It’s no secret that a slowdown is expected in the automotive industry. Guidance from industry-standard data providers indicates a projected overall decline in production volume continuing through 2020. Much can be done in advance of this slowdown to make sure you are well prepared to react appropriately and take advantage of a soft market:
- Understand how equipment-specific capacity will be impacted by the slow down. Start looking now for work that fits the capabilities of the equipment that could fill open hours – expand the focus of business development activities to adjacent markets if necessary
- Use the slow down as an opportunity to evaluate internal systems and opportunities for increased efficiencies. Additional training, continuing education, LEAN implementation and pursuing additional industry certifications are worthwhile endeavors that will increase employee engagement while strengthening operations
- Financial preparation – proactively communicate with financial partners (banks, investors, fellow shareholders) to avoid surprises and level-set expectations for financial performance and borrowing needs
A slowdown in production on the floor also presents opportunities to tackle operational initiatives that may have previously gone unaddressed due to full production schedules and demanding delivery requirements from customers. Initiatives include tidying up the shop (inventory organization, aging equipment / components, raw material staging areas, paint / lighting / safety), acquiring equipment / implementing new technologies at potentially discounted rates and opportunistically recruiting and onboarding talent that might not otherwise be available in a stronger market.
Read Aerospace & Defense M&A Pulse Q1 2020 Full Report