Strategic Planning Without Pre-Conceived Notions


By Jeff Burnstein, RIA President

During the current economic crisis, I imagine just about every company is going through the process of strategic planning.  I know that our associations are (RIA, AIA, and MCA) in order to make sure that our activities line-up with the current and future needs of the membership and the industries we serve.

One of the most difficult problems right now is that we’re in uncharted waters.  As one of our members pointed out, we have no forecasting tools to model the present situation.  How long will the downturn last?  What will the situation be “on the other side” of the crisis?  How much manufacturing will disappear?  What new opportunities will be created?

Is the past truly prologue in the current situation?  Can we look back at previous downturns and make accurate guesses about the future?  Are the solutions we came up with in the past to survive and ultimately thrive relevant this time around?

As we begin our strategic planning process, we have no pre-conceived notions.  We won’t say that “we tried that in the past and it didn’t work” or conversely, “we did this in the past and know that it will work.”    Everything is on the table – every activity, every event, everything!

One of the benefits of this approach is that every new idea is being looked at very closely.  So, I urge each one of you reading this blog to send me your thoughts:  what would you like to see from RIA in the future?  What activities would most benefit your organization?

Now is the time to offer your ideas.  I can assure you they will be fully considered by our strategic planning committee.

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2 Responses to Strategic Planning Without Pre-Conceived Notions

  1. Chris Miller says:

    I would like to be able to make contact with a new customer base, and new industries.

    The RIA does a great job of Identifing many of the integrators and suppliers,but who are the end users dealing with robots and vision.

    A list to separate which Industries are automated and who is using which technology.

    A list to help qualify the end users.

  2. Steve Ward says:

    A big key to what is missing is application. The only way for America to compete with global markets is to use automation. In Detroit, we have always responded to the needs of the big three. There was a massive base of knowledge outside of the big three that is going down the tubes with the lay offs and a massive exodus from Michigan. It is like a kitchen full of food but no chef to create a recipe and ingredients and apply it. Small shops need to incorporate automation to compete but many do not have a clue what thy need.
    There needs to be a rise of application engineer/ Salesmen. There needs to be technical malls created to display technology so the small shop owner can be empowered to view and purchase complete robot cells. Like every other industry that has underwent a turnover that has driven an empowerment of the consumer, the engineering field is moving into this. Like computers, printers and copiers to the printing industry, digital cameras to the photo industry, Ipods and Itunes to the record industry, quickbooks and turbo tax to the accounting and bookkeeping industry, automation will have to decentralize and repackage their products to sell to consumers (The small guys) and not just integrators.

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