Manufacturers Take Note: Your Potential Business Clients Are Vetting Your Firm on the Down Low

If you are a small or mid-sized business in discreet manufacturing, it is very likely that your potential business clients are investigating your firm behind the scenes before they choose to do business with you. Manufacturing industry resource firm, ThomasNet, published an eBook on how many of today’s business-to-business (B2B) and industrial buyers evaluate manufacturing organizations before even contacting them to do business. The report indicates that they are actively conducting anonymous online searches of manufacturing firms and evaluating them on several key points.

Associations:  Membership in trade associations exemplifies that your firm is engaged in the industry and that you are up to speed on best practices.

Certifications:  Are buyers able to view your firm’s certifications online? Getting certified may make the difference in whether or not you win the bid.

Delivery Performance:  This key performance indicator is often considered a top area of focus for potential buyers. They want to know that you can deliver products on time. They will find this out by contacting some of your customers and inquiring if you have a strong on-time track record.

Facilities:   Is your shop floor modern and well maintained? Is your plant layout optimal to workflow? While it’s possible for buyers to determine this in a future plant visit, it doesn’t hurt to be proactive and showcase your facility on your website with photos and videos.


The Lake Companies offers manufacturers a trailblazing solution to demonstrate their technological proficiency called Beacon-Trak®. Beacon-Trak is ground-breaking technology that empowers shop floor managers to better monitor the performance of their operations—both machines and personnel—using proximity-based beacon technology that updates their tablets as they walk around the facility. Beacon-Trak not only makes it easier for your managers to access information in real-time, but it also makes the process of continuous improvement easier and more effective. Finding efficiency gains and additional utilization from existing equipment is simple with Beacon-Trak. In fact, that new found availability is just what you need to handle the extra work coming from those buyers who are checking you out. More importantly, it also demonstrates to potential buyer clients that you are ahead of the technology curve and that your company values working smarter.


Industries Served:   You don’t go to an eye doctor when you are having knee pain, and so it goes with potential buyers who are evaluating your firm to meet the demands of their specific industry. For example, if a purchasing manager at Boeing is checking your firm out, she will take positive note if your company has experience with aircraft manufacturers.

The Lake Companies knows the importance of dovetailing work experience with its customers, which is why we offer SyteLine (CloudSuite Industrial), a fantastic Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that has a proven industry track record in Aerospace & Defense, Industrial Machinery & Equipment, Metal Fabrication, Precision Machining, Medical Devices, High Tech & Electronics, Furniture & Fixtures, Specialty Vehicles, Transportation Equipment and several other industries. If you want your company to stand out online, it is similarly important to communicate the industries that you have experience with.

Locations: This is important in eyes of the buyer and it is becoming easier and easier for companies to get close and localized to potential customers. With the multi-location/multi-site capabilities that SyteLine (CloudSuite Industrial) offers, bringing up that new facility located close to your important customers can be easy to achieve.

In a recent blog post, The 4th Revolution in Manufacturing: Everything You Need to Know to Take Your Company Forward, we learned that manufacturing is evolving to a point where being local is not only easy to achieve, but also necessary.

In a TED Talk, Boston Consulting Group member Oliver Scalabre said that tomorrow’s factories will be relocated to our home markets. In the world of scale customization, consumer proximity will be the new norm.

Scalabre said, “…our factories will be smaller and agile. Scale does not matter anymore, flexibility does. They will be operating on a multi-product, made-to-order basis. The change will be drastic. Globalization will enter a new era. The East-to-West trade flows will be replaced by regional trade flows. East for East, West for West. When you think about that, the old model was pretty much insane. Piling up stocks, making products travel the whole world before they reach their end consumers. The new model, producing just next to the consumer market, will be much cleaner, much better for our environment. In mature economies, manufacturing will be back home, creating more employment, more productivity and more growth.”

Several KPIs for Your Firm to be Evaluated On

The report from ThomasNet goes on to list several other criteria that potential buyers use to measure and judge your organization, including:

  • Brands carried
  • Registrations
  • Safety
  • News & press releases
  • Ownership
  • Technical specs
  • Value-added services
  • Year founded
  • Zero defect initiatives

It is important to have a strong online presence, no matter the size of your business or the industry it belongs to. Your firm needs to consider and promote the KPIs that your potential clients are looking for. These capabilities and achievements should be promoted on your website, in social media, and in other online industry-related sites. Creating a strong online presence can be vital to your company’s success.

The Lake Companies can help your manufacturing company become even more successful by helping your shop floor to be more automated, efficient, and technologically sound. Contact us today and see how we can help you.