In the 2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights report, manufacturers expressed remarkable optimism for their industry and businesses in 2018. More than half of those that responded to the survey that generated the report indicated that they expected growth within their sector, and the percentage of respondents that anticipated an increase in revenue grew by 11% over 2017.
It definitely felt like it was ‘time to get growing’ at NetSuite’s SuiteConnect West conference in San Francisco on Oct 25. With six unique tracks focused on a mix of best practices, new products and solutions, and inspiring stories from NetSuite customers on how they are expanding their own businesses, there was something for everyone, at every stage of growth.
After attending a range of sessions, it became apparent that when it comes to achieving growth, manufacturers, and brands that engage in contract manufacturing, need to take the temperature of their own unique business and sector and determine the tactics that will propel them accordingly. In the 2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights report, manufacturers selected organic growth within the U.S. as their primary opportunity to grow sales (72%), followed by new product or service development (44%). In theory, both of these strategies are excellent options but are companies missing a more obvious, easier to deploy strategy: utilizing technology to improve efficiency and cut costs, thus generating savings that can be reinvested in growth initiatives.
Here at DemandCaster, we help our customers drive waste and cost out of their operations in innumerable ways every day. One such client is STM Brands, a provider of award-winning accessories for tablets, laptops, and phones, who happens to be both a NetSuite and DemandCaster customer. When STM identified escalating supply chain costs (particularly in the area of excessive freight costs), they decided to investigate a better way of doing things. With the help of supply chain planning technology from DemandCaster, STM moved from thinking about demand on a regional basis to planning for their entire business holistically. The shift ultimately helped STM make better data-driven decisions that resulted in a 20 percent increase in operating margin and a 50 percent increase in sales profits. Freight costs to sales also decreased by 25 percent year-over-year.
In the last three years, STM has doubled in size, tripled in revenue, and nearly tripled its global retail presence. A portion of that growth has undoubtedly been fueled by technology that helped STM improve customer service and response time, reduce inventory holding costs, and so much more. Money saved is truly money earned—it’s capital that can be re-invested in growth.
Each company is unique, and the growth tactics it prioritizes will vary, but many brands might find that exploring technology as a driver for growth can lead to less waste and more profitable results. If you’re a NetSuite user wondering what improved demand planning could do for you, schedule a demo with us today.