The Challenge We Identified

Like many small machine shops, our client had a consistent and loyal customer base but was unsure of the best pathway to sustainable growth. Lacking a managerial team and unable to find reliable employees for a second shift, this young, second-generation owner was doing it all – supervising the shop floor while handling all business development efforts and project quoting.

In talking with our marketing and sales experts, the owner wanted to develop processes and best practices that would enable him to cultivate new markets and customers and subsequently grow his business.

Our Approach To The Problem

With any marketing and sales initiative, Decision Associates believes it is important to have a clear understanding of the company’s capabilities and capacity. After all, driving new business would be a disaster if the company cannot meet the production and delivery requirements of the customer. To that end, our strategic growth team:

  • Conducted a comprehensive assessment of the company’s current manufacturing capabilities and staffing
  • Reviewed the current organizational chart to understand the staff’s skill sets and accountabilities
  • Analyzed the company’s existing customers as well as its known competitors
  • Researched potential opportunities outside of the company’s current products and services
  • Assesssed the owner’s process for monitoring, managing and reporting his prospects and sales

As a result of these efforts, we:

  • Recommended one to two key hires that would free the owner from shop supervision and allow him more time to focus on business development
  • Refined the company’s marketing and sales messaging
  • Introduced new processes for evaluating and prioritizing prospects and managing the sales pipeline
  • Provided our client with two rounds of leads that aligned with potential areas for growth and then shared strategies for working the leads

What Has Happened Since

Most new machine shop sales require relatively long lead times. Relationships must be developed and often engineering teams must confer on part specifications and requirements. Working toward customer growth in new markets, new materials and new parts, our client has:

  • Began the process of evaluating and prioritizing his current customer base to focus on the most profitable work
  • Identified two internal staff for professional development (and to free up the owner’s time for business development)
  • Embraced our recommended approach for cultivating and managing his sales pipeline, including the two rounds of leads for prospective new customers