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Vision Vs Strategy

Over the years I have heard much about vision and strategy, much of it management speak to create wonderful phrases that are meaningless to staff and baffling to clients. However, I cannot underestimate the importance of having a vision in any business because it defines who you are, what you stand for and where you are going. For me it acts as a sounding board for every decision I make. Take our vision, established when I first invested in the business in 2011. Our vision has always been to create a great British manufacturing business respected around the World for the quality of its systems. That is a big vision for a small company.  It is the reason I got involved.

But, in truth, although we had a vision, we initially lacked a strategy, or plan or a product to achieve that vision. We were just a very good design engineering led manufacturer, like so many others.

Around 5 years ago, following research and guidance, we made a strategic decision to develop a suite of robotic packing solutions from the ground up. The objective was  to change the efficiency of fresh produce packing in the UK. This was our plan to achieve our ultimate goal, or vision. It required an immense amount of new product development investment by Peter and myself over a sustained period, during which we still had to win and deliver new projects. However it came good. We are fortunate in that we have now almost completed the first part of our strategy and are ready for the next stage of our growth. However continual Product Development is and must remain the single most important part of Brillopak. We must continue to develop and improve our machines because that is what it takes to be a great British manufacturing business respected around the World for the quality of its systems. It is our vision. 

I think that if we just had a business plan without the vision we would have struggled with the constant slog of commitment to investment for the future. That is what is required to make a difference regardless of industry or skill set.

In my view, one of the biggest challenges to a design engineering business is having the courage to turn down business that does not take you towards your vision. Just because you can do it does not mean you should do it. We are focused on fresh produce because that is the sector where we have developed considerable expertise and are thus best positioned to be able to deliver our vision.

So when we have a company meeting relating to investment of time and/or money we always ask the question. How does this fit in with the vision?  We can always change the strategy because that is the plan to achieve the goal.



David Jahn


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