Manufacturers and distributors across the country, and around the world, increasingly find themselves at a crossroads. One path is littered by the reality of evolving economics while the other reveals a growth opportunity available to “pre-Internet” companies by harnessing modern technologies.
For decades, the business model in the Rust Belt economy was fairly straightforward: produce and distribute more widgets to a growing customer base, domestically and internationally. With times changing, for many of these that growth model slowed, or worse, plateaued. Some came to find that growth opportunities were finite, as the customer base became finite. In other words, once you’ve built the customer base that needs your widgets, your growth is either fueled by, or limited by, the extent to which that customer base needs more widgets.
That was then. Now, the picture is far different, and it has some traditional manufacturers veritably bullish about what lies ahead for the manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing: The New Service Sector?
It will take a mental shift for some, and for most a strategic shift. But, many manufacturers have already discovered that it needn’t take a seismic shift.
The trend is clear: If manufacturers and distributors want to thrive in the modern service-sector economy, they must become active participants in the service-sector economy. This means more than manufacturing and distributing proverbial widgets, however complex that component, system or technology may be. It means reorganizing strategies, systems, technology and teams around what makes service as a business model so profitable and limitless.