As I said in the previous article, I think it is easy to develop a vision or mission. But the big question is: how do you get from the vision to actual sales growth? Many articles on the wonders of vision statements imply that if a manufacturer writes a good vision statement that some how it will get implemented (the rain dance myth). In my experience, visions and goals never get realized unless someone develops a plan that shows every department and manager what they must do to reach the goals.
The following outline describes a planning process that was designed specifically for SMMs who manufacture industrial products. It is based on the author’s real life experiences in a manufacturing turnaround situation and was implemented during the fires of combat to survive.
How Much Growth Do You Want?
Since growth in sales is the primary goal, the obvious first question is how much growth? It is important to write down the objectives for increasing sales volume, gross margins, and net profit for each year of the plan in terms of percentage increases. This will set up the parameters for the rest of the plan.