The past year has shown us that a pandemic can halt global manufacturing, a cargo ship can block a canal causing a logistics nightmare and consumer demand can change overnight. These three events have one thing in common, they were all unexpected. None of this could have been predicted or planned for in an annual budget meeting. However, it does teach businesses one valuable lesson ‘plan for the unexpected’. Now is the time to prepare your business for the unexpected and evolving business landscape.
We know, ‘plan for the unexpected’ sounds counter intuitive—how do you plan for something you can’t predict? Let us break it down for you a bit further below.
Find Multiple Manufacturers
After the manufacturing problems of 2019 due to COVID-19, many businesses have decided to re-shore their manufacturing, deciding to bring their manufacturing closer to home so that products do not have as far to travel. While this means that manufacturing costs will most likely increase, many businesses have decided to prioritize localized manufacturing over costs.
You don’t have to make the drastic step of moving all of your manufacturing closer, but you can look into manufacturers closer to home and start building a relationship. It is normal to meet with multiple manufacturers and even have a backup option if for some reason your main manufacturing partner encounters issues.
Be Ready to Pivot
Overnight your entire business might be forced into a new direction or a new way of conducting business. By keeping your business agile, you will be able to overcome these challenges. An agile business will “adapt quickly to market changes – internally and externally. Respond rapidly and flexibly to customer demands. Adapt and lead change in a productive and cost-effective way without compromising quality.” (Agile Business)
So, why agile? The future is unpredictable, and with the world and its technology changing ever faster, it is creating greater uncertainty to our needs and requirements. Businesses that embrace agile are able to adapt faster; delivering little and often, testing the environment and remaining customer focused. (Agile Business)
Focus on E-Commerce
When stores closed, e-commerce shopping rose. Suddenly your product’s position on store shelves wasn’t the main focus, since people were no longer going into physical stores. People needed to shop from their home and those businesses with an e-commerce component were able to quickly adapt to this change.
Get the e-commerce side of your business going so that even when the world changes, you can have direct contact with your customer base. A solid e-commerce strategy is a component you cannot compromise on anymore.
While you can’t plan for certain disruptive global events, you can plan on a changing business landscape. Take time now to prepare your business for the unexpected to avoid being caught in a lurch. To quote the renowned inventor, Benjamin Franklin, “By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.