Your factory as a marketing tool
As Manufacturing Growth Director, Steve helps businesses to compete, innovate and grow providing advice and support on new product development, intellectual property protection and production process optimisation. His broad career includes MD of £75M multi-site, European medium volume manufacturing company, Director of global sourcing in a $12B US corporation, MD of an off-shore engineering company in India and design and engineering leadership in sectors spanning aircraft to lawn-mowers. He has a PhD and MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design, Cranfield, BSc Aircraft Engineering, Salford and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
It’s one of those things that we just do but no one ever wonders why. Often it’s too simple to view the obligatory factory tour as just a step within the sales process, but providing customers with a tour of an efficient, effective and well run factory or plant can be as effective a marketing tool as anything else available.
Effective and successful marketing is achieved by showing that your products are better than those of your competitors – their quality and manufacturing standards play a big part in this and a well run, efficient factory is a central component in this equation. Factories where Lean practices such as 5s and flow and pull have been implemented show clear examples of this. A clean, professional and well organised factory is one that looks like a place customers want to have their products made.
Your factory becomes a unique selling point. It’s a place where customers can come and look around and you, as a manager can display the factory with pride. Lean practices ensure that you create an environment where people want to work, where quality work is happening even when there’s no one there to tour the plant. In my past, a factory that I ran saw around 1,000 customers and visitors every year. The plant became a key differentiator between us and our competitors and it helped us to win new business.
EEF provide a range of Lean process and improvement courses aimed at developing factories and plants to ensure that they are running as efficiently as possible.
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