Leadership and Sales: Factory Floor to Boardroom

Team of confident business people wearing hardhats in metal industry

What does it take to succeed in manufacturing? In a new article for Industry Week, Bonnie Spencer Swayze, President and CEO, Alliance Rubber Co., imparts some of her wisdom from a lifetime in the manufacturing and distribution industry.

First and foremost, you must know your product inside and out. Customers appreciate a thorough knowledge of your product and all the details that make it better than the competition. Swayze says her years of working on the factory floor gave her special insight into this and helped her better convey her deep product knowledge to customers.

Never stop learning. Get as much education as you can – whether that comes in the form of additional training or studying in a classroom environment, keep learning. This includes trade shows, conferences, workshops, or any opportunity to learn about the advances in the industry. Technology is changing so rapidly and on such a large scale, keeping up is imperative.

Make it a team effort. It’s not all about the CEO. Collaboration is the way businesses are succeeding now. Swayze writes, “Surrounding yourself with key people is crucial. Use them. Bring in everyone’s specific skillsets and unique perspectives to create what is best for everyone. Not everything is meant to be the responsibility of one person. Good teamwork and collaboration are what sets great companies apart from good ones.”

To read more of Swayze’s insights, see the full article from Industry Week.