial creative spirit from, from our business leaders. Speaker 0 00:15:06.1300000 Mmm. Speaker 3 00:15:06.6800000 Just say, look, we’re going to do things differently. And this is how they’re going to be better in the future. Speaker 0 00:15:11.5799999 That’s leadership advisor and author Kevin Snook on Make It Right. This week, on Make It Right. It’s been three tips to help manufacturers in a post COVID world. Tip number one came from Scott Aaron, and it was to serve the needs of your clients and customers, and not just push your product. Scott Aaron was on episode 106 Make It Right. Tip number two came from James Soto. And his tip was to find an own your manufacturing niche that came from episode 99 of make it right. And our final tip from Kevin Snook focused on supporting your team because they fuel your business. And that was from episode 100. That’s our show this week, please check out our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds that are on our podcast page. And you can subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and colleagues through iTunes, Google play, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube. We’re always looking for great manufacturing stories. So if you have one, please reach out at, makeitrightpodcast@gmail.com. The Maker It Right podcast is brought to you by Kevin Snook, leadership advisor and author of the bestselling book, Make It Right. Five steps to align your manufacturing business from the frontline to the bottom line. I’m Janet Eastman until next time. Thanks for listening to the Make It Right podcast.