Swartzlander completes series on Strategy for Metal Casters

Mike Swartzlander recently completed a 5-part series on strategic planning.

Published in Foundry Management and Technology, the entire series can be found at: http://foundrymag.com/author/mike-swartzlander

The series includes:

Metalcasting Growth Strategies I: Setting the Stage for Growth

Foundry is a tough business. Surviving, let alone achieving, long-term growth, is challenging. The goal of this series is to provide some perspective and tools that foundries may use to develop sustainable, profitable growth. The vantage point is my experience first as a supplier to the global foundry industry, and more recently as a strategist in the metalcasting sector. I have attempted to frame the challenges and opportunities for growth specifically for foundries, using a number of tools and techniques used by strategists.


Metalcasting Growth Strategies II: How Foundries Make their Money

Understanding the competitive dynamics of an industry is a critical part of any growth strategy effort. The metalcasting industry can be analyzed from an overall strategic perspective using the well-known “Porter’s 5 Forces” as a useful starting point.


Metalcasting Growth Strategies III: How to Grow When the Market Doesn’t

Foundry overall is a slow-growth market.  Generally, the industry is very competitive, leading to low profitability and financial instability for many foundries.  Nonetheless, long-term sustained and profitable growth is achieved by some management teams even in this challenging environment.  How do they do it?


Metalcasting Growth Strategies IV: The Journey

A detailed exploration of how defining a “core business” and “adjacencies,” and conducting “opportunity mapping” can be applied to a foundry business, to map out strategies leading to long-term sustainable and profitable growth.


Metalcasting Growth Strategies V: Making Your Foundry Strategy Work

For metalcasters’ it’s clear that significant work is required to develop good growth strategy. However, the most successful growth companies are those that can transform strategy from a singular event, into an on-going process, overlapping, supplementing, and ultimately strengthening their normal quarterly and annual objectives-setting and financial processes.


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