No Manufacturer means to put all their eggs in one basket- Do they?

By Jaylene Shea on August 6, 2016

Through the years, off and on meeting with Machine shop owners and Manufacturing leaders alike- you always hear how busy they are. Business especially in Wichita America where aerospace is king is cyclical. Its feast or famine… highs and lows.

One minute you are riding high on orders and burning the midnight oil trying to cut chips and make parts for your OEM and the next you can’t get enough orders to keep your people productive and keep your shop above water.

So, what is the key to an even, sustainable business?

The answer is diversification. Diversify your business and client mix even when you don’t want to- even when you are so busy you can’t see straight- as a leader or shop owner, you owe it to yourself, your sanity and your people to maintain consistency. The only way to create a sustainable business that will grow and prosper is to have a plan, then actually work the plan. I have listed a few key elements to building your plan and diversifying your business below.


  1. Forget the 5-year strategic plan and go for monthly plans that you and your team can commit to. Your plan should tie into the Vision and Mission of your organization. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how on earth are you going to get there?  If strategic planning isn’t your thing- consult your friendly MAMTC Representative and we can make this process super simple and easy. Plus- we all know that an external person holding your feet to the fire is a blessing not a curse, as you will achieve more at a faster pace.  We all know that your customers’ needs can change rapidly- so your plan should be flexible to change rapidly too. 


  1. Evaluate your current clients and your business mix. For example, if you are an Aerospace Shop and 40% or more of your business is with one or two customers. It is time to begin the journey into diversifying your client mix. In plain speak- lets go get you more business and good gross profits that are similar to the current business you have. If one or two of your customers were to tank and stop giving you orders…… How would that impact your business?


  1. In addition to evaluating WHO you are doing business with- lets evaluate WHERE you are doing business? Are you staying in local ICT supplying parts to the OEM’s or are you supporting customers throughout the United States? Better yet- are you supplying parts to companies that will pay good money to you from overseas? Let’s examine if Exporting is right for you and your business?


  1. Exporting….


So many American Manufactures are confused by the thought of exporting as the process can seem daunting…. More things to learn, who do I contact, can I trust they are actually going to pay me, what countries are right for me to earn business with… what rules and laws apply. The list goes on and on.

However, exporting is a sensational way to diversify your customer mix and grow your organizations top and bottom line.  Your Kansas MEP- MAMTC has the resources to help walk you through exporting 101 and help you add this to your business plan.  Plus, we have examples of Kansas Manufactures just like you that have grown their business leaps and bounds all by using the tools of exporting that are in your own backyard.

To better help you, I have listed a few questions to ask yourself and your teams, as well as a definition of what exactly Exportech is and what this magical program can do for you.  In a nutshell, it takes the guess work out of exporting, helps you to put your plan together and see a ROI immediately.   

  1. Are you struggling to take advantage of growth opportunities in global markets? 
  2. Are you reactively selling to international customers who find you, rather than taking a proactive and strategic approach to international sales? 

If you answered YES- then using Exportech as a solution makes sense for you. 

  • Exportech is a structured export strategy and business development process that assists 4-8 companies to accelerate growth
  • ONLY national program that helps each company develop an export plan
  • Efficiently connects companies with local and national experts that help navigate the export sales process
  • On average, participating companies generate $770K in new export sales
  • Saves countless hours and eliminates fear of the unknown about getting paid, protecting intellectual property, finding sales reps and more