The past few years have been challenging for businesses of all sizes, but the pandemic has presented specific obstacles for the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are facing demands for constant equipment innovation, hiring hurdles, supply chain issues, and more.
For manufacturing leaders, the top question on their minds is, “Is there a different, more efficient way to tackle these challenges and boost our business?”
Elyson dos Santos, VP and Business Banking Officer at Rockland Trust, works with small manufacturing businesses, to help them along their business journeys. While products like business lines of credit and equipment financing loans are critical components of how banking officers can support these businesses, Elyson shares that “removing the blinders” and offering an educated, third-party perspective is equally important. In regions like Worcester and north of Boston, where there’s a strong community of manufacturers, banking officers with local knowledge are a valuable asset.
Growth is a top priority for all businesses, but in order to grow sustainably, leaders need to think through how to scale product, services and employees while balancing finances.
For example, you may need to invest in a new warehouse or new equipment to scale production or services. If you need human capital, you may need to expand your recruiting efforts, invest in training or identify additional skill sets to widen your talent pool. Your business may need to think outside the box about how to identify and attract qualified people to join your team.
The real magic comes when you work with a banking partner to achieve growth and profitability goals with an eye toward the short-term impact on your financial reality. Companies that have too much money tied up in equipment, accounts receivable, hiring or other functions are likely to have difficulty scaling properly, for example.
CEOs or CFOs can work with their banking partner on the financial piece of the puzzle – to ensure that the business has a line of credit in place and the ability to jump on good growth opportunities as they arise. A strong relationship with a banking partner can help you identify ways to improve credit, maximize budget and build up your network.
There is continuous innovation in manufacturing equipment, production and processes. Automation, artificial intelligence, data analytics and other trending technologies are changing the way that manufacturing businesses operate. To enhance product offerings and enable the greatest output, businesses need to consider what it will take for them to evolve.
Maybe this looks like investing in new state-of-the-art machinery to refine the product or increase precision, or maybe it’s checking in with suppliers and revisiting materials. Some businesses might need to rethink systems for tracking materials and machinery usage in order to leverage technology, where it’s possible, to optimize the time that employees spend on work that requires a human touch.
Most businesses go through ebbs and flows, so manufacturing leaders need to make sure that their organization’s finances can stand up to extra busy periods or times when business ramps up a notch. On the flip side, leaders need to have a financial plan in place if business takes an expected (seasonal) or unexpected drop.
Having a business banking officer on tap to evaluate your overall financial picture, including your working capital, cash flow and credit, ensures that your business will never be caught unprepared in times of fluctuation.
Manufacturing remains a booming industry and will only continue to expand as technology advances. New England (and in particular Massachusetts and Rhode Island) have long been leaders in manufacturing in the United States, going back to the Industrial Revolution. If you’re thinking through areas to improve, you’re already thinking toward the future and setting your business up for success. Consider connecting with one of our business banking specialists to help execute your vision.
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