Lonely At The Top
It’s hard to admit it but sometimes running a business can be a lonely affair. We cannot be an expert in everything so it would be great if you had someone you could trust to advise in those areas that you find difficult. You may find business finances a little daunting or winning new clients a constant struggle, whatever your strengths we all have weaknesses. Being a member of the Manufacturers' Alliance enables you to share your issues with people who are experts in their field and reach well-formed conclusions on how to solve them. In today’s fast-paced environment making decisions in a timely manner is vital to business success.
Achieve Business Growth
Growing a business can be like plate spinning at times. As you solve the customer retention issue your production facility can’t keep up anymore. When you invest in your production facility you start to experience cash flow problems. When you solve the cash flow problems you’re told that employees are not engaged…..and the cycle continues. The majority of the Manufacturers' Alliance members are growing businesses, so the sharing of the best growth techniques will be priceless. These high-level strategic conversations with other business leaders in the manufacturing sector are what makes our groups so unique. You cannot get this kind of platform anywhere else in the UK.
New To The Senior Role
You’ve recently been promoted and you really want to make an impression and amaze your peers. What could be more impressive than having a constant influx of new ideas and always making the right decision when issues arise? The Manufacturers' Alliance format ensures you get a good spread of knowledge from your fellow members, our chair people and industry-leading speakers. Having a support network that will help you work through difficult decisions will ensure you reach your potential in the role.
The most frequent topic at the monthly meetings is? People! Finding the right people, retaining good people, leading people, managing people, inspiring people, motivating people and the list goes on. Most manufacturing businesses will have at least one personnel issue to deal with over a 12 month period. And these issues often mean something or someone needs to change. This is where the group works really well together. Sharing great ideas. Sharing insights into things that have worked and things that have not worked for the group. Helping each other to gain a better understanding of how changing people’s mindsets can really drive the business forward.
Better Leadership Skills
If you are not improving your skills as a leader, why should the rest of the people within your organisation strive to improve? Seriously. If you are not leading by example and continuously improving your leadership skills, the business will not perform at its best. You need to benchmark yourself against excellence. Don’t be an OK leader or even a good leader, strive for excellence and set the benchmark for your team. Your fellow members, the chair people and the speakers we introduce to the groups will all help you to improve your capability as an excellent manufacturing leader.
After years of being in the same company, in the same role or running your own business, coming up with new ideas can be challenging. We get caught up in what’s known as ‘Group Think’ and reach decisions based on not wanting to upset people or appear disloyal. This is a common culture, which on the surface seems OK but when you dig a little deeper people are bored and reliving Groundhog Day every day. The Manufacturers' Alliance brings in new ideas via carefully selected guest speakers, the monthly problem-solving sessions with your peers and site visits to other local factories. You will not only find ideas for your own issues but will also learn how other members are solving their own business issues. Taking part in solving a fellow members issue is great knowledge should any of these problems arise in your business in the future.
An industry-wide problem affecting a number of SME manufacturing businesses is solving the productivity puzzle. Creating a higher output with the same or fewer resources. The rising costs of energy and labour can squeeze margins to a point that the bottom line just disappears. Having a productivity and cost reduction strategy is a must for most SME manufacturers. Although, productivity alone is not an effective strategy. You need to have plans that clearly differentiates you in the marketplace. Having access to the other member sites and making visits to best practice sites will provide you with a constant influx of ideas on how to improve your own productivity.
Growing My Network
Keeping your finger on the pulse and staying in touch with the constantly changing environment is hard. We have never in history ever experienced change at the pace we do today. Having a network of people around you that can keep you informed is invaluable. Staying up to speed on grants available, the latest business growth techniques, how to enter new markets, the best industry advisors and managing apprenticeship schemes are just some of the areas our members, chairs and speakers share with each other.