Bill Lenihan is Hartman’s Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail Industry Lead. Bringing more than 30 years of experience across supply chain intensive industries and with companies of all sizes, Bill helps clients solve their most pressing challenges and achieve high levels of success.
We sat down with Bill to get his take on top priorities and opportunities for manufacturing, distribution, retail and logistics companies in 2022.
What is the biggest opportunity facing manufacturing, distribution, retail and logistics companies in 2022?
The biggest opportunity right now is for growth through MAAD (Mergers, Acquisitions, Alliances and Divestitures). At this stage in the pandemic, growth-oriented companies are realigning their portfolios to divest underperforming businesses and assets, and strengthening their balance sheets to invest in companies that enable horizontal growth in new markets, channels, products, services and capabilities, as well as vertical growth to control more of the end-to-end value chain. Acquisitions are also helping organizations grow to address the labor gap.
How can technology drive business success in the manufacturing, distribution, retail and logistics industries?
The industries are ripe for digital transformation. Many companies in this space are traditional when it comes to sales and can be reserved when it comes to embracing opportunities such as eCommerce. However, according to McKinsey, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, 10 years of eCommerce adoption were compressed into just three months. Business-to-Business (B2B) eCommerce can help companies in these industries better engage with customers, reach new markets, and identify potential new products and services. In addition, data gathered from eCommerce activities can be helpful with price realization.
Technology in the form of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, and asset and tracking location can also improve operational efficiency and mitigate staff shortages. Similarly, adopting an omnichannel business model – that is, one that offers multiple ways for products to purchased – can improve customer engagement, retention and margins.
Analytics can also help improve return on invested capital as well as tactical and strategic decision-making related to inventory management, asset management and yield.
What is the best advice you would give leaders in manufacturing, distribution, retail and logistics going into 2022?
Executives should embrace the phase, “Do what you can” rather than “do what you did” as it relates to product delays and shortages, labor shortages, and increased costs that are pressuring the financial performance of every company in the industry. Organizations need to rethink their business models to do what they can, given the constraints. Too often companies struggle to the point of failure because they are stuck with their old business model. Successful companies rethink their product and service model and deliver what they can rather than what they used to do.
If you are a manufacturing, distribution, or retail executive interested in talking to Bill, reach out today. Learn more about Hartman’s manufacturing, retail, and distribution strategies here https://hartmanadvisors.com/industries/manufacturing-retail-distribution/