Here’s a powerful story from PROFIT Magazine that illustrates the journey many (if not most) Canadian manufacturers will have to make to survive in today’s competitive global economy.
Peter Hart runs a company in St-Laurent, Que. called Rideau Recognition Solutions. It started out making custom jewellery and promotional merchandise, but by the 1980s it was clear that Canadian manufacturing would become a dying art.
To survive, Rideau adopted a new strategy based on the highest value it provided to its customers. It`s now become a hybrid manufacturer and service supplier specializing in employee- and customer-incentive programs.
As Eleanor Beaton wrtes in the June 2008 issue of PROFIT, ``No longer would he sell only corporate gifts to order; he’d sell a turnkey recognition system that would encourage customers to stick with Rideau."
That change has helped Rideau rank in the Top 200 of Canada`s Fastest-Growing Companies for the past three years.
There's lots more, but you will have to click here to read the rest of the story.
The lesson: your greatest asset is not the product you make, or how you make it. It's the relationships you have with your customers and how well you understand how to solve their problems.