Companies must always keep change management in mind when they alter any aspect of their business. Manufacturers know they have to think strategically when they decide to offshore manufacturing or move part of their production process to Mexico. Yet manufacturers must start employing change management early in the course of expanding to Mexico if they want to remain successful.
Here are four change management steps companies might want to keep in mind when they decide to offshore manufacturing:
1. Receive early support from leadership
If members of management aren't on board with the transition, the manufacturer can see significant resistance. In an article for Industry Week, Bill Wilder, founder and director of the Life Cycle Institute, wrote the earlier key stakeholders in the company are part of the change the more successful the new initiative will be.
2. Determine potential challenges
Companies trying to implement any type of change will often face obstacles along the way. According to an article by Erika Andersen, founding partner of consulting firm Proteus International, for Forbes, knowing what challenges will pop up can help determine their impact on the company and how the business can move past them. Being in the dark about what might happen can be a significant risk to the company's offshoring success, and might set it up for failure. Take time to determine what challenges the business will experience after offshoring to be prepared.
3. Set clear goals for the future with shelter company assistance
Many manufacturers are new to offshoring, so partnering with a shelter company can help them understand what they can expect. Working with a shelter company can give manufacturers key knowledge they need to plan for the future of the business. Articulating the company's long-term goals can give a set direction for the business, which is important to navigate the change.
4. Create a preliminary development plan
Only after the proper preparations can manufacturers draft a comprehensive plan for the transition. According to Wilder, receiving leadership's support early on, understanding what challenges lie ahead and creating future objectives for the change are all essential to producing a change management plan. Without this plan, the manufacturer might have challenges staying organized during the transition. It can also serve as a starting off point for the expansion to Mexico and provide needed information to the shelter company when during the migration.
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