How do you normally spend a rainy day?
Watching a movie? Huddling around the fire? Playing board games? How about going for a tour around your local factory?
No? Well, maybe it’s time to reconsider!
Indeed, you might be surprised at the popularity of plant tours. Apparently, even 20 years ago, 275,000 people were visiting the Ben and Jerry’s factory every year in Vermont. And 340,000 people went to the Crayola factory in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Clearly, factory tours hold a certain appeal. Why so? Turns out there are lots of reasons to consider a tour of your local factory.
Keep reading to discover exactly why you might go on a plant tour, and how to make it happen.
6 Reasons a Plant Tour Make Sense
Generally speaking, tours fall into two categories: those for business purposes, and those for leisure. Head to www.plant-tours.com for more information on this topic. But first, check out these reasons factory tours are so popular.
1. For Learning Purposes
Factory tours are an education for everyone who goes on one.
Tourists and interested individuals get an insight into how their favorite products come to be. You see the manufacturing and packaging processes from start to end. You might also learn about the history and development of the company and factory as well.
The learning is perhaps more valuable for business purposes though.
Plant managers may need some guidance on how to make the most of their own premises. A tour of a successful factory can provide crucial insight into best practices, plus how to maximize their own capabilities.
2. To Get Backstage
Being in a factory is like being backstage at a concert.
You’ve seen the face of the brand, but know nothing of their internal workings. Seeing the factory floor with your own eyes will develop your understanding of the company while helping you understand what goes into making your favorite products.
3. For the Freebies
Paying for a factory tour usually means you get a bunch of freebies thrown in!
That means free chocolate at a chocolate factory, free ice cream at an ice cream factory, and so on. Who doesn’t love a freebie, especially when it’s straight from the source!?
You get to see the product being made, and then enjoy it in situ!
4. To Assess the Situation
Plant tours enable you to assess the strength of your competition.
Sure, you can learn from them too. But you get a first-hand look at their processes, structures, layout, and performance. This can provide vital information about what you’re up against: the bar to which to must match.
Likewise, you may be visiting a potential supplier with whom you’ve only spoken to by phone. Being there in person allows you to assess their integrity, and whether they can match up to their claims.
5. To Network
Factory tours are a brilliant way to network with peers, potential suppliers, and competitors.
It’s one thing to talk over the phone. It’s an entirely different experience to meet and speak with someone in person. Doing so provides greater potential to form ongoing relationships and business partnerships.
Meeting a supplier face to face will demonstrate your commitment to them too. They’re more likely to provide a quality product to a trusted partner, who they want to succeed.
6. To Negotiate a Deal
Negotiation is undeniably easier in person.
You get to make eye contact, judge body language and assess the situation first hand.
There’s never a better time to negotiate a deal with a potential supplier than after a factory tour. You’ve just seen their operations and understand their capabilities. You’ve developed the beginnings of a relationship. Now you have a chance to seal a deal.
Compare that to negotiating over the phone, or via email. These are impersonal, cold, and make it far more difficult to make demands. In contrast, the factory tour provides a great foundation from which to drive a hard bargain. That’s good news for your finances.
How to Organize a Plant Tour
Knowing all that, you may be chomping at the bit to get going on a factory tour. Here’s how to get on one.
Thankfully, it usually isn’t difficult at all.
Many of the larger factories offer specific, organized tours around the premises. The entire experience is oriented around showing you the best bits. It’ll cost you, but these tours are the easiest way to get a behind the scenes look at the factory floor. All you need to do is phone up and book.
It might be a little different if you want a plant tour for business purposes. Obviously, this is less about intrigue and tourism, and more about benefiting your own business operations.
The same rule applies though. This is about networking and communication. Reach out to the company and ask if there’s any scope for a tour of their factory. Let them know you’re interested in how they run things and would love an opportunity to visit.
They may have their own tours available. They may also be willing to take you on a one-off personal tour. Either way, there’s no harm in asking.
Sooner or later you’ll find someone happy enough to show off their plant facilities.
Time to Get Touring
There you have it: why going on a plant tour is such a good idea, and how to make it happen.
Plant tours are surprisingly popular. Some of the biggest companies around the world offer the chance to visit their premises, and hundreds of thousands of people happily oblige. They even pay for the privilege!
It doesn’t matter whether you go for business or leisure purposes, there are clear incentives for visiting the factory floor. As we’ve seen, the benefits and opportunities are significant and numerous.
Hopefully, the information here has persuaded you of their value, and shown how to make them happen!
Did you enjoy this piece? Are you looking for more fun activities to do? Be sure to check out these travel articles.