Posts Tagged ‘manufacturing industry outlook’

By 2020 the U.S will overtake China to earn the top spot for the most competitive nation in the world.  At least, that’s according to predictions from Industry Week, whose stated mission is “advancing the business of manufacturing.”

According to Deloitte and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness this is due largely to America’s investments “in research, technology and innovation.”  “Manufacturing competitiveness, increasingly propelled by advanced technologies, is converging the digital and physical worlds, within and beyond the factory to both customers and suppliers, creating a highly responsive, innovative, and competitive global manufacturing landscape,” says Craig Giffi, co-author of the report.

Last year, Industry Week ranked their predictions of who would be the top manufacturing nations in their 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, noting that the top 11 will remain consistent through 2020 though some will trade places in the rankings.  Their listing showed the following global leaders in manufacturing by 2020:

  1. United States – Research, technology and innovation. Not to mention, access to capital.
  2. China – But of course, although slipping to number 2.
  3. Germany – Industrial production, research & development… a growing lead in advanced mfg.
  4. Japan – Manufacturing is almost 20% of Japan’s GDP… from autos to aviation
  5. India – Engineering, software, lots of factory workers gave rise to a jump from #11
  6. South Korea – Biopharmaceuticals are a major contributor… and then there’s Samsung
  7. Mexico – Electronics manufacturing is stronger than ever
  8. Taiwan – Optoelectronics (think: flat screens) and hi def color displays
  9. Canada – Montreal is the world’s 4th leading center for aerospace manufacturing
  10. Singapore – Big in biomedical sciences

It’s a bold prediction, and to make it happen will require continued innovation here in the U.S., along with advanced manufacturing, access to broad capital markets, access to world trade markets, and the continued research and developments efforts that have long ensured America’s place in the top tier of global manufacturing.

But others are not standing still, and nothing is ever assured.

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aberdeen_logoRecently our friends at Aberdeen Research compiled their findings on the outlook for manufacturing (Manufacturing Industry Outlook, January, 2013), after a variety of leading manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz Fuel Cells, ABB Inc., and Mercury Marine convened the Manufacturing Industry Leadership Summit.  Their conclusions were presented in a paper published recently.

We’ll save you the cost of the summit and cut to the chase, with a few excerpts from Aberdeen’s compilation of recommendations and ideas to support a successful strategy for collaboration:

  • It’s a journey – The ability to change, improve, or push your manufacturing organization forward is a never ending, always on, continuous iteration of activities.  (But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?)
  • Good results belong to everyone – Collaborative execution includes all functions, multiple sites and a global perspective
  • There is no change without leadership – The journey needs vision, roadmap, influence, drive and budget.
  • Identify the right fit – Understand your culture.  The approach depends on the makeup, values and behaviors of your organization.
  • Focus on a key activity (or a limited few) – Whether it’s innovation, efficiencies, quality, risk, safety or technology, a core set of disciplines can define how to best create value for customers.
  • Take control of the complexity – Look into automation… to simplify processes.  Integrating products and production process can be a good starting point.
  • Leverage assessments – To help find gaps or at least benchmark where your organization is currently operating.
  • Performance improvements – Simple metrics with the right incentives.  Use metrics in a simplified way and stick with them.
  • Invest in collaboration – From technology, to time and people, collaboration requires a free flow of information but also training, support, and executive commitment.

Sounds simple, even intuitive, right?  But it’s a process, a method, and a commitment to continuous improvement in search of the best way to provide value for your customers.  Get learning.  Get understanding of what matters inside your company.  And then, get to work.


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