Running a manufacturing company requires unique skills, knowledge, and strategic decision-making to ensure efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Before venturing into the industry, completing a best practices checklist is important to set yourself up for success. You must perform market research, pick your niche and decide what market gap you want to address, then write a business plan and proposal to help you apply for funding. If you succeed in the preliminaries, you should look for a suitable space, purchase the necessary equipment and machinery, get your business and operation permits, engage an insurance firm, and hire the relevant human resource.
Simultaneously, you could begin working on distribution plans for the things you intend to manufacture. Whether you’re involved in appliance, metal, glass, auto, or steel manufacturing, understanding the industry’s fundamentals contributes significantly to your chances of becoming both sustainable and profitable. Let’s explore some specific manufacturing companies, shedding light on small manufacturing businesses’ workings and providing insights into running a manufacturing company.
Appliance Manufacturing Company
Running a manufacturing company in the appliance sector can be rewarding. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that has been on an upward rise since the 19th century, and it’s not likely to slow down any time soon. According to Zippia, LG Electronics, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, takes the spot as the largest appliance manufacturer globally. In 2022, LG Electronics reported sales of $66.9 billion. They have currently employed 36,500 individuals in their 125 operations offices worldwide. LG Electronics’ self-proclaimed mission is to bring added value to their customers; they offer a wide range of appliances, such as HVAC units, TVs, vacuum cleaners, cooking appliances, mobile devices, computer monitors, fridges, and many more.
Considering more than 83% of homes in the US have a fridge, a microwave, and a washer, appliance manufacturing companies must stay attuned to consumer preferences and technological advancements. You must also offer after-sales services to customers. Doing this is key to ensuring customers contact you first for any servicing or repair work before opting for a local electrician.
For instance, if you bought a washer and dryer from a company like Haier, or Whirlpool, you can expect them to offer dryer repair services just in case something goes wrong within the warranty period. Running a manufacturing company also involves efficient supply chain management that anticipates nationwide shipment needs and maintains a solid distribution network. It would be best if you nurtured collaborations with a reputable, specialized engineering firm for product design as well.
Metal Manufacturing Companies
Metal comes in many forms; zinc, copper, aluminum, cast iron, wrought iron, steel, brass, titanium, nickel, cobalt, lead, tin, etc. They each have particular uses. For instance, steel is used chiefly in construction projects because it’s flexible and robust. At the same time, aluminum is a favorite in the transport industry, where it’s used in ship, aircraft, and train building and manufacturing, because it’s resistant and significantly lightweight, reducing fuel consumption. Running a manufacturing company that produces metal involves various processes to create a wide range of products, including fabrication, casting, and machining.
This sector caters to the construction, appliance, food processing, automotive, aerospace, and biomedical industries. Other businesses in this sector include metal roofing, steel siding, and aluminum fence manufacturers. Running a metal manufacturing company requires expertise in sourcing high-quality raw materials, employing skilled technicians and engineers, and utilizing advanced machinery.
Glass Manufacturing Companies
The glass manufacturing industry is one of the oldest and will always have a high demand. Our need for glass is insatiable. It’s pivotal in the construction, automotive, and consumer goods sectors.
Did you know this material is 100% recyclable, and you can recycle it more than a million times without losing its quality? According to the BBC, glass isn’t likely to cause environmental pollution like plastic, because it doesn’t break down or leach into the soil. It’s a non-toxic material and may take up to one million years before showing signs of breaking down.
A disadvantage to note about glass is that manufacturing fresh glass from raw materials (limestone, sand, soda ash, and other additives like color) is energy-consuming. You have to consider these energy needs and if you can sustain them before putting up and running a manufacturing company specializing in glass. According to Mckinsey and Company, the US manufacturing industry has heavily depended on fossil-fuel power since the First Industrial Revolution.
In the wake of the climate-change crisis, governments, consumers, and investors are pressing the industry to adopt more sustainable energy alternatives while staying cost-competitive. Swapping to low-carbon sources poses technical and financial challenges, particularly for the energy-intensive sectors. However, the energy shift also presents noteworthy possibilities for manufacturers that will be realized over time.
Producing a diverse range of glass products, such as toughened glass for furniture, appliances, and construction, auto glass for the automotive industry, mirrors, decorative glass for interior finishes, packaging, etc., requires hiring people with specialized knowledge and investing in advanced technologies. Running a manufacturing company for glass products also needs you to have calculated precision in production processes, maintain industry-appropriate quality control measures, and optimize energy efficiency as much as possible. Networking is beneficial when running a manufacturing company, especially for a new kid on the manufacturing block. You need symbiotic, lasting business relationships with industry players such as ceramic tile roofing manufacturers, lvp flooring installers for architectural applications.
Auto Manufacturing Companies
The auto manufacturing industry has a rich history, starting in the late 19th century. It has been one of the most transformative sectors, shifting lifestyles and economies. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the auto industry experienced remarkable growth powered by technological advancements such as autonomous driving. This era saw the rise of iconic brands like General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler in the US. Auto manufacturing is now highly globalized, and there’s little to keep more players from joining the fun.
The demand for vehicles and spare parts is steady, and manufacturing companies are adapting to the needs of their customers and the climate. The industry is also experiencing a digital transformation, and cars are becoming more and more intuitive, connected, and functional beyond transportation. Even though auto manufacturing is a complex and dynamic sector that requires meticulous planning and continuous innovation, you can employ best business practices relevant to your niche, location, and business goals to ensure you are set up to succeed. This way, running a manufacturing company can be very exciting.
As a new company in this field, you must adhere to stringent safety and quality standards. Depending on your capacity, you don’t have to start making cars. You can begin by getting a contract to manufacture generic car spare parts. You can narrow that down to only specific car parts and become an axle supplier or tire manufacturer. The most important businesses are car sales companies, spare parts suppliers, exporters, and engineering firms for cutting-edge car designs.
Wood Manufacturing Companies
Wood and its products form the backbone of numerous industries. Producing high-quality wood products requires expertise in sourcing raw materials, employing efficient production techniques, and ensuring product consistency. In the recent past, the wood manufacturing space has seen some interesting trends. The industry has also begun adopting more sustainable raw materials to reduce tree cutting.
Digitization and automation are commonplace in a wood manufacturing plant. These technological advancements have given the industry essential tools such as CNC machines, robotics, and customization tools. Product consistency, customization, and waste reduction are now more achievable than before. If you’re wondering about the cost of putting up a wood manufacturing plant, consider these factors: the infrastructure and equipment, raw material sourcing, labor and workforce needed, regulatory compliance, and sales and marketing.
Running a wood manufacturing company requires you to specialize in specific items needed in your market. For instance, your niche could be your locality’s various hardwood flooring stores. Your wood products should specifically include hardwood floors because they have a ready market.
Small Manufacturing Businesses
The current business environment allows for automation, digitization, and collaboration. This makes it easier for people to become entrepreneurs. There’s been an influx of people joining the manufacturing industry globally.
According to IBIS World, the highest costs for US-based start-up businesses in the manufacturing industry are capital (a plant, machinery, and equipment) and labor. Small manufacturing businesses, on a smaller scale, include over 335,700 cottage industries run from people’s homes. They manufacture homemade cheese, bathing soaps, perfumes, cosmetic products, decor items, furniture, etc., from locally sourced raw materials. Small manufacturing businesses offer opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures of all kinds, and even though it’s hard work, running a manufacturing company is fulfilling and always holds the potential for expansion.
Running a small manufacturing company requires a keen understanding of target markets, effective marketing strategies relevant to your business, and efficient operations management, even if, at the start, you won’t be using sophisticated machinery and managing tonnes of people. To successfully begin and sustain your manufacturing business, make sure you have a clear vision of the idea before formulating a business plan. Your vision and plan should align well to highlight and define your business goals clearly.
You should also analyze the financial aspects of your manufacturing business, such as capital, budgeting, pricing strategies, and recurrent costs. Once you have these in place and have launched your business, make a habit of auditing your processes so that you can find areas to optimize and reduce wastage of time and other resources. Business success is dependent on continuous improvement.
Another critical aspect of running a manufacturing company is learning how to do marketing and branding. You have to develop a way of promoting your small business. The sales and referrals are what keep you motivated to keep going. With time, your brand identity will become strong and recognized within the industry.
Ensure you invest in client relationship management. Learn how to make your customers feel valued, seen, and appreciated. These are important coupled with delivering excellent quality products. Loyal clients are your best ambassadors.
Finally, as much as possible, have a budget for technology and automation. Initially, you may not start with the most impressive equipment, but ensure you plan to purchase some in the long or short run. As your business grows, it’ll serve you better to enhance operations as much as possible. Remember to enjoy the process and document your journey. The nostalgia will be worth it!
Working in the Manufacturing Industry
Working in the manufacturing industry offers many career opportunities. From production and operations management to research and development, engineering, quality control, and supply chain management. According to IBIS World, about 12 million people will be employed in the manufacturing industry in 2023.
The report notes this number indicates a 1.4% decline since the previous report was done in 2018. This decline can be attributed to factors such as the Covid 19 pandemic, which caused an economic downsize and technological advancements that have reduced the need for people in automated processes. More than ever, for a person to work in the manufacturing industry, they must appreciate the value of technology and embrace an innovative mindset. Pursuing relevant education and certifications, gaining hands-on experience through internships, and staying updated on industry trends are important benchmarks of a successful manufacturing career.
Running a manufacturing company demands a comprehensive understanding of industry-specific dynamics and a proactive approach to overcoming challenges. To ensure success, streamline your inventory management, optimize the workflows and various processes, always leverage technology for enhanced efficiency and time management, invest in a quality control department made up of industry experts, and finally, employ the lean Sigma six manufacturing practices to minimize waste and ensure your manufacturing company is on a path of continuous improvement. Whether it’s appliance manufacturing, metal manufacturing, glass manufacturing, auto manufacturing, or steel manufacturing, efficient supply chain management, continuous innovation, and adherence to quality standards are to be addressed.
Ever heard of the saying ‘the team makes the dream’? Well, it’s been proven true over time. You must hire and nurture a skilled workforce, train them often, keep them in the loop of all the company changes, and involve them in key decisions. Much of running a manufacturing company involves intuitive people management and staying attuned to market demands. By following these tips, business owners can navigate the manufacturing industry’s ever-evolving landscape and steadily drive their companies to prosperity.