Generating more sales using advanced manufacturing

By Shawn Casemore   

Business Operations Digital Transformation Innovation & Technology advanced manufacturing Production line revenue opportunities

Photo: greenbutterfly/iStock/Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

If you were to ask five manufacturing executives from different companies their definition of “advanced manufacturing,” chances are you would get five different responses.

Most responses tie back to automation, robotics, materials, and achieving increased operational efficiencies. No doubt, these are all valuable outcomes achieved through the adoption of advanced manufacturing practices, but they most often require an investment of time and/or money.

What if there was a way to use the intelligence and information gained from advanced manufacturing to generate more sales or even new selling opportunities? Intrigued?

When you tap into the outcomes of advanced manufacturing, that is, the additional information, newly gained efficiencies, or new opportunities, you suddenly have access to new opportunities to generate sales revenue.


For example, what if you could:
Use insights gained from social media to enhance the development of your products. Introduce 3D-printed samples to prospective customers within hours rather than weeks. Capture intelligence from production data that informs your unique competitive advantage.

These aren’t future trends or opportunities to watch for but actual opportunities that exist right now for you to identify new products, services, and (most importantly) new revenue.

Does that sound too good to be true?

I have a manufacturing client who adopted new technology to increase the efficiency of their older and outdated production equipment. Initially, they researched the market to find a solution to their low production outputs, only to come up short-handed. They partnered with a technology company, who, working closely with their engineer, helped to develop technology to produce more products faster and with less downtime.

It likely sounds familiar; however, this is only the beginning. The plant manager found that friendly competitors touring her facility were highly interested in their improvements to the production line. They began contracting out their engineer to help their competitors achieve similar results, and before you knew it, they had an entirely new business.

Another client whose sales team was constantly bombarding production with sample runs. Time and again, prospective customers wanted samples; however, costs associated with small material orders were prohibitive. When one of their employees, a self-taught enthusiast of 3D printing, offered to make them some samples, they suddenly realized an entirely new way of presenting their products to customers.

Unlike competitors, who were facing the same cost challenges and delays in producing samples, they began to create custom one-off pieces with a 3D printer overnight, allowing sales the chance to beat competitors in the race for new business by being able to produce real-world samples quickly.

In my experience, generating new business opportunities using intelligence from advanced manufacturing requires
three ingredients:

• The willingness to try new things and be open-minded to new possibilities.
• An appetite for new revenue opportunities that expand upon existing sources.
• A fearless desire to collaborate with others to generate new business opportunities.

Historically, manufacturers have worked in isolation, sometimes for fear of competition and other times due to capacity or investment constraints. Whether you partner with a technology company to help you scrape the Internet for product improvement insights or align yourself with a 3D printer to print your product samples for customers, the key is collaboration.

If you’re tired of hearing why, you should adopt advanced manufacturing for benefits that aren’t alluring, think instead about how you can collaborate to drive new business opportunities.
Shawn Casemore is a sales expert, having written four books including The Unstoppable Sales Machine. For more information on Shawn or his work, visit


Stories continue below