Seven Anti-Crisis Recommendations for Production Company
Global sales. Have a global outlook of the market. We had been focusing on the Ukrainian market for a long time, but the market for mining equipment covers the whole world, and when we finally penetrated into the global market, the Group made a quantum jump in everything: in sales, product quality and service. As soon as you enter foreign markets and consolidate your position there, your aptitude to crises becomes many times less, as you always have a part of the world, where the market situation is quiet.
Traditions, customs and mentality. This is a recommendation for those who made use of the previous one. Each country will have its own peculiarities in concluding contracts, conducting business, its own understanding of terms, liabilities and rights, and in order not to wreck your nerves and not to find yourself in the mire, when you conclude a contract, you should examine them, especially, if you penetrate into oriental markets. They have a huge potential, but in China, for instance, the decision-taking process is rather long. So, you should arm yourself with patience and current assets.
Other businesses’ experience and experience of businesses operating in other sectors. New product development management is a rather universal process; therefore, you should examine the best practices of businesses operating in other sectors. We manufacture heading equipment, but we examine the best practices in chemistry, pharmaceutics, information technologies… We have made progress in terms of company management, because we were constantly studying other businesses’ experience and adopting the best of it.
Brand. Think whether your brand and strategy is understood by the customer, especially, by the foreign customer. If you see that it is not, you should change it immediately. It was rebranding that gave Corum Group one of the most powerful impetuses to develop in foreign markets. It is difficult to say whether we could have been so successful in business abroad if we had remained to be called Mining Machines.
Invest in sales. It is a very common mistake, which companies like ours may make and which remained as a result of the period of the planned economy, to make maximum investments in production, thinking that good products will sell themselves. This is not true. You should have strong managers and strong sellers, in the widest sense of the word. Believe! You had better expand your production capacity when you have many customers, than search for customers of the manufactured goods.
Service. Do not sell products, but sell services. We, for example, rebuilt our approaches so that we cannot only sell our machines now; we started to have a comprehensive outlook of the entire life cycle of the product and the possibility to be helpful to the customer at each stages of the product life cycle. There are categories of business, where aftersales service is even more important than the products themselves, and if you operate in one of these categories, invest in service as much as possible, make it perfect, and believe: you will get a maximally crisis-resistant business.
Customer differentiation. No doubt, all customers are important. Though, you should distinguish strategic and non-key customers and make strategic customers your partners. You should not only sell your products to such customers, but you should regard their business as your own one and take part in its development. Become part of their businesses. By applying such an approach, you will make these customers stay with you forever.