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Honestly, the title of this blog should be “The Biggest Mistake Any Manufacturing CEO Can NOT Make” because the mistake isn’t something you’re currently doing – it’s something you’re NOT doing. And that’s using your iPhone, iPad and laptop for something other than dealing with the logistic details of your manufacturing company like scheduling or planning meetings and email communications.

Add into the mix the time you’ve spent lately on your social media accounts (yes, you got on there to look at what the company page is doing, but got caught up in the life and stories of friends and relatives), and your evening is spent – setting you behind the learning curve of other CEOs and peers.

Here are three of the biggest mistakes manufacturing CEOs can “not” make, and efficiency solutions to help you focus on growth.

1. Using technology to streamline communications

You have folders to organize and prioritize the e-mails you receive, but with the amount of e-mails you have coming in, it seems you still have to act on 9/10 of the 500 pieces you receive daily. The truth is, you can postpone, pre-sort and send yourself reminders using these great apps:

  • Roll it up:  Review your competitor’s marketing e-mails and trade-related subscriptions at the same time each day by signing up Un.Roll.Me – it takes just a moment to set up, and allows all of your subscriptions to feed into ONE e-mail that’s sent daily or weekly depending on your preference.
  • Get it in one place: Monitoring your brand is a big responsibility, but it’s important to simplify it as much as possible. Stop going to the internet to search mentions of your brand and to your social media pages to monitor what your staff is posting – have alerts sent directly to you.
  • Postpone it: Yes, you’ve got to respond to that e-mail. But if you respond too soon, they’ll forget – If you wait, you may forget. Instead, use an e-mail reminder service to resend the email to you…and follow up at your convenience without worry. Set up an account with Follow-up Then and get the e-mail bounced back to you when you need it to.
2. Delegating, developing and following processes

Time is your scarcest resource, yet it seems like 75% of your day is spent in meetings – half of which is wasted on inefficient use of meeting time. Former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, once wrote, “Just as you would not permit a fellow employee to steal a piece of office equipment, you shouldn’t let anyone walk away with the time of his fellow managers.”

Here’re a couple tips to make your time more efficient internally:

  • Establish Processes: From a new product release and marketing initiative to a budget allocation, establishing a process for each area of your manufacturing company is imperative to save time, optimize functions and remove road blocks. Define a set of operational principles to spell out responsibilities for your staff.
  • Make Meeting Agendas Clear & Selective: Tell your manager the topics you need to cover and ask him to create a clear agenda. When he sends you the agenda, be selective. Remove anything unnecessary and use the edited agenda as the meeting guide.
3. Engaging and using the internet as a tool for business growth

As a CEO, you must constantly learn about new opportunities and share information about your business. Networking for manufacturers offline is as important as it is online, and industrial trade shows are imperative for making connections. However, you have to go where the information and connections are. Today’s operational purchasers are making connections online, and that’s where you need to be to share your services and opportunities with them.

Here are some tips for optimizing online networking and learning opportunities:

  • LinkedIn is the world’s largest business networking site. Connect with like-minded professionals through LinkedIn groups where you can join discussions, discover new trade information and share information about your business.
    Join LinkedIn Groups
  • Communicate your business offering by producing interesting information that answers your target buyer’s questions.
    Content Marketing for Manufacturers
  • Browse your own, your competitor’s and your customer’s websites and know what information is being shared on each. Otherwise, you’re uninformed.

Everyone makes mistakes, but what makes you successful in your industrial manufacturing leadership role is your ability to learn, adapt and grow. Use the internet to your advantage, streamline your processes and get more out of your time. Then you can focus more on growing your business instead of just maintaining it. And if you decide you want to bring in an expert, Red Crow Marketing is ready to be a part of your team.  Contact us here or give us a call at (417) 889-1658.

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