Optify Associates – Many decades in the making

When Steve and I were considering setting up our own consultancy business we reflected on our many decades of experience working within large enterprise OEM and EMS companies and with literally hundreds of small, medium, and large customers across diverse technologies and markets with diverse volume and mix requirements.

We realised this had given us many unique insights into how different electronic manufacturers operate, from sales and demand planning, through to supply chain, manufacturing and services.

Post Brexit, we had many conversations on the possible effects on the UK manufacturing industry and the potential outcomes for many thousands of businesses and their people..

Consensus was reached on what we thought would be some fundamental and far-reaching likely outcomes:

  • Many companies would not survive the business disruption
  • Potential competitive disadvantage in the EU market
  • Global entities would relocate many of their operations
  • Off-shoring reversal by many firms.

For us, the conversations planted the seed on what we could do to help organisations in our sector to support:

  • Business transformation
  • Re-focus on customer value
  • Identification of new routes for growth
  • To help business take advantage of the gaps created in the UK market
  • On-shoring of operations and services.

The coronavirus pandemic has been an added step change for many companies in both how, and possibly where they operate. So, as many companies work hard to cope with factors out-with their control, and deal with new market spending habits, we realised there were other areas where we could support our clients:

  • Triage and revenue recovery
  • To address balance sheet weakness
  • Re-align supply chain strategies
  • Re-structure depleted workforces
  • Planning for the ‘New Normal’

This reinforced, indeed added to our belief that manufacturing companies and product owners would benefit from having trusted, experienced services available from professionals with the knowledge, empathy and passion for their business.

As the global pandemic persists and even sporadically accelerates, the goal must be to emerge as stronger, more agile and resilient organisations from this, by planning how our businesses can move through recovery and change, to what will be the new normal, by using our substantial experience to help our client’s future proof and guard against any possible future business disruptions.

All this will all have to be done while strictly managing costs and protecting cash flow, while maintaining operations and delivering to a distressed market. However, this can also be an opportunity to start rethinking and reconfiguring plans to build in resilience, agility and adaptability and redesign the future.

To do this, business will have to look at changes that not only baselines’ their viability but future-proofs their market relevance by reconfiguring their strategies and operations to be less reliant on global supply routes; re-localising supply chains; reducing dependence on single suppliers and moving production closer to the customer base. Putting a plan in place to do all this will seem very daunting but re-assessing what value your business delivers to customers should be the starting point for a sustainable future. Understanding how to deliver this value should be the base for how you start the journey, but this model should be continually assessed as the customers’ needs evolve, particularly in these disruptive environments.

Focussing on customer value when assessing what is needed to re-configure your company value chain will give a line-of-sight to what is and, what is not important, and highlight the features in your operation that must be maintained, changed, enhanced or perhaps removed.

Capturing these features and breaking them down into smaller chunks of prioritised activity will highlight way points for the journey. How you get to each way point may change as you learn more, but by breaking the activities down into smaller time-based activities, and with a strong and empowered team, tasks can be re-defined quickly to achieve successful outcomes.   

Steve and I, with our hugely experienced team look forward to helping you optimise your future.

Jim Bonar, Founder and Director Optify Associates