The Continuing Manufacturer Uplift - Marc A. Pfister
  • Focus on Employee Retention — During inflationary periods, it is quite easy for operations to direct a majority of focus towards consumers and unintentionally neglect the organization’s employees. As a Director, be sure you are receiving metrics relating to culture.
  • Deeply Understand Your Current Market — Inflation commonly affects entire industries and markets, so what is your organization’s differentiator(s) as it relates to price and value?
  • Refocus on Supply Chain — Does the organization you serve require additional material suppliers and do single points of failure exist?
  • Capitalizing On Demand — Look for proactive measures being instituted in your organization’s approach to marketing and client incentives/retention.
  • Ensure a Clear & Fair Pricing Strategy — Look for indicators that the organization is clear on how they plan on articulating the “why” of a price increase to consumers.
  • Alignment of Your Brand’s Values — Honesty and authenticity are paramount in messaging relating to price hikes, lessening quantity, or reducing quality. Does management fully understand this?
  • Define & Document Ideal Employees by Skill Sets (current state + future) — Ensure management knows exactly what they require in ideal employees and candidates to fulfill organization needs.
  • Existing Employee Retention Planning — Look for a formal plan and metrics to back up what is expected and required.
  • New Employee Attraction Plan — Ask the right questions! Is your organization’s offering and personal growth plan competitive — not just for your industry?
  • Employee Rewards & Recognition Program — Does management’s approach make employees feel valued? Are there actual incentives when recognized for exceptional performance?
  • Employee Surveys and Action Plan — Are we, as Board Members, receiving accurate and consistent metrics of current state as well as action plans relating to direct employee feedback?
  • Business Continuation Planning (BCP) — Is the organization continuously prepared for the loss of key employees and leaders? How is the organization and its customers protected?
  • Understand Your Market & Competitors — Board Directors in the manufacturing sectors must allocate more time to research activities on their own time. What is the industry doing as it relates to automation? What have been the pros and cons? When a Director can’t ask the right questions they will never get the right answers.
  • The Automation Proclamation — Automation simply for the sake of automation is not the answer. Be the Director who sees further than the fabricated excitement and is able to truly ask the important questions relating to all potentially affected areas.
  • Automation Governance Framework — Sustaining automation initiatives requires a clear governance framework to be effective. This framework additionally acts as a mitigation to risk. Remember, the framework comes before the rollout!
  • Controls Mechanism — Dig into the mechanisms designed to indicate problems. Poor controls that allow errors to become systemic to a process could put the whole company at risk. Speak often and early on this topic as it is an important form of governance.



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