What Strategies Are Effective for Scaling Up Production Rapidly?


    What Strategies Are Effective for Scaling Up Production Rapidly?

    In the fast-paced world of business, the ability to scale up production swiftly can be a game-changer. We've gathered insights from Founders, among others, to share their experiences. From strategizing financial partnerships to leveraging partnerships to scale charter operations, here are six firsthand accounts of rapid production scaling.

    • Strategize Financial Partnerships for Growth
    • Principles for Scaling Custom Orders
    • Enhance Workforce and Optimize Schedules
    • Adjust Operations for Online Sales Surge
    • Forecast and Automate for Holiday Demand
    • Leverage Partnerships to Scale Charter Operations

    Strategize Financial Partnerships for Growth

    During my time as a sports nutrition brand owner, we received a phone call from GNC, asking to carry one of our products in their top 500 locations. This presented a challenge for us, as we were currently only selling to independent stores. So, to overcome this challenge, we went for fast money, and let me tell you, that's not a good move. Yes, we were able to get enough inventory, but it proved not to be the right move. Looking back, a better strategy would have been to negotiate with the manufacturer for them to increase our costs for this particular run but create a scheduled payment plan where they essentially became a partner in our success. I'd recommend this strategy for anybody who does not have the capital but wants to seize a growth opportunity.

    Jason Vaught
    Jason VaughtDirector of Content, SmashBrand

    Principles for Scaling Custom Orders

    Our unique product, a hand-held book-playing device, has consistently shown growth in sales during various holiday shopping periods. More unexpectedly, we have had to rapidly scale up our production when we received two specific, very large, and highly customized orders. Our team was able to successfully achieve all required milestones, seemingly using a few principles. First, they met together to strategize, focusing on documenting the required steps in a specific order of accomplishment. Second, they delegated specific tasks among themselves, such as vendor contacts and physical production space reorganization. At the peak production time, the team graciously accepted that every available member would literally pitch in, completing the repetitive manual tasks that were required. We gained the accolades of the customers, but even more importantly, the experience has carried over to more minor events when the team again needed to work together.

    Ashley Kenny
    Ashley KennyCo-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

    Enhance Workforce and Optimize Schedules

    When we landed a large, unexpected order at DasFlow, rapid scaling of production was imperative. We achieved this by immediately enhancing our workforce through temporary hires, optimizing our production schedules for maximum efficiency, and strengthening our collaboration with suppliers to secure necessary materials quickly. We also implemented lean-manufacturing principles to reduce waste and increase productivity without compromising quality. Through clear communication, precise planning, and agile response to challenges, we met the order deadline successfully. This experience underscored the importance of flexibility, strong supplier relationships, and the ability to quickly adapt to changing demands.

    Nicolas Krauss
    Nicolas KraussFounder and CEO, dasFlow Custom Sublimation Apparel

    Adjust Operations for Online Sales Surge

    Since 1991, we've been the leading manufacturer of licensed frames for thousands of colleges and universities, professional associations, corporate clients, and the U.S. Military. When we went into lockdown in March 2020, millions of college students were sent home, campus bookstores closed, and grad fairs and commencements were canceled across the country. Our peak sales period—spring graduation—was quickly diminishing. But when we reopened our facility a few months later, I was floored. Online traffic surged to record numbers and continued into late summer. I've never seen anything like it in our 30-year history. In 2020, we sold 70% more diploma frames than we did in 2019. We quickly realized that with the loss of in-person ceremonies, parents were still looking for meaningful ways to honor this major milestone for their kids. In fact, at one point, there were more than 18,000 diploma frame orders in the queue waiting to be handcrafted. Now, keep in mind that each frame is made to order and built by our onsite team, which was now much smaller and practicing social distancing! We added night shifts and weekend hours to keep up with the demand, and employees from non-production departments jumped in to assist with packing and shipping duties. And though our team may have been small, they were mighty and helped create WOW moments for so many families that graduation season.

    Lucie Voves
    Lucie VovesCEO & Founder, Church Hill Classics

    Forecast and Automate for Holiday Demand

    As a sticker manufacturing company, one smart strategy we employ is pre-planning and forecasting. Months before the holiday season, we analyze previous years' sales data to predict the demand for various sticker designs and themes accurately. This proactive approach allows us to pre-stock raw materials and streamline our design processes ahead of time, ensuring we're fully prepared to ramp up production quickly when the holiday season begins.

    Additionally, we leverage automation and technology in our manufacturing processes, which significantly increases our production capacity while maintaining high-quality standards. This combination of foresight, preparation, and technological innovation enables us to meet the surge in demand effortlessly, ensuring customer satisfaction during the busiest times of the year.

    David Rubie-Todd
    David Rubie-ToddCo-Founder & Marketing Head, Sticker It

    Leverage Partnerships to Scale Charter Operations

    In response to an unexpected surge in demand for private jet charters, we had to rapidly scale up our operations. We achieved this by leveraging our strong partnerships with reliable operators and utilizing our extensive network to increase flight availability. Additionally, we streamlined our booking and confirmation processes to handle the increased volume more efficiently. Through effective communication and coordination with our partners, we ensured that the quality of service remained high despite the rapid scale-up. This experience highlighted the importance of flexibility, strong relationships, and efficient processes in scaling operations quickly to meet market demand.

    Fahd Khan
    Fahd KhanDirector of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation