With all the conversation going on about a potential return to strength for the US Manufacturing industry, I found a point of contention and formed a rebuttal to a post by Thomas C. Gibson of Kennett Square, Pa., a retiree from marketing management at DuPont Co. on the www.delawareonline.com website.
Here are some snippets from his post:
“We have become so immune to seeing labels such as “Made in China” and “Made in Indonesia” on the products we buy that we accept them as the norm. We welcome the lower prices of the imports as a good thing; forgetting about the huge unemployment costs that result.”
“In the New York Times recently, Joseph Murray and Lee Sands, former chief China negotiators in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, suggested we should try to solve the huge trade problem with China (which accounted for 64 percent of our deficit in September) by encouraging Chinese companies to build factories in the U.S. to make the products now being exported.”
“The reality, however, is that for the next 10 years or longer, there are many millions in our work pool who are only equipped to make things like automobiles, appliances, furniture, television sets, computers, telephones, shoes, textiles and clothing.
Until we create a trade environment where industries like these are again able to thrive in the U.S., we can count on growing lines seeking unemployment checks.”
He’s right. We do have to take control of bringing back our manufacturing, but the answer is not just in controlling the trade relations.
While I do agree to some extent that we have allowed some of the decline of our once powerful manufacturing sector, international trade is not the only Achilles heel we face. To bring about a real and permanent change within our manufacturing plants, the industry experts need to look into our active manufacturing plants to see where the drags are in profitability causing needs for reductions in workers or quality in our production lines.
A very Real Solution is in our Hands, Right Now
While importing is a concern, manufacturing executives have a very real ability to redefine their business technology and day to day operations to build up their staffing capabilities, production quality and profitability on their own.
Implementing the latest CRM technology is a simple first step for any manufacturing plant to help simplify their customer relationship management as well as tightly integrate powerful reporting and marketing tools to the benefit of the plant. Staff time can be saves, freeing up funds for higher quality tools or materials, or increasing staff volume to improve end-production times.
Employing a business consultant to assess every aspect of a plant’s day to day management, record keeping, and data management and tracking processes takes a view of every step of the day to day work done in the plant on all levels. This means interviews with staff working in the administrative, technical and production areas of a company. In depth meetings with the executives and department heads to discuss the results of those interviews followed by a rebuilding of the business architecture from the ground up.
The goal of a business consultant working within a plant environment? To redefine the work done on all levels to remove the drags on costs and production, staff and profits to being about effective and permanent change that will ensure a better future for the plant.
Using the mentioned tools, it is possible to revive the manufacturing sector, trade regulations or no, one plant at a time.
Contact a business consultant at E3 Consulting Partners today to begin the discussion and rebuilding process that could have your company seeing a larger silver lining by mid-year.
From us to you, a happy and prosperous 2011!