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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

Advantage KY News

Implementing and Managing Growth

“Decisions Graphic

Many company owners and senior management teams would love to grow their companies, and fully intend to do so.  Growth, however, doesn’t just happen because you wish it to happen.  Actions need to be taken that will cause the intended growth.  But, what actions should you take?

There are multiple ways for a company to grow.  The simplest and most obvious way to grow is just to do more of the same.  This may be a good path to pursue if demand is greater than supply and you can’t make enough product to satisfy your current customers. In this situation, a senior management team may look for ways to increase their capacity.  Options such as adding shifts, adding production equipment, work space, and/or employees may be quick wins in this situation.  Often, however, growth opportunities are not that easy or obvious.  In order to grow, a company may need to expand their market by offering their products to new markets, creating additional products for current markets, or modifying products to new markets.

In decades past, some companies made a practice of acquiring other companies such as direct competitors, companies with related products that go to the same markets, companies that are part of their supply chain, or sometimes even seemingly completely unrelated products.  Over the past 10 to 15 years, we have seen many of these companies divest themselves of these acquired companies and try to get back to their “core business”.  And, for many of us, acquiring other companies is simply not a feasible option.

“Divest Graphic

So, what can we do, where do we begin?  As we have discussed, there are many options, which means that there are many choices to be made.  Often companies do not carefully consider their growth and do not have a strategic growth plan.  Implementing growth activities in this condition can lead to problems down the road.  Companies can grow too fast, getting ahead of what their infrastructure can support.  This can, in turn, lead to dissatisfied customers and a poor reputation, which can leave a company in worse shape than if they had not tried to grow their business at all.  Some companies jump in to growth quickly without fully counting the costs of expansion and find themselves unable to complete the growth projects.  Or even worse, they are no longer able to sustain their business.  Some run into a myriad of barriers that they did not anticipate.

Although growth is a good goal to have, because it beats stagnation, it should be paced appropriately.  It should also follow a methodical and well thought-out business growth strategy.  That is where The Advantage Kentucky Alliance can help.  We have developed a complete panel of Growth Management Systems Services to help KY manufacturers grow.  GMS 101 is a great placed to start working on a company growth strategy.  This workshop includes a a built in simulation, which allows for your staff to gain some “hands-on” experience with growing a company. 

If you are looking to grow your company, this workshop is a great pre-requisite to support proactive healthy growth within your company.  In this workshop, key employees will begin to learn how to create and implement a feasible growth strategy for your company.  They will learn to identify, vet, and implement opportunities for new products, services, process and business strategies.

“Growth Graphic

The GMS 101 workshop includes instructor led sessions and a hands-on simulation.  You will learn how to maximize your capabilities and resources, minimize waste in developing growth ideas, and generate new revenue streams.  Your key employees will understand the basic principles that will enable successful growth, how to develop/follow a Business Strategy and will have demonstrated the 5 stages of Growth

  • Ideation
  • Definition
  • Discovery
  • Development
  • Delivery


The simulation is done in rounds, spread out throughout the workshop, to allow your team to practice implementing what they are learning during the workshop. 

This workshop and AKA’s full panel of growth services and workshops will help you and your key employees take ideas from conception through delivery. Participants in these services will understand how a GMS approach can help your company improve many areas of growth activities including:


  • Reducing non-value added growth activities
  • Identifying and vetting opportunities
  • Implementing Voice of The Customer in all processes
  • Advantages of building a team philosophy/culture
  • Leverage PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act) cycles of learning for efficient Growth
  • Decipher the differences between obstacles and speedbumps


True enduring growth requires patience and teamwork; understanding how growth happens helps bring activities together.

To inquire about this GMS 101 workshop or about any of our Growth Services, business improvement programs, or our manufacturers “Best Practices” programs, contact Kurt Felten, AKA Marketing Specialist at (606) 620-0076, or visit


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