The economic slump of 2009 has seen many companies struggling for survival. While some made it, others didn’t. This article provides some insights on what caused such a difference of performance, and provides simple guidelines to battle the economic uncertainty and financial crisis, especially for the manufacturing industries.

A research by Aberdeen used certain metrics to select the best performers. These best performers in the recession time had some commonalities, which was duly noted:

  1. 24% achieved reduction of the budget cycle time
  2. 108% achieved accuracy of actual budget to planned budget
  3. 68% finalized the budget at the beginning of the fiscal year
  4. 17% improved the profitability in the year
  5. 72% could re-forecast market changes
  6. 92% resorted to enterprise wide collaboration
  7. 70% had the visibility of internal process to drill down and improvise

To overcome such testing conditions, few TBDs are being suggested for firms in the manufacturing sector:

  1. Change management is a must. Try to improve time to decision based on newer models more suited to your business dynamics.
  2. Ensure that whatever IT investments which have already been made, are made best use of, to avail better returns. Often technology is purchased, but not used effectively.
  3. Invest on planning, budgeting, forecasting and customer relationship management applications which would be more suitable for the sensitive environment.
  4. Ensure the development of the ability to understand and react to sensitive changes develops across all the divisions/verticals of the firm.
  5. Ensure every employee is focused on understanding customer requirements. Acquiring  new customer is 5 times more costly than retaining an old one.

Following these few simple yet effective steps would ensure that your firm does not fall prey to the economic disasters.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.