Question

Topic: Strategy

Vision For Steel Manufacturing Company

Posted by john.steinar on 500 Points
Established company need a new vision.
We provide the following services....
- OEM (manufacturing services) make finished products for others
- Protype
- Pre-fabrication (make steel parts for others who weld/reassemble)
- Laser cutting, punching, welding, bending, assembly, manual work, etc.

Vision:
- Should tell something about our very modern and automated company.
- Should tell that our customer can "use" our workshop to build success
- Both workshop and processes are effective and innovative to build customer success.
- Short
- Specific for our industry
- Specific and clear vision
- Easy to understand.

3 suggestions from me (comments or spin on them eventually)
- "Building customer success with State-of-the-art workshop"
- “Fast, competent and modern workshop for advanced steel fabrication.”
- “A modern, customer friendly workshop, where competency is a key for success in advanced steel fabrication”’
- « Advanced steel fabrication"
- "Lets build things in steel"

Thanks!
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RESPONSES

  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Just to clarify, are you looking for help to create a vision statement for your company (this is typically inner-focused, developed with input of key stakeholders, and conveys a "big idea" for a future goal of the company) or a tagline for your company (a phrase to convey your unique offering to your target audience)?
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Hi and thanks for your reply. I see that both inner and outward targeted visions are common.
    But, the main target is to convey our unique offering to our target audience. (but our target audience is not a specific industry (its all), and we do a lot for many.

    If we dont focus of inner/outer message; the message here, is to find the mission, the things we do every day to fulfill the vision (or phrase if you will).
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    So, what's unique about your offering? The list of bullet points for your vision sound fairly generic - surely there are lots of other companies who would state similar things?
    Have you surveyed your
    What's the motivation for this exercise? Who launched it? Who will judge the submissions?
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    (Have you surveyed your customers to find why they love your services?)
  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Member
    Fast Response Advanced Steel Fabrication: Prototypes – Parts – OEM Production
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    A good way to proceed with this project is to first conduct a SWOT analysis with the senior managers of the business. Where are you located?
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Vision is one thing, what though do current and future clients need, want, expect, and dream of that's not part of your vision but that ought to be, 18 months, and again three, five, and seven years from now?

    While it's great to have your own vision, how do clients see you, what's their view like? What are they looking for that you can offer more of and that your competitors can't come close to meeting or exceeding?

    What problems can you solve that current clients didn't even know they had? And how can you show you do this and how can you present your solutions as positive benefits?

    What customer recognized and industry-specific standards does Haaland tynnplate AS meet or exceed? How do those standards as you meet them match standards that your competitors meet?

    How many clients have you approached and questioned about their top preferences in terms the companies they choose to do business with of doing business with?

    What "only" statements can Haaland tynnplate AS boast? By which I mean, "Only Haaland tynnplate AS provides X desirable trait or outcome" (as outlined by clients you've questioned).

    I know this probably doesn't answer your question in quite the way you may have been looking for, but thinking aobut these points could help you reframe things.
  • Posted on Member
    The key point for me and my colleagues here is your description of the actual, substantive differentiation between your company and its competitors. What are the unique things that you do that competitors can't, won't or don't know how to. That is your strong point to both focus your promotional activities on and provide a basis for your vision statement. As a matter of interest, as this may be significant, how long has your company been in business and how does that compare to competitor companies. Have you asked the companies in your customer and supplier lists what they like about your company?
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on 11/3/2020 at 11:21 AM

    That is the problem Jay. It is not unique. (incredible you have been around her on this site for so long:-) )
    It is not unique. But I/we want to work "against" to be something unique. I dont think the workshop (even if it is modern) or the machines or buildings, will make us unique.

    Starbucks deliver the most common social drink on the planet (I guess), but is seen as something special even so.

    Ok- we must make us special with generic services. So I have a thought that it is the process, the continual improvement, etc, customer service where it is easier to be unique.

    The motivation for this exercise: I am the sales and marketing manager in company, annual sales 15mill $, loss every year for the last 10 years (exept for 2019). We have not been able to grow. So - this is a "transformation" vision, to grow, to be better, stop loosing customers, be quicker, better respons.

    One thing; I need to get the general manager also to understand; its not about the machines, its our internal process. Agree?

    Thanks again.
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Posted by Mike Steffes on 11/3/2020 at 12:19 PM

    Yes, we have many variants of this. For transforming us from seen as slow, it should be something like that. But I want more perspectives.

    John
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Posted by Gary Bloomer on 11/3/2020 at 10:04 PM

    As I wrote to Jay; we are NOT unique. (well the board like to think about our company as unique, because of heavy investments and somewhat modern machinery).
    But we are outdated in our business processes.

    One problem; We need to make a common vision for different services.
    - Lasercutting/punching/bending; Bread&milk. Important to aquire new customers, but is often seen as a service that require fast respons and pay little
    - Mechanic production for EMS (Electronic manufacturing services). High quality required, high volum and thus set pressure on price. 1000's of a given product will give hughe price differences.
    - Oil&gas; 1-off products. We have a high startup cost only producing 1-off products. Pay better, but increadible much work.
    - Prototype/design: we have a technical department, making design/prototype and establish series production for customers
    - OEM manufacturing for customers designing own products (furniture, fish industry, etc)

    So, definitely we need to segment our business as one thing to do.
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Posted by chiron34 on 11/4/2020 at 9:19 AM
    You see that we are not unique. You will get service elswhere.

    BUT;
    - We are large. High capacity. Maybe not unique
    - We have good quality. Many customers express this. But not unique. All customers today expect high quality.
    - We do have a modern fabrication facility. It's not a dark "black-smith". So almost a bit unique in look and feel.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    John - based on your responses, I don't think there are some magical words to use to turn your business around. This is a deeper issue. You may need to pivot your business, focus on a niche that's ripe for entry, or restructure your offerings. You have stiff competition worldwide, and are struggling to differentiate yourself from it. This is the work for a consultant (or consulting team) to help review your business assumptions (location, staff expertise, tooling, marketing, customer support), survey past clients, perform a SWOT analysis (and in doing research competitions and industry trends), etc.

    As for Starbucks, people aren't just buying coffee. They are buying the coffee "artisan" experience en masse.
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Thanks Jay. :-) Now you see why I asked this question. It's not easy. I know. Owners of the company are likely to belive that with this facility, it's so easy to get customers.

    I think our success will be to segment the market and work with our internal processes. To make our process unique/different to our competitors.
    Its not the machines, not the steel, not the quality.

    If you want, we have a short video of our facility (showing a little inside the workshop at the end).
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/haaland-tynnplate-as/videos/

  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Accepted
    There's only so much you can do with a tagline type statement. Retail can do some things very effectively that a metalworking business can't. Of course, this should have been a long term strategic project...as you know. Maybe you're looking for something more emotional along these lines:
    "It's more than the Machines, the Steel, and the Quality. It's our drive to Succeed, our People, and our Service to You. We are only a Success when You are Successful."
  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Thanks Mike. I really liked that line. For me, somewhat spot on.

    Now I need to get accept in the rest of the management:-)

    John
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Member
    Hi there,

    It's not so much about being unique, it's more to do with the solutions, traits, and qualities your clients are looking for, admire, need, or want to see and how your services align with their interests to buoy and support their success.

    Too many business owners think their buyers appreciate low pricing and the length of time the vendor has been in business but that's not true, not when you understand that many clients value accurate order less sexy things such as swift fulfillment, timely delivery, and prompt reconciliation of accounts payable, overages, and returns.

    If you survey your staff and ask them what their top ten traits are of your company and if your then distill those answers into one master list, and if you then survey your clients and ask them to list the things that are of most importance to them in terms of doing business with you and you then distill those lists into one master list, I can GUARANTEE you that your list will NOT match the client list.

    But by addressing the elements of the client list and focusing your business building methods (messaging and marketing) on what's important to your clients, your vision will take care of itself.

    In my experience, business owners spend way too much time contemplating their own brilliance when what they really ought to be doing is focusing on solving client problems.
    Far too many mission statements and vision statements are—frankly—bullshit because they speak only of what's important to the business, NOT what matters to the people who BUY from those businesses.

    Vision isn't about seeing what's right in front of a business, it's about seeing what clients are looking for over the horizon. Here, this 1675 quote from Sir Isaac Newton seems apt: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." So the question becomes, what could you see if your business were to stand on the shoulders of giants?


  • Posted by john.steinar on Author
    Thank you very much Gary. I will agree with you. Many business owners are thinking all to much about them self. I tries always to a customers view.

    It's maybe simple, but also increadible hard to find the right "thing". And I want it to make a differerence.

    John

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