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There’s good news for businesses in the manufacturing industry looking to stay competitive in a global marketplace. According to a report by Deloitte, the U.S. is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world and will move China to the number two position by 2020. Although the optimistic news leaves manufacturers in a prime global position, what does it mean for companies competing domestically?

Manufacturers will still need to stay ahead of their competition back home in order to survive. Focus on how to position your company for success and thrive with these five tips for staying ahead in a highly competitive marketplace.

Get the Right Tech

Your company can’t pace ahead of the competition without the right technology in hand. But that extends past the best manufacturing equipment and resources money can buy. You also need the right tech to stay in touch and work cohesively as a team whether on-site or in the field.

Start by investing in the right hardware like an iPhone 8 Plus with an A11 bionic chip and up to 21 hours of talk time. Your team can also charge up their iPhone 8 Plus wirelessly and share presentations or photos on a 5.5-inch Retina HD display. And for teams who need to collaborate, try Slack to keep track of projects and launch video calls and text chains right from the system to streamline the organizational process.

Provide Ongoing Training

Your crew may come with highly honed talent and professional experiences from previous positions, but they can only grow their skills so far without ongoing training. Make education and growth part of your company culture by offering ongoing hands-on training, mentorship programs or video classes to help them stay abreast of the latest processes and best practices in manufacturing and beyond.

There’s another reason ongoing training is crucial to your business’ success. According to research from Willis Towers Watson, over a quarter of employees are at a high risk for turnover. However, it’s not just a competitive salary that keeps employees happy. Training and professional development are also crucial to employee retention and keeping your company thriving.

Stay on Top of Competitive Threats

One of the downfalls of many businesses is the failure to do a strategic cost analysis to measure the impact of inflation on their competitive positions. Analyzing everything from supply to retail markup costs can help determine what price point will keep you competitive in the marketplace without diminishing your bottom line.

You can also research what your competitors are doing to stay more cost effective and compete on price in the market. But in some cases, you can focus on quality or design instead of price and still crush your competition. For example, the Harvard Business Review reported that Bang & Olufsen competed against low-cost electronics manufacturers with its design capabilities. The company focuses on innovative design and ongoing product releases to stay competitive against their cheaper counterparts.

Make Better Data-driven Decisions

It’s difficult to get ahead of what the competition is doing without the right data to make the best business decisions possible. Start by automating your processes with a CRM system to collect all of the information on your leads, sales funnels, opportunity to close ratio among other areas.

Once you have comprehensive data in hand, you can analyze where your business is struggling to close a sale, and where to include more touch points with your B2B or B2C customers. Having a clearer idea on how your manufacturing business is being impacted at different points in the buyer’s journey can help get a better handle on your manufacturing and inventory process to meet the ebbs and flow of your business.

There’s really no catch-all solution for staying ahead in a competitive marketplace. The real focus should center around analyzing your historical data to inform your financial decisions and delivering unbelievable value and service to your customers.