The past couple years have held significant difficulties in the manufacturing world. From parts and labor shortages to the pandemic itself, there have been more obstacles than are usually faced in a decade. But, there will always be obstacles to overcome. As in any industry, adaptability is one of the most crucial aspects of staying ahead of the game. IMH’s adaptability is what has allowed us to continue growing despite these adverse conditions, and even hit a sales record last month of over $5 million. Here are a few of the ways IMH has learned to adapt in unprecedented times.

It all starts with the most integral piece of any business: the people. A successful company requires a strong foundation of talented and passionate individuals. This begins at the hiring level. That does not just mean looking for expertise and experience. Of course these things are vital, but hiring is not as much about the individual as it is about the team. Who can you hire to not just do well at their job, but elevate others around them? A team philosophy is also important in training, where employees will be learning the ropes of their job and of the company. IMH has kept growing primarily due to the success of training new hires.

But employees are not the only people involved in a business; the customer is key. The guiding philosophy is to always try to say yes. A customer may need something traditionally outside the bounds, but that’s why we have a talented and passionate team to address these needs. Always staying open to new processes, equipment, and even increasing capacity creates exciting challenges that yield lasting rewards. Being adaptable allows customers to get exactly what they are looking for, rather than having to compromise on their needs. Customers with challenging needs are often the most loyal because they know other companies may not be able to meet their needs.

Manufacturing does not only involve people, but machines as well. There have been incredible strides in automation in recent years, which is a huge boon to any manufacturing need. A common misconception is that automation should save labor costs. However, anytime a human is replaced, a company loses growth potential. Automation should be used to give workers more flexibility to pursue higher level challenges. This not only allows your workforce to grow their expertise, but allows you to take on challenging projects that grow business.

On the more technical side, 3D design has become increasingly integral. As 3D design and printing becomes more precise and practical, it has only become more useful. Not only does it save on time and expenses from prototyping, but it allows your entire team and even the customer to visualize exactly what will be produced before even knowing how to create it. It’s an exciting skill set that will continue to show returns on time invested in learning it.

IMH has managed to out the storm of the last few years by staying flexible and keeping an eye on the new. In a technological field, it can be tempting to focus more on the technology than the people. But the best use for technology is always to elevate the people in your team.