January 24, 2020

Although most economists do not see an immediate recession, there are plenty of concerning signs along with global volatility. Unfortunately, concern alone can create a recession unrelated to underlying factors. Meaning, we could have terrific fundamentals and results yet still go into a recession if fear takes over! I wouldn’t want to be dependent on avoiding fear in the marketplace. Would you? Thus, we must all future-proof our manufacturing operations and extended supply chain!

The worst thing you could do is wait for a recession to act. It is similar to a natural disaster. For example, when my house burned down in a fire, I was fortunate it was an isolated incident because I was able to find alternate housing nearby while the house was rebuilt. I was also able to gain priority with a builder etc. Instead, if I was caught in one of the devastating California fires, I would be one of many people struggling with the aftermath. Of course, I would be a pebble in a sand quarry in that case. The same is true would be true with a recession, global unrest, or a natural disaster. Have you thought through how you will continue operations to satisfy customer demand? 
One Tip to Implement This Week:
We’ll make this quite simple. Stop and determine if you have backup plans at a minimum. Think through the following: 1) sources of supply.  2) resources, skills and trusted advisors to for supporting your business.  3) your operations. 4) your logistics infrastructure.  5) IT and ERP system infrastructure. 
What are you going to do about it? Are you willing to invest in future-proofing? I’d be willing to bet that any executive willing to make prudent investments in future-proofing might have to take a temporary ‘hit’ with the initial investment but will surpass the competition by a minimum of 10 fold in the future. For example, one of our clients thought about what they should do to get ahead; not just survive. When the competition was increasing capacity in China, our client was moving out of China and into Vietnam. They were ahead of the curve and so had far less roadblocks and bottlenecks along the way to overcome. There is definitely something to be said about being early to the party and leading the way. Think about taking a calculated risk to lead instead of follow. In today’s Amazon-impacted world, you cannot afford to be a follower!