Guide Helps Independent Directors Guide Manufacturing Company Strategy

Ed Marsh | May 30, 2017 4:44:09 PM

Consultant Ed Marsh has released a guide to facilitate the strategy discussions for boards of directors of industrial manufacturing companies facing disruptive changes

Boston, MA, 12 June, 2017

independent directors of b2b manufacturing companies need to plan for disruptive changes

Major business disruptions tend to happen very quickly….after years of indications that they were pending. That was true of the disruption created by import competition price and quality in the 90s, and it’s true of the rise of Manufacturing 4.0 – also called the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Technology trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing are colliding with major market trends including demographics, workforce challenges, global business, geopolitical risk, sharing economy and profoundly changing industrial buying habits.

Yet many small and middle market industrial manufacturers haven’t done much scenario planning much less embraced these trends in their strategy development. That’s a potentially damaging oversight by both independent directors and executive management. The trends often seem quite remote and teams who are uncertain where to begin the conversation tend to default to near-term priorities. 

Manufacturing revenue growth consultant Ed Marsh frequently encounters this uncertainty with clients and has developed a guide to help manufacturing company owners, directors and management begin productive conversations and planning.

With 52 pages of insights, trend background and sample questions, “Navigating the Turn - A Mapbook & Question Guide for Directors & Managers of Companies Hoping to Thrive in 2025” provides a framework and discussion starters to facilitate these critical conversations.

“I love working with folks that start, run & grow industrial manufacturing companies” says the guide’s author Ed Marsh, an expert on sales & marketing for manufacturers and founder of Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC. He continues, “They’re brilliant and inspiring. But too often their focus on product and technology keeps them from seeing these critical big picture trends – which means they miss opportunities and may be surprised by challenges.”

Rising generations of operations, finance, engineering and maintenance managers bring with them different expectations and habits than their predecessors. As digital natives accustomed to sharing economy models such as Uber and Airbnb, these folks expect their industrial suppliers to be digitally savvy and contemporary in their business practices. Yet many B2B manufacturers persist in traditional revenue growth approaches, refusing to provide robust online prospect experiences or to entertain alternative B2B revenue models.

Similarly they tend to be dismissive of additive manufacturing/3D printing and view IoT as an integration project rather than an opportunity to incorporate data services and cloud models into their product roadmap which will not only position them well against manufacturers but provide data which they’ll likely be able to monetize in new business models. 

Marsh notes “As an independent director and NACD Director Fellow it worries me to see how rare this sort of strategic discussion and scenario planning is among clients and prospects. Ignored, these changes imperil companies. Embraced, they represent incredibly exciting and profitable growth opportunities.”

Today’s digital tools provide manufacturers with incredible domestic and global growth opportunities. The tools must be used in an integrated strategy driven approach – and the short and medium term corporate strategy should feed the long-term. This free guide will help boards and executives to begin the critical, introspective work to position themselves for vibrant growth.

The Industrial Manufacturing Strategy Conversation Guide can be downloaded here. Companies that would like to apply the sort of rigorous management which powers their manufacturing, to their revenue growth using ORE™ can learn more here.

About Ed Marsh:  Ed has 25 years of experience in industrial marketing for manufacturers, sales & management. He's a HubSpot tiered partner and has helped a number of B2B companies achieve revenue growth success by coaching and developing their internal teams using this model. He's a graduate of Johns Hopkins, a former Army Airborne Ranger, NACD Board Director Fellow and member of the Association for Corporate Growth. He's also an experience international businessman and Export Advisor to American Express's Grow Global program.