A 360-Degree Manufacturing Perspective

Modern factory

Manufacturing is a complex business. Not everyone in the industry views how the business runs with a total perspective, as some factory workers never see the business side, and some executives are never on the floor. Bonnie Spencer Swayze, President and CEO of Alliance Rubber, writes that there can be a competitive advantage by learning all aspects. She shares this advice in an article for Industry Week, “From the Factory Floor to the Boardroom: What I’ve Learned in Manufacturing.”

Recalling the long hours her father put into the family business, Swayze writes that she learned from a young age that diligence and perseverance are key factors to a business’s success, whether manufacturing and distribution or otherwise. As she began working at her father’s factory as a teenager and moving through the ranks of the firm over the years, spending time in each department, she gained a broad perspective of the various aspects of a manufacturing and distribution business and how they all work in concert with one another.

Swayze recommends manufacturing and distribution leaders incorporate the following “key elements” in their businesses for a more successful firm.

  • Increase product knowledge. Do more than simply know about what you’re making and selling – become an expert.
  • Educate yourself. Beyond a formal education, don’t stop learning.
  • Collaborate with and help others. Building the right team at your firm is important, but also share industry knowledge when appropriate.
  • Innovate with technology. While this is good advice across all industries today, it’s highly important for manufacturers distributors in order to remain competitive.
  • Allow for flexibility. The status quo is friend to no business. Whether it’s technology or being open to a new process, being flexible helps manufacturers distributors respond to, and create change.

Read the details of Swayze’s knowledge and advice at Industry Week.