Thank you to the thousands of manufacturers who joined us over 10 weeks to learn how to succeed in Australian manufacturing.

Click on each tab below to access the top tips from the presenters in their respective ‘Way’. 

Way 1. Recognise Australian Manufacturing's Strength

Manufacturers are typically proud of their business yet feel that the general public and students do not value manufacturing as highly as they should. Our research shows Australians do recognise the economic importance of manufacturing and are optimistic about its future.

How to change the perception:

  • Educate yourself and others
  • Be conscious of language
  • Work with local schools and TAFEs
  • Let the media know when it is misinformed

   Download Report   Download Way 1 overview

Way 2. Focus on leadership

Good leadership is needed to ensure changes stick and it underpins all the ways towards advanced manufacturing outlined in the 10 Ways to Succeed. Leadership is needed whether you are the business owner, CEO, or a manager within a larger organisation.

How to be a leader who encourages innovation:

  • Keep learning
  • Remind yourself of your ability to make change
  • Craft a sense of ‘us’
  • Lead by example
  • Set reminders to follow through
  • Engage in collaboration

   Download Report   Download Way 2 overview

Way 3. Plan for change

Proactive planning can help manufacturing business grow and take advantage of opportunities, rather than be reactive. It can be hard to know where to start and how to find the time to work ‘on’ the business, not ‘in’ the business.

How to plan:

  • Block out time and commit to planning
  • Use online resources
  • Access expert advice
  • Apply for a Business Growth Grant
  • Prioritise planning by including planning steps when developing KPIs
  • Consider your entire value chain
  • Partner with AMGC

Recommendations from the webinar:

   Download Report   Download Way 3 overview

Way 4. Network and Collaborate

Did you know collaboration can make firms more profitable and innovative by sharing ideas, discovering opportunities, and spreading risk? You can reap these benefits by mining personal networks, seeking out established networking programs and putting aside zero-sun thinking.

How to build networks and expand:

  • Harness the power of networks
  • Build new networks by reaching out to other manufacturers
  • Avoid zero-sum thinking
  • Register with supply chain portals
  • Visit trade exhibitions
  • Meet with larger suppliers
  • Join industry network groups
  • Have and maintain a quality website

   Download Report    Download Way 4 overview 

Way 5. Work with research institutions

Collaboration with researchers is a hallmark of Australia’s most advanced manufacturing companies. New tools, new awareness of the benefits, and new recognition of the need to remove institutional barriers are making it easier for future collaborations.

How to collaborate with research institutions:

  • Use a variety of search strategies when looking for opportunities
  • Develop networks and relationships
  • Come with a plan
  • Understand each other’s priorities
  • Share the risks involved in advancement

Recommendations from the webinar: 

   Download Report   Download Way 5 overview

Way 6. Adopt technology

New technologies can deliver significant productivity gains and make companies more responsive to customers and competitive changes. Many manufacturers are being held back by lack of information and a sense they need to make ‘all-or-nothing’ changes.

How to adopt new technology:

  • Align technology with business strategy
  • Take small steps
  • Keep things simple
  • Partner with universities to create prototypes
  • Build relationships with global integrators and primes
  • Loan or share equipment

Recommendations from the webinar:

   Download Report     Download Way 6 overview

Way 7. Access capital

Access to capital is a perennial problem for smaller business, and particularly for manufacturers looking to invest in advanced technology. Preparing loan applications, financial modelling and navigating grant processes require different skills than those used for the day-to-day running of a manufacturing business.

How to access capital and government grants:

  • Fix you business accounts
  • Prepare or update your business plan
  • Access your credit worthiness
  • Find the right funding for your business
  • Seek advice
  • Use online resources to help decide which grant is appropriate
  • Keep records up to date
  • Be patient

Recommendations from the webinar:

   Download Report     Download Way 7 overview

Way 8. Hire the right people

Hiring the right people can be difficult, but it is crucial for long-term success. Australia has a talent pool, as well as international hires, who could be a good fit for roles across the value chain. Reaching talented people can require thought about how and where a company should advertise.

How to attract talent:

  • Identify strengths to emphasise in job adverts
  • Maintain a high-quality careers website page and use social media
  • Ensure good coverage on online jobs boards
  • Work with other manufacturers
  • Offer internships and work experience

Recommendations from the webinar:

   Download Report     Download Way 8 overview


Way 9. Build your workforce and culture

Many skills gaps can be filled by developing the abilities of existing employees. Company culture has a big effect on employee retention and many successful manufacturers make it a priority.

How to create an innovative environment and encourage collaboration:

  • Be transparent and consistent
  • Consider how staff fit in culturally
  • Empowering staff to speak up
  • Responding productively to risk-taking
  • Providing continued learning opportunities
  • Increasing diversity
  • Make regular communication the norm
  • Hold participatory meetings
  • Bringing diverse teams together
  • Avoid silos
  • Changing the physical environment to encourage collaboration

Recommendations from the webinar:

  • How I built this by Guy Raz
  • 5 questions of empowerment by Jack Daly
    • Is it right for the customer?
    • Is it right for our company?
    • Is it ethical?
    • Is it something for which you are willing to be accountable?
    • Is it consistent with our company’s basic beliefs?
    • If the answer is “yes” to all five questions, don’t ask, just do it.

   Download Report     Download Way 9 overview

Way 10. Extend your market reach

Companies that export can transform their growth trajectory and profitability. Export opportunities are often ‘out of sight, out of mind’, and easily missed. 

How to strategise to expand and export products:

  • Take it step by step and incorporate market reach into business-as-usual planning
  • Link into global supply chains
  • Recognising and maximising opportunities for ‘chance events’
  • Using technology to facilitate strategic expansion and exports
  • Identifying and reaching untapped markets and segments
  • Financial guidance and finance for export

Recommendations from the webinar: 

   Download Report     Download Way 10 overview