Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

I'm manufacturing for OEM and facing challenges from trade agents. Can you suggest any added value?

My company is small and targets customers like GE, Eaton, Cummins and other tier 2 suppliers. I want to build some added value to my company in order to differentiate ourselves from other competitors. There are competitors like trade agent who has so many sources of manufacturers on hand and multiple distributions in United States for quick delivery and competitive pricing. My company's current main capability is precision machining. What type of added value I can build for my company that not many other competitors are able to achieve? What are the weakest link that these competitor generally have? Your feedback is appreciated!

13 Replies

Andrew Lockley
0
0
Andrew Lockley Advisor
Investor and strategy consultant
Ideas : Have better customer service. Work with novel materials Offer a more integrated service - eg design Manufacturer in a cheaper place to be price competitive
John Seiffer
1
0
John Seiffer Advisor
Business Advisor to growing companies
Evelyn,
Do you do production runs or one-off and prototypes? I have a client in what may be in a similar business on the east coast.

Check outhttps://www.supplier-connection.net/SupplierConnection/index.html - It's an IBM initiative to connect smaller companies with supply chains of Fortune 500 companies and other enterprise level firms. A friend of mine oversees it.
Anton Yakovlev
0
0
Anton Yakovlev Entrepreneur
Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same
You probably could bring in flexibility, ability to reach each customer particular needs, and outstanding customer service. You probably could also undermine your competitor by emphasizing local origin of your product.

All these are not easy to copy when you're a really large company with tons of customers.
Keith Peer
2
0
Keith Peer Advisor
Chief Operating Officer at Certified Security Solutions (CSS)
Evelyn,

Precision machining today is a commodity to Tier 1 and 2 manufactures. If you are competing solely on price, you cannot win. There will always be a cheaper price from a competitor, and this is especially true in machining. Your company will need to invest in the service it provides to the customers, as well as the delivered products. Just a few examples are specialized JIT delivery to reduce warehousing requirements for your customers. Also near real-time production tracking online for parts per hour, day, week, rejects, QC testing, etc. This level of visibility is not possible by "trade agents" and is very uncomfortable for small machine shops competing on price to produce. In most cases they won't or cannot do it. Also a QC guarantee of the parts to specification to speed up production and reduce labor costs of your customers are well received. This guarantee must also be able to be verified and backed by real QC testing prior to shipment, not just a rubber stamp approval. What you are building is the "feeling" a customer gets when they do business with your company. After a period of time this becomes a trust relationship that is very hard to break by a competitor. Essentially you need relationship and trust development among your customers. This not only helps acquire new customers but also develops defensive positioning of your customers from attack by other competitors.

Your customers or potential customers who are outsourcing precision machining don't care about your machines, production capabilities or ISO certifications all that much. This is expected today. You have to go above and beyond the expectations with service. That is the only way to effectively compete, be profitable and stay in business. Lastly, if you are stuck in a cost only situation, it's OK to walk away and let your competitor suffer the agony of a low ball price. Set the floor you are willing to go to. You will be respected. -- Keith
Barry Bryant
0
0
Barry Bryant Advisor
Strategy, Vision, Ideation, Invention, Innovation
Hi Evelyn, Since you are smaller, perhaps you can leverage agility. A large aircraft is disadvantaged in a dog fight. Look for ways to reduce the ordering process and multi-party approval steps, automate the customer experience to reduce friction and expedite production so there's a better overall customer experience with higher quality or faster delivery. Perhaps there's an area of precision machining that the big guys can't service well that requires personal attention, agility, iteration or protyping. Finding a niche could be your hallmark. Good luck! Barry
Steve Owens
0
0
Steve Owens Entrepreneur • Advisor
Finish Line - A Better Way for Small Companies to Develop Products
No one can answer this question for you, except you; because no one knows your company as well as you.

Generally, there are three dimensions to differentiation:
Company Size (we only work for small companies)
Industry (we specialize just in the widget industry)
Technical (we only do EDM services)

Great question and I am sure you will find the right answer.


Sujit Hemadri
0
0
Sujit Hemadri Entrepreneur
Nobody
Make your product strong which has good acceptance rate, may be with more OEM's. Once you have a better negotiating power on your selling side, you can try to source from multiple trade agents from whom you buy which gives you an upper hand. I am assuming you have a problem sourcing the parts for the product.
Evelyn Chen
0
0
Evelyn Chen Entrepreneur
Director, Corporate Development at Spec-Metal Inc.
I really appreciate everyone left his valuable advice here!

Keith,
You have just pinpointed the added value: JIT and real time production tracking that fits my need now. My company has implemented ERP last year which increases our operation speed and reduce costs. Adding a real time production tracking can help my customer learn his/her parts production status anytime! JIT is another approach when I have a steady production for certain customer so I would be able to customize for my customer's need. I will need to present my customers about these technology I currently have in order to help them better understand what "kinds of added value" I can provide to benefit them.



Evelyn Chen
0
0
Evelyn Chen Entrepreneur
Director, Corporate Development at Spec-Metal Inc.
For the pricing, it's always the first thing every customer would consider before really moving forward to do a real business. I've spent so much time in developing new customers the past years and only when my pricing is meeting his/her target pricing my customer would be thinking to do business with me. However, I take this chance (doing business with new customer) to show my agility to his/her request and how responsive I can be. That's where a "real" relationship and trust between my company and customer starts to build.


Evelyn Chen
0
0
Evelyn Chen Entrepreneur
Director, Corporate Development at Spec-Metal Inc.
Overall, I still want to conclude that it really takes a lot of time get new customer's attention and consideration to do business!
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?