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Manufacturing Future 

PART I. 

 


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Manufacturing in the United States is deeply in trouble. The symptoms are highly visible—loss of world market share, whole industries lost or threatened, too many lost jobs and too few new ones, slow productivity growth, and stubborn recession. Many companies believed impregnable are in deep financial difficulty. New manufacturing businesses find capital scarce and expensive. However, an increasing number of successful companies show clearly that U.S. firms can compete successfully in global markets. This presentation will cover the requirements for success and the actions needed to improve performance in all types of manufacturing.

The Situation Today

That manufacturing in the United States is in decline is not debatable; the evidence is very clear. Many whole industries have been lost to overseas competitors. The list includes consumer electronic products, watches, textiles, shoes, ships, bicycles, and many more. Other industries—machine tools, trucks, steel, robots, flat screen and high-definition television, and semiconductors are struggling, most unsuccessfully, to survive.

Trade deficits, caused largely by shortfall of hard goods, are enormous. America 's share of world markets is shrinking in spite of the lowest-valued dollar in history. Recovery from the latest recession is agonizingly slow; growth of Gross Domestic Product is very slow, unemployment hangs near 7 percent, real wages are dropping, layoffs are too high and new jobs too few.

Major manufacturing firms, once believed impregnable, are in serious trouble. General Motors suffers large losses in spite of heavy restructuring and plant closings. IBM's traditional markets shrink and they can't make what customers want. Digital Equipment Corporation, Corning , and a host of defense contractors fight problems they have not experienced previously. Many manufacturing companies show symptoms of lack of control: poor quality and deliveries, slow reaction to market changes, late introductions of new products, excess inventory, low profits and little return on investment.

In contrast, there are a few outstanding successes. Motorola leads the way in radio communication devices, led by a CEO who focused the company on quality, speed, and flexibility. Harley-Davidson made a great comeback from near death by streamlining operations and aiming at the large motorcycle market niche. A long-time success story, Hewlett Packard continues to prosper by great flexibility, high quality, and teamwork among people they believe are their most important asset.


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Manufacturing Knowledge you’ll not find at offsite 
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