Historically, Dontech has maintained a backlog valued at 6-12 months of annual sales. For orders in which Dontech is “speced in,” feeding this pipeline takes as little as two months; for those requiring the development of a new sales lead and subsequent negotiations, production may not start for as many as four years.
Dontech manufactures custom products only, and the organization’s work is not designed to be a low-cost offering. Over time, management noticed a shift in the sales process—the company had started to buffer its engineering team from its customers’ design people, and the result was a declining ability to support and provide a unique value to the current business/production model.
What’s more, this pivoting business development approach was coupled with policy shifts and turmoil in Washington, which impacted defense and medical work already scheduled in the Dontech backlog.
It was time for management to plan for Dontech’s future. They realized that while some of these factors were beyond their control, there was also work in the pipeline over which they could exert some influence.
“We saw that it was time to refocus on how to target and support new business opportunities,” says Dontech’s President, Richard Paynton. “And we needed to make sure our internal resources were properly aligned to fulfill those opportunities.”