Launching is not equal to success. One out of every ten products is successful, and even, that success is defined quite narrowly. How can a company increase its odds of not only launching a product that makes money but also ramping a product that grows rapidly in revenue and profitability?
Most manufacturing executives wrestle daily with important issues like industry consolidation, global competition and eco-manufacturing trends. Another issue that many of them should be considering, but don’t, is: How ready is my digital ecosystem for an increasingly mobile, touch-based world?
At the heart of the “we don’t need more STEM immigration” argument is the wage argument. According to this view, American students are not enrolling in STEM because of wages are not high enough. But this ignores that STEM wages are the third highest of any occupational group, after law and medicine.
Pop culture references manufacturing as the factories of the 1800s or modern day overseas sweatshops — full of mind-numbing, remedial tasks in dark and dingy factories. Today’s manufacturing environments tell a much different story: clean and safe environments with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity.
Maybe if you were the first to plant a boot print in the dusty red sand, you would have some sort of historical notoriety, but if you’re going to be second or third on the surface, please note how history books are not particularly known for remembering the rest of the posse.
So, if MAPI is right and manufacturing has a quiet year, I'd suggest you think about "pulling a Baldor." Examine everything within reach and think about how you can do it better. Some of the initiatives at Baldor based around safety, quality, production flow, and machinery investments resulted in big gains.
Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last year likely caught a glimpse of Clint Eastwood proclaiming that it was “halftime in America.” The country had been knocked down: The housing bubble had burst and top U.S. automakers – employing thousands of American workers – had sought a government bailout.
Donating companies not only fulfill philanthropy and corporate social responsibility efforts, they also benefit from the enhanced tax deduction, which enables companies to receive an up to twice-cost federal tax deductions. Gifts-in-kind organizations typically provide free services to donating corporations, and shipments can range from one box to dozens of truckloads.
When it comes to major, public-facing manufacturers, there are few companies more interesting to follow than General Motors. And while I’m not the one to forecast whether the company will or won’t make a full comeback after its troubles in the Great Recession, I can say it’s been an interesting ride either way.
In America, from an early age, in our public and private schools we are all made a promise: We can become teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, politicians, CEOs, media magnets, tycoons and so on. There is no praise to those of us who may be best as mechanics, electricians, plumbers, painters or, most importantly, manufacturing workers.
When we heard the news that President Obama was ready to name his replacement for U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, we recalled the day last spring when Mr. Geithner visited our factory in Baltimore. He was pleased that we were growing in a bad economy and exporting to 36 nations in contrast to the grim picture of American manufacturing losing out to cut-rate competitors overseas.
At the risk of sounding like an anti-progressive fuddy duddy: What is the point? Painful sarcasm aside, a serious R&D dilemma that presents itself with the announcement of a flexible screen. Flexible circuits have been getting progressively more complicated, and they are showing promise for astoundingly durable and compact technologies.
I guess the dream of powering the USA with wind and solar will have to remain just that, a dream. At least until we invent a much lower cost way of capturing the energy. And solar? Well no dark energy collectors have been invented yet. Or cheap storage that can be deployed anywhere.
Really, there is nothing bad about this tech in theory. Warehouses can track their inventory for reasonably low cost, retailers can make sure unpaid merchandise stays in the store, and lost animals can be returned home without run-ins with grizzly bears.
If drivers are following the laws of the road, and driving carefully, the information fed into the data recorder doesn’t even get looked at. However, if an individual does get into a wreck, the information that the little black box contains actually might help someone’s case instead of hindering them.
A recently fielded a simple question from a friend: “You’ve worked in China. Can you recommend a manufacturer to produce my patented pool toy?” I asked, “Have you considered a US-based producer? Why not keep the job in America?” My friend was surprised: “Really? I hadn’t thought of that.” And, therein lies the root of the problem.
Patent lawsuits happen all the time, and it is rare that they blow up to anything huge for either side, other than some bragging rights and some lawyer’s paychecks (see Samsung versus Apple for a counterpoint).This patent issue has the potential to dictate a bright or dismal future for crowdsource funding websites, and, in turn, the potential of small, low capitol start-ups.
As a twenty-something raised in a technologically driven society, it bothers me that companies still send me direct mail fliers or print catalogs. It more than bothers me – it really distresses me. I hate to see that printed product that I am never going to read show up in my mailbox each day.
Better, and more polished, interfaces make it easier for more people to sit back and play iOS games or watch something on Netflix, they also create a dangerous abstraction — a distance between the user and the actual technology that functions it.
I’m beginning to think that a key to more American jobs could be a closer connection between European and American businesses — if we can only understand what it is that makes our nation an attractive place to do business. To get a little context, let me share my recent experiences, and examine the lessons that might be learned from them.