Navigating the ‘7Cs’: How Manufacturers Can Break Through the Growth Ceiling

By Dom Holmes | Automation Alley | 2/22/2017

Is your business stuck? To reach your full potential, first recognize you’ve hit a ceiling, and then figure out how to burst through it. It’s possible your organization is struggling with culture, or perhaps the strategy necessary to move forward isn’t clear, or it may just lack the resources and systems required to execute. While these three elements are the keys to long-term profitable growth, it’s vital to prioritize which you need to focus on first. 

At Automation Alley, we offer a 7Cs™ program, made possible through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, that matches early-stage and second-stage advanced manufacturing and technology entrepreneurs with resources, support and investment dollars. 

How the program works: 

  • For the startup: Accelerate commercialization of your product, service or technology through our customized seven-step process: Concept, Context, Clarity, Customers, Capital, Commercialization, and Community.
  • For the corporation: Get a first look at innovative products and services developed by our startup clients.

The program also includes a free Growth Assessment that’s perfect for second-stage manufacturing and technology companies that either want to grow, are looking for strategic or Industry 4.0 technology assistance, or just want to know how they are doing.

Companies report operational metrics and receive a qualitative profile, a quantitative analysis and a list of findings for improvement, prioritized by importance and urgency. Past participants have reported that the assessment provided their leadership team with invaluable insights.

To get started, email

Dom Holmes is manager of entrepreneurship and innovation at Automation Alley. In this role, he oversees all entrepreneurial programming and activities designed to provide information, education and training to prospective and existing small business owners in Southeast Michigan. He works closely with advanced manufacturing and technology entrepreneurs, managing the implementation and expansion of Automation Alley's 7Cs™ program, made possible through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Holmes also manages Automation Alley’s $9 million pre-seed fund.

Categories: Entrepreneurship (11)

Dom Holmes
Barb, thanks. I can't take all the credit. Rebecca Thibault is a whiz.
2/24/2017 1:56:48 PM

Dom Holmes
Ken, thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot coming from you.
2/24/2017 1:55:44 PM

Barbara Fornasiero
Hi Dom. Excellent job on this video and the impact of the 7Cs program. Good use of metrics to support your success!
2/22/2017 3:45:17 PM

Ken rogers
Great job. Your dress was perfect. Onward and upward my friend.
2/22/2017 2:39:40 PM

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