Archive for October, 2011
Instead Of Reshoring, Think ‘Manufacturing In Markets Of Consumption’

Manufacturing closest to - or near - consumption delivers more economic, ecological and customer value.

I’m a big fan of the concept of Reshoring. Manufacturing builds wealth. Manufacturing creates jobs upon jobs upon jobs. And manufacturing replenishes itself, by accepting and training its next generations to carry on. Repatriation of the right production to the US is necessary to meaningful recovery.

And I’m also a big fan of The Reshoring Initiative – and its Sherpa, Harry Moser.  They’ve done and are doing remarkable things to educate businesses on ‘total cost of ownership’ and trumpet the advantages of re-engaging US manufacturing into supply chains.

But Reshoring as a concept in and of itself likely isn’t sustainable. It’s a great start, but does it leave money on the table? Maybe simply repatriating production based on the same premise (costs) – even if Reshoring is a more accurate and thorough premise than that which sent jobs (and more) away in the first place – doesn’t do enough to ensure this won’t happen again.

There’s more at stake here. Instead of only focusing on Reshoring, we should be pushing the concept of ‘Manufacturing in Markets of Consumption (MIMOC).’

Continue Reading

A Marketing Quadrant For Manufacturers – Content & Social Media

You must have 'the talk.' Whether you're beginning your marketing journey or restarting, the first step has to be discussing what your content proposition is and should be - to serve your customers, and win new business.

You must sit down and have ‘the talk.’

Far and away, the the most common mistake I see made by well-meaning but frustrated manufacturing businesses is ignoring ‘the talk’ about what their Web site & Social Media strategies should be. They discuss colors, or layout. They jump head-first into building a web presence, or establishing a Social Media voice – but rarely discuss content. It just doesn’t seem to matter much.

‘What will we say? What resonates most with our clients and prospects? What are they looking for? What are they trying to do? And what do they need that we can give them to make those things easier? Or better?’

In a perfect world, you’d think manufacturers would be the last to make this mistake. When you receive an RFQ or or inquiry from a prospect, the first thing you want to do is assess what’s needed – review the print, discuss the processes, dissect the job, find a better way. Do it right.

But with mixing marketing & most manufacturers, reality goes into suspended animation. They tend to make it up as they go along. And it’s probably like that at your company.

Here’s a guide to get your conversation about content marketing started. No matter where you are in your marketing journey, use this Marketing Quadrant for Manufacturers to get yourself on track & help ensure that you’re more successful in your own markets.

Continue Reading

Steve Jobs’ Life & Death Leave A Legacy For Manufacturing

Steve Jobs left a legacy that will affect many lives, in many walks, and in unique places. His legacy for manufacturing is compelling, and worthy of some reflection.

I’ve been up half the night and since early this morning reflecting on the life and passing of Steve Jobs. While we all knew he was ill and likely suffering a setback, news of his death shook me harder than I expected.

For me, it feels similar to the JFK and MLK assassinations but different at the same time. Like a slow, simmering introspection – but with the same gravity. Like losing John Lennon, without the flash of powder burns. Like “Uh-oh, this one’s really gonna hurt.”

So I’ve found myself thinking about this man and what he left us. There will be so many more eloquent eulogies in the coming days for this brash, tyrannical, brilliant, honest, spiritual, creative, flawed & perfect soul. But whenever we lose something like Steve Jobs, we have a responsibility to translate what we had and lost into terms that make sense to ourselves. To grow & build on. Personally.

Here are some thoughts about his life & passing and what they maybe mean for our unique place in this world.

Continue Reading