1.    Co-production

This term, however, refers to a concept to work together with participants of many stakeholders, we try to put this term into practice in manufacturing companies (SMEs).

Competition should not make you split from other companies. Try to research cooperation opportunities to work with them. There would be some cases requiring work together to get bigger contracts to gain a competitive advantage. You may have been offered to manufacture semi-final products from one of your competitors, or you may offer them. If you don't underestimate intermediate goods production, you will be able to reach a larger marketplace. We can derive from the “guanxi” model applied traditionally in China to understand how successful this model has been for centuries.

Briefly, we can be stronger if we work together.


2.    Display your core-competencies

What does differentiate your company from other companies? If you answer this question, write a list of them. Innovation&technology , marketing scale, management power, human resources.  Do your company represent one of those competencies to external parts? If not, you should take action on presenting them on different platforms. Considering the digital platform are the most attractive places to show your competiencies, you would better like to start on them. Your potential buyers always seek to see your competencies that build trust with them.


3.    Enlarge Raw Material resources

To reduce incoming costs, companies search for qualified sources to obtain raw materials. This is a basic rule of the value chain. That involves checking not only well-known web-sites but also searching on country-based B2B websites. As depicted in the above, procurement of raw-material is also made by multiple SMEs with lower prices through cooperation within the enterprises. If the trust is built within SMEs, though they are competitors, raw materials can also be found out from different resources and bought with more competitive prices. They can also share the knowledge of raw material quality by exchanging data among them. How is that possible to share information? We all understand the limitations that the secrecy of the company cannot be disseminated. However, the information is very clear on trade websites.

Actually, the raw material procurement is the first step and just one of the value chain issues. There are more principles such as HR, Infrastructure, Technology, Operations, Logistics, and Marketing that your company presents its core competency.


4.    Investment in Digitalism

Digitalism should not be taken as just having a web site or social media accounts. SMEs should be aware of innovations on each step of production. Using CRM tool is essential if you want to increase your company’s efficiency on marketing and sales. You cannot track all your customer information on a notebook or an Excel sheet. All sales and marketing people are to be trained to use CRM and log all customer information as a living database. CRM has managerial benefit to analyse the customer behavior, interactions that contribute to the decision-making process on marketing. CRM is used to unify all digital platforms such as website, social media and e-mail campaigns that make you gain time with less effort.


5.    Employ more apprentices

Over the last 10 years many sectors have complained about the lack of skilled workers. Because young people are not often found at work places. Why don’t they want to work? Company owners don't want to employ apprentices or young apprentices are not attracted to work and have not applied for a job? When we ask these questions to company owners, skilled workers and apprentices, the answers shape the general situation of the apprentice's unemployment.

With the increasing of bachelor degrees of young people, most of the sectors have a hard time finding intermediate workers who normally graduated from vocational schools. The graduates do not prefer to work in the technological field which they studied. This is another topic of educational policy. Our concern is that we need to employ more young technical or intermediate workers who start working as apprentices. For the employment of apprentices by SMEs, all the stakeholders such as the chamber of commerce, education authorities, Minister of Industry etc. should take action to get incentives for employment. There may be fund raised to their employment or give SMEs some quota to for the benefit of taxes etc.

Why are apprentices important for SMEs?

They give more energy to SMEs.

They are more loyal and have long-term contracts.

They contribute to future talent development

They are more inclined to technology

Easy to learn, easy to practise.