By Marsha Lindquist, President of Granite Leadership Strategies, Inc.
If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, make what you do for your customer easier, quicker, and less expensive. Wow! Imagine that. Giving your customer greater value than your competition. Some companies wait until it is time to re-compete their contract and then introduce savings to the customer. Now if you are the customer, what are you going to think?
If I’m the customer, I’m thinking: why did XYZ Company not give us the benefit of those savings now? It seems like human nature to want to show efficiencies when you have to give the customer something different for a recompetition. But hold on. Why not give them efficiencies during performance so they love you going in to the recompetition? That makes it harder for your competition to come up with efficiencies they cannot demonstrate the way you can.
Also if you want to maximize your profit potential, look for ways to improve your efficiency so that your cost is less. Perhaps it is not just efficiencies in performing your tasks for the customer but also marketing programs you are not getting benefits from or applications in running your business that are just not working for you. Sometimes efficiencies can come from fees you do not need any longer or by owning equipment rather than leasing. Efficiency is not just from cost reductions. Find ways to get the same or greater value with a lower investment in expenditures you just do not need or by improving your delivery to your customer as we described above.
Efficiency gains in production come from recognizing ways you have learned to produce quicker or less expensively. Sometimes your production crew finds ways themselves to make what they do come out better for the entire company. Our customers find if they buy in bulk where it makes sense to do that without large investments in equipment or supplies, they can tool or work into their manufacturing processes faster efficiencies or best use of their time.
Marsha Lindquist, President of Granite Leadership Strategies, Inc., has over 30 years experience as a business expert in Government contracting. She has enhanced her clients’ cost competitiveness, improved their contractual positioning, and solidified overall strategies with companies including BP Amoco, DynCorp, and Northrop Grumman. Marsha adds value by telling you what you need to hear. For more information on her, please visit: www.GraniteLeadershipStrategies.com or email her: Marsha@GraniteLeadershipStrategies.com.