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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

Business Growth Services

Client Needs - Business Growth


 Almost half of AKA's clients discuss Business Growth Services. We can help you identify new sales, develop new products, enter new markets, and deploy new business models through Innovation Engineering, Strategic Growth Planning, Voice of the Customer, Prototyping, Marketing Support, Technology-Driven Market Intelligence, and more.



If you are having one or more of the following problems, Business Growth Services is right for you! Select your problem to learn more about how we can help.

Is your senior staff of one voice with you?
Do they all understand your vision?
Do I know what our strategy is?
How am I going to meet my metrics for growth/continuous improvement/quality/safety?
What projects make the most sense for us to pursue?
Why do we have problems picking projects to work on?
Why does it take so long for us to develop a new product?
We seem to always run out of money when developing ideas?
How can we afford to develop this?
We are a small start-up. Can we utilize Innovation Engineering?
We have the idea and business strategy but have a hard time focusing the team on tasks to be done.
We need to stay organized and focused.
This is new to us, not sure how to proceed.
Our team cannot agree on the customers' needs. Therefore, our product development and marketing meetings consist of constant debates about what we should do and the angle to use.
We are unable to find a supplier that we need or we have technology sitting around idle.
We need help with the design of a product.
Our team really doesn't work as a team, no-one looks after each other and everyone competes with each other.


Very Important Problem/Very Important Opportunity (VIP/VIO): Strategic Growth Planning

Getting the entire staff "on the same page" is important to ensure you are not wasting resources. Often, someone has an idea and they run with it. They have passion and energy and believe others will "understand and fall in line" ... eventually. This tends to happen when the corporate business strategy was not shared with the staff. Developing a business strategy that makes sense and incorporates the entire team into one vision is important to ensure resources are not spent incorrectly. VIP/VIO is a business strategy tool that allows the full team to understand the master plan and develop activities to ensure the master plan is carried out. By getting the entire team involved, they will understand WHY they should not be doing some activities but more importantly, they will bring the necessary energy to implement more efficiently.

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Growth Management System (GMS)

GMS brings structure and focus to the identification, vetting, and implementation of new revenue streams for all sizes (micro through large) of companies. This transformational, culture-changing System enables the Company to understand how to Create, Communicate, and Commercialize opportunities for new revenue. You will also be able to identify and understand the four stages of implementing new revenue streams: Define, Discover, Develop, and Deliver. A GMS approach can help you generate new revenue by reducing non-value added growth activities, implementing Voice of the Customer in all processes, increasing speed and reducing risk of Growth and Innovation, and solving and managing problems and road blocks.

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Micro Manufacturing Growth Consortium

The Micro Manufacturing Growth Consortium is an eight week, cost-effective way for start-up and small (Micro) companies of 10 employees or less to participate in Innovation Engineering. You will learn the philosophy and tools of Innovation Engineering as well as benefit from project update meetings.

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Management Update Meetings

Update meetings introduce the routine of weekly PDCA (Plan/Do/Check/Act) cycles of learning to the team, allowing for daily activities to be accomplished while keeping the senior management team abreast of the activities. There are different types of meetings. Some meetings need to go into detail while others do not.

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Activities Portal

Through an Online Project Acceleration Tool (currently, Company will be able to document their product development phases and keep focus and structure to the development of new ideas. This online project accelerator brings structure to the Growth Management phases of Product Development (Define, Discover, Develop and Deliver).

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Innovation Kaizen Day

Similar to your familiarity with utilizing Kaizen to implement process improvements, Innovation Kaizen Day can be used to coach and implement growth activities as well. It's a problem solving day. Kaizen Day is a focused, half or full day, problem-solving engagement between the Company and AKA. The focus typically is on a specific need such as an evaluation of products, markets, or processes. The KAIZEN Event concentrates on one area and brings focus and documentation to evaluate and discover why it is important for the company to pursue.  AKA also has an Ideation Workshop for the healthy generation of short and long term ideas for the idea pipeline.

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Voice of the Customer (VoC)

VOC collects and leverages customer feedback, enabling better business decisions. It is an in-depth process of identifying and prioritizing customers' needs and wants, both articulated and unarticulated, in order to improve existing or create new products, services, or processes. In the VoC suite, participants will learn proper in-depth interview skills and other processes for gathering VoC input, gain assistance in the design and structure of a successful VoC for their company, and learn how to organize the data collection so that it can be readily accessed and used. AKA will design and conduct your VoC project, gathering input from your customers and prospective customers.

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Technology/Supplier Scouting (TDMI/TS)

TDMI and TS uncover and document potential business growth strategies through in-depth research by searching outside normal channels to find solutions for an unmet technology need. These services provide a needs definition, cross-sector review, and access to many new data sources, as well as business and technical intelligence, insights from experts, and targeted solution spaces. Supplier Source Selection Research is An important key to any company’s success is the establishment of effective and reliable partners within the Supply Chain. It involves all aspects of making the right supplier selections. 

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Technical/Graphic/Art Services: Marketing Support

AKA brings ideas to life through prototypes and Industrial, Graphic, Package, and Engineering Design. The Art Services effort is focused on providing a clear, concise direction, structure, and focus, allowing for successful branding of a product or idea while maintaining a uniform look and feel for that product or idea.

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Team Building

AKA has developed both workshops and retreats to assemble, refresh, and/or build camaraderie within a Company's team. Teams are more efficient and morale and skills are built  within the team members. AKA's Team Building is based upon our Growth Service platform and is not only unique, but highly effective, proven, and built for today's proactive global workforce.

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Continuous Improvement
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