Capital equipment investment cycle & Sales penetration
Have you ever watched the poor group at the back of the parade? No, not the ones tidying up after the horses, but the last band. They stand still, or they sprint. Small fluctuations in the speed of the groups in front are translated into huge swings for the group in back. As you well know, the packaging business is the trailing band. Small fluctuations in consumer spending and other leading indicators are exponentially reflected in the ebb and flow of capital equipment orders. You know the cycle well - and you also know, at least intellectually, that the time to prepare for the next is when you are most busy now. But your time, your most limited resource, is most constrained. You need the ability to make a strategic decision, commit a modest investment, and comfortably hand it off to others for execution. Invenio can execute for you for less than a typical trade show investment.
Keeping the pipeline full
As challenging as ramping up can be, scaling back is many times more traumatic and challenging. Customer perception, impact on morale of employees, profitability, loan covenants and inflated fixed costs are just a few of the concerns associated with tightening up during a downturn. Steady growth and avoiding the steep troughs of the typical cycle are critical business objectives. But cycles are a fact of life, right? Of course, but just as diversifying your investment portfolio reduces exposure to violent swings in a specific market (AND ensures outsized returns), diversifying your business will as well. You have core technical competencies for which you are known - and to stray from those could be a strategic blunder. Diversification, therefore, is best achieved through penetration of other vertical and geographic markets. When one zigs, most often the other zags (e.g. Investment dips in the US and increases in India.) By tapping alternative markets you can smooth out the cycle and keep the pipeline full. Read more about why exporting can take your business to the next level.
The sales conundrum
But nobody ever sells your products as effectively as yourself. Sure your products and company are your personal passion, and your ego (and maybe house) are on the line, but others could make good money selling your products that would be good for the customers. Why is mediocrity the absolute in typical Rep and Distribution models? Because they have already diversified their own efforts. They naturally go where it is easiest and they are pulled. And they build a stable of products so they are always assured of being pulled somewhere. You probably have the 5% who work as you would expect on your behalf, and you certainly have the vast majority who call you as soon as a customer jumps up in front of them begging for your machine. You need advocates on the ground and in front of customers. But you need them to be proactive lead generators, project developers and closers. You need advocates focused solely on your products. Normally this means your salaried employees - Invenio turns that antiquated model on its head.