“In the high tech manufacturing business, sustaining change is the key to success,” writes my colleague Bjorn Kuijt in the article, Thriving in the Turbulent World of High Tech Manufacturing published by Microsoft Dynamics Community.
I cite and link to this article as this will be my last post of the year, meaning it will likely also be the last post of mine that you read this year. And if you are like most, you are anticipating the change that will accompany the calendar’s flip to 2011.
But for those of us who work in or with the high tech machinery or discrete manufacturing industry, the change we feel moving into a new year is far tamer than the change we manage in order to survive on a daily basis.
Take the example Kuijt cites in his article:
“In the first decade of the 21st century, availability of semiconductors and chip-producing machinery became abundant. The result has been that high tech machinery and parts manufacturers have had to change their business approach to create new opportunities that take advantage of the surplus.
By changing, and adopting new business strategies in line with this shifting trend, one company was able to develop a new revenue opportunity by switching its focus to manufacturing new machines to fabricate new sustainable products, such as solar panels and equipment.”
The underlying subtext of the story Kuijt cites is that had this high tech manufacturing company not changed and adopted a new strategy, it may very well have become an example of the dangers of avoiding change – rather than a success story.
In the example above, the high tech manufacturing company was able to see and proactively change its strategy proactively in line with a changing business landscape. In determining whether or not it is time to change your strategy, these signals should be looked at in clear sync with your own business data.
For instance, are you seeing a drop in levels of bills or materials? An increase in the need for subcontracting? A call to diversify engineering?
Your own changes in business data, of course, will be far more specific. Your key will be to sync specific changes in your data with the broader trends being exhibited by the industry in which you work – and, of course – to distill and interpret meaning. This is the art of analysis – and the key to transforming the need to change into a roadmap for success.
And so as we move from one year to the next, know that when it comes to your high tech manufacturing strategy, the tinge of change you feel should be far less dependent on the flip of the calendar than the flipping of trends.