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CPG Manufacturers: Get Ready for Some Tough Love

CPG manufacturing challenges

The CPG sector has so many opportunities right now but too many companies are focusing on ‘the one perfect solution’ and wasting too much money in the process. You need a vision whereby you take action – and gain value – NOW.

Some Free Advice…

In many ways, Augury sees its primary job as working with manufacturing leaders to figure out how to transform their business, draw up an execution plan and then execute that plan ASAP.   

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right executive. Sometimes it’s a VP or even a CEO who understands what new technology like Machine Health offers and helps us to push it through. And then they take the well-deserved credit because Augury’s Machine Health solution gets results fast.

But more often than not, the process gets bogged down before it even starts. So, what should the CPG sector do to start getting stuff done? 

Well, we made a list…

1) Ignore the Tech and Focus on Your Business Problems

Companies too often focus on a technical problem, not a business problem. For example, they’re trying to figure out how to build the best bike but they don’t know who will use  the bike, where it will be ridden and why. Yet they already have a bunch of bike mechanics building the “perfect” bike solution. A perfect solution for what?

By the time you build and deploy the perfect solution it’s three or four years later and the market and technologies have changed. Meanwhile the project has cost a ton of money and competitors who focus on solving the business problem, and finding the best technology to help solve it, are stealing more and more of your shelf space…

Look at your business and figure out the best business opportunities. Then look at what investments need to be made in people, teams and, yes, tech so you can get it done.  

2) Test and Learn

Don’t spend years talking to vendors in the hopes of finding the perfect solution. 

Think about it. CPG manufacturers have very diverse product segments – you produce everything from ice cream to razorblades. You are the ultimate generalists. So why do you think you can find a single perfect solution that will work across all your business units? 

Pick a promising vendor relative quickly. Then test, learn and iterate. You will have an answer in six months for $50,000 – instead of bleeding $10 million on a never-ending project. Put simply: set a course and execute in the knowledge that the result won’t immediately be perfect. Then iterate and improve.  

3) Do It NOW

Many manufacturers have a whole mantra about being the best, the most innovative and the industry leader. But too often it’s all just words. Maybe their IT is a bit ahead of the game but it certainly hasn’t trickled down to the actual production of the product. 

Your executives may sit on World Economic Forum roundtables and chat to Microsoft’s CEO about technology, but that doesn’t matter if those same executives don’t actually have the ability to get value from that technology on the shop floor. It still takes two years for someone to make a decision, which translates into two years of lost revenue growth.  

4) And Hurry It Up Already

Time is the most precious commodity. We can’t create more. And the faster you adopt and get to market, the faster you get ahead of your competitors, and the faster you see value the faster you can plough resources into more growth initiatives. 

What exactly are you waiting for? 

5) Align Your Centralized Vision with A Centralized Infrastructure

We’ve also seen situations where a company is actually doing all the right things – and still fails. Where a company has an innovative engineering team based out of HQ working towards an amazing vision but their operations are so decentralized that they have no power to push these innovations through in a consistent manner – from Pittsburgh to Brasilia to Schezuan. In other words, you also need to back your centralized vision with a centralized infrastructure. 

A company does not need 250 CEOs. One is just fine. 


Want to talk about the best execution plan for you? Reach out!

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