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Manufacturing Competitiveness: Is Talent the Key Driver?

Posted By Jeff Moad, May 11, 2011 at 5:58 AM, in Category: The Adaptive Organization

Talent-driven innovation is the number one contributor to innovation and a key factor influencing where manufacturers decide to locate production, according to a recently-completed Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index produced by Deloitte and U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Talent-driven innovation is a more important influencer of competitiveness than other factors such as the cost of labor and materials, the cost of energy, and physical infrastructure.Meanwhile, the application of advanced information technology and the ability to collaborate both internally and externally are what the report calls game-changing competencies, capabilities that distinguish high-performing manufacturers from others.

Based on factors such as talent quality, the cost of labor and materials, energy costs and tax systems, the report says China is the most competitive manufacturing company now, and will will be in five years. India, Korea, the US, Brazil, and Japan round out the top 6 today. In five years, the ranked list will be China, India, Korea, Brazil, and the US.

At the Manufacturing Leadership Summit today, Lockheed Martin manufacturing VP Michael Packer agreed that talent and the quality of the labor pool are key competitive factors, enabling collaboration, continuous improvement, and process excellence. Also key to keeping individual manufacturers competitive, said Packer, is customer intimacy, the ability to understand and deliver on customer requirements.

Do you agree that talent-driven innovation is the number one contributor to innovation? Is your company able to find enough talent to enable innovation? What is your company's strategy for finding the talent you need?

Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit


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