Manufacturing Future 



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There is little question that the economy of the United States is in serious trouble. The decade of the 1980s may have marked the beginning of the decline and fall of its empire. The symptoms are very evident but the causes are not simple. There have not been just a few bad mistakes, easily recognized and amenable to correction; fundamental changes will be necessary in many areas. No single group in or outside the country is solely responsible; there are many culprits. Government, the financial community, educators, the media, environmental fanatics, and managements of manufacturing companies are all involved.

While there have been notable turnarounds in some outstanding firms, it is not yet clear that the downward trend can be reversed; history shows that this occurs very rarely. If it is to happen, manufacturing cannot be allowed to continue to dwindle away. It is too important as a wealth generator. It employs at high wages over 20 percent of the U.S. work force. There is no adequate substitute for it in the economy.

In the long term, the ability of U.S. firms to compete worldwide, and the health of the national economy, will depend on development of new industries able to secure a significant market position and hold it against competition through excellence in manufacturing practices.

Whether or not other groups see the light, manufacturing must get its own house in better order, attack all waste—activities that add no value to products and services—and utilize resources more effectively. It is also long past the time advocates of manufacturing got off the defensive and on the attack, publicizing its true role, and trumpeting the message that:

Manufacturing matters—because it really does!

About the Author

George W. Plossl, CFPIM, is founder and president of G. W. Plossl & Company in Fort Myers, Florida. He is the only pioneer still active in the field of manufacturing planning and control. His work over three decades for APICS included preparing special reports, editing bibliographies and chapters in both editions of the Production and Inventory Control Handbook, organizing and working in the MRP Crusade, and leading the initial six years of the Certification Program. He was awarded Honorary Membership in APICS and life membership in the Atlanta Chapter in recognition.

He has addressed almost every APICS chapter in the United States and most affiliated groups abroad. His clients have included practically all of the Fortune 500 firms. Counseling, seminars and speaking assignments have taken him to every industrial country in the Western world. He is famous for clear, dynamic, practical and humorous treatment of his subjects.

His most famous book, Production & Inventory Control: Principles & Techniques, is often called the Bible of the field. His latest book, Managing in the New World of Manufacturing, was written for managers and executives interested in knowing how manufacturing works and how to improve their operations. Other published works, including five books and numerous articles, are acclaimed as thorough, practical, and useful to both educators and operations people at all levels in manufacturing organizations.


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