Own the whole process, not just the tail end of it.  

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Manufacturing and producing have been SO declasse in the past couple of decades. Businesses were supposed to do anything but actually make tangible things.

But - right now, if you control the whole process, from design to manufacture to retail it gives you a huge advantage.

As I've pointed out, it allows you to change things quickly - we have very definitely altered the range planned for this year in response to the recession and we were able to arrange this in months, not years. It also lets you have far more control over prices - we know that if times get really tough, we are not stuck with the prices coming from a wholesaler, we can find ways of bringing down manufacturing costs and passing this on.

If you can control the entire supply chain process, or at least a good chunk of it, it will give you many advantages of flexibility and responsiveness. Okay, manufacturing is, as one of our customers said to me recently, "tough" and the feasibility does depend a great deal on the field you are in. But if you can take it on, whatever you do, it will help you become much more recession proof.

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