EXECUTIVE INSIGHT

October 2012

Report Reveals Mixed Message from Manufacturers
While US industrial manufacturers remain optimistic about revenue growth, they still have concerns about the domestic and global economies. PwC US’s latest Manufacturing Barometer (for Q3 2012, released in late October) revealed a mix of sentiment among manufacturing executives. Despite their concerns about prospects for both the US and global economies, the majority of US industrial manufacturers remain upbeat about their revenue outlook for the next 12 months.

Dates: 11/05/12

US Manufacturing Needs a Brand Makeover
Recent results of the Industry Market Barometer®, conducted by ThomasNet.com, provides insight about the current US manufacturing environment. The "Made in America" attitude is becoming more prevalent. Business is coming back from China. Still, much needs to be done. To engage a new generation of manufacturers, the nation must restore—and elevate—the perception of America’s manufacturing excellence, says Eileen Markowitz, who heads the Thomas Industrial Network.

Dates: 11/05/12

Middle Market Outlook: A Mixed Picture at Best
According to a recent survey, middle market companies are hiring. That's good news. However, uncertainty about the economy exists, and that could affect companies moving forward, says Anil K. Makhija, professor of finance at Ohio State University's Fisher Business School. The National Center for the Middle Market’s most recent Middle Market Indicator (for Q3, released in late October) revealed some very interesting patterns across the United States, including within the manufacturing market.

Dates: 11/05/12

Eastern Promise: New Business Opportunities Emerge from China
As the Chinese renminbi rapidly becomes one of the world's most important trading currencies, it represents creative business prospects. Ian Taylor (senior vice president and regional divisional director for North America, Western Union Business Solutions) considers opportunities.

Dates: 11/05/12

Business Outlook: A Fiscal Cliffhanger
Sorry – bad news again. The latest MAPI survey indicates a precipitous drop: The composite index fell from 61 to 56. It's a fingernail-grasping scenario, but businesses have the strength to climb from the precipice.

Dates: 11/05/12

Lean and Mean – and Profitable
Manufacturing operations that implement lean manufacturing and related sustainability can witness substantial reductions in waste and, in turn, costs. Commitment is key to realizing the benefits, indicates consultant Dennis Stamm. Lean thinking, which leads to lean consulting, can oil the wheels for lean design and construction.

Dates: 11/05/12

In Depth:
Xtra Congelados
Karcher
Cambridge Towel

Dates: 11/05/12

September 2012

The United States: Falling Behind in the Global Standings
The best way to understand the current business climate is by mixing some metaphors, and that means mixing what you read in the newspaper business section with what you scan in the statistics section of the sports pages. Think of global economy in terms of a baseball season: Come late September, a team's fortune will be decided by a late-season surge or a precipitous slide. The United States—once a perennial front runner—is getting buried in the standings by countries (teams, if you will) such as Mexico and Brazil, which were once "second division" also-rans. The US needs to make a managerial change – to bring in someone who can rethink development programs, and make a run to the post-season, and to avoid what happened in the United Kingdom and Germany. Those countries smoked a trick cigar that exploded in their face. SHL wasn't laughing. It brushed away the ashes and offered a strategy.

Dates: 09/27/12

US Manufacturing Resurgence: It's not Just about Rising Labor Costs.
Rather, look to at least seven primary catalysts, including transportation and energy costs, which have created a potentially vibrant environment for re-shoring and increased US production activity. This can mean a manufacturing resurgence, according to a new PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report. Who could be the main beneficiaries? Industries such as chemicals and metals, as well as US jobseekers, the report indicates.

Dates: 09/27/12

LISTEN! Demands an American Steel Industry Leader
Steel, as its name and its capabilities indicate, provides economic strength. It's time for the industry to flex its muscle – and to speak up. "History has proven that there has never been a globally-leading nation that did not have a cornerstone of steel. American Steel has the opportunity to restore that foundation through the rebuilding of America." Thus recently spoke a steel industry leader. His comment indicates that it's time for the American steel industry to stand up for itself.

Dates: 09/27/12

Stalled M&A Activity Mirrors Economic Picture
According to a recent KPMG analysis, US companies are most active in emerging market mergers and acquisitions. At the same time, there is decreased volume – and this reflects a global economic slowdown.

Dates: 09/27/12

A Look Ahead: Sluggish Economic Growth
The MAPI Quarterly US Industrial Outlook predicts a downward trend: The 4.5-percent growth witnessed in 2012—not exactly an impressive percentage—will reduce to 2.3 in 2013. Fears transform into reality, and arise from subsequent, and substantial, risks. The US could face a recession that piggybacks upon the current economic tsunami, with emerging global forces entering into the equation.

Dates: 09/27/12

Greetings from Chicago: Colorful Manufacturing Picture
Results from the latest International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) present as vibrant and positive a picture as a colorful beach postcard. Registration at the most recent Chicago event reached 100,200 – the highest-ever show-to-show increase. A good omen.

Dates: 09/27/12

In Depth:
Comau
Bay Shipbuilding
Nor-Cal

Dates: 09/27/12

August 2012

One Screwed-up Generation Left Behind
Forget about the “baby boomer” generation, or even the Generations X, Y and Z. The Obama administration, and its “Obamanomics,” created a new generation – the “Generation Screwed.” So says author David Foran. His message is clear in the title of one of his most recent books: “Erroneous Drones: Saving the Economy from Legions of Self-Destructive Liberals.”

Dates: 08/30/12

What Price Regulation?
The increasing number and costs of federal regulations are hurting the US manufacturing sector, creating a cumulative burden that contributes to long-term slow growth, according to a recent research.

Dates: 08/30/12

Make the Tax Structure Work For You
Just one more way to increase the bottom line – consider the lesser-known tax-exempt lease to acquire new manufacturing equipment, advises author Peter K. Bullen.

Dates: 08/30/12

US Mid Market Expands Horizons
According to a recent KPMG survey, US mid-sized companies are increasing their focus on global expansion, to drive their growth and profits. Many anticipate increases in non-US revenues, facilities, and employment rosters during the next five years.

Dates: 08/30/12

Crisis of Confidence: US Manufacturing at Crossroads
Many Americans view the US manufacturing sector as fragile and unstable, and for good reason. The sector has lost its global leadership position. A recent Deloitte LLP report, “Manufacturing Opportunity,” describes how America can regain its stature. The report includes five key recommendations. Craig Giffi, vice chairman and US consumer and industrial products leader at Deloitte LLP, authored the report and provides this eye-opening summary.

Dates: 08/30/12

Manufacturers Rethink Strategy – Part II
In the first installment, MIT’s David Simchi-Levi discussed how manufacturers are reformulating the business strategies – based on elements such as reshoring and regionalization—and how they’re impacted by corporate taxation issues. This time, he focuses on a collaboration that can potentially drive business growth to help companies remain competitive in the changing industry landscape. As he indicated last time, US manufacturing finds itself at a “tipping point.”

Dates: 08/30/12

In Depth:
FOCUS_US Manufacturing
Eberspaecher
Hawker Pacific Aerospace

Dates: 08/30/12

July 2012

Human Resources: Does it Matter Anymore?
Talent management leaders recently met at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas to discuss the relevance of human resources (HR) and if it still mattered. Discussion was lively, but attendees agreed on one thing: The system is broken. They debated about how to fix it.

Dates: 07/30/12

Utah: Teeming-and Teaming-with Opportunity
The Obama administration's National Export Initiative (NEI) seeks to put the economic ship of state back on course. It's an ambitious program that involves exports, a major economic driver. Goals are immediate. By 2014, NEI wants to double US exports and, in turn, make US companies more globally competitive. Utah is on board. Andrew Dash Gillman, of the state's Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), explains why - and how Team Global Utah advances the state's (and the nation's) cause.

Dates: 07/30/12

Manufacturing R&D: Why it's not confined to the Laboratory and what this means for you.
In 1981, Congress enacted the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit to keep US businesses competitive in the global market, and to establish an incentive to prevent job outsourcing. It's not just corporations that stand to gain. The Credit can also benefit much smaller enterprises - in a big way. They just need to understand how.

Dates: 07/30/12

A Chip in the BRIC? - What's happening with Manufacturing in Latin America?
Manufacturing in Brazil and Argentina is experiencing a slowdown, while Mexico's manufacturers are in better shape. A new Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) report reveals why.

Dates: 07/30/12

Insight Builds Profitable Relationships
The proposition is at once easy and complex: Consultants must treat—and teach—each client. Individualization provides value. Tom Cates, president of the Brookside Group, who boasts nearly 20 years' consulting experience, provides a simple equation: Build relationships to build business. It should be as simple as 1 and 1 equals two.

Dates: 07/30/12

MIT Data Deduction: Manufacturers Rethink Strategy
Reshoring, supply chain issues, regionalization, government engagement - these are elements that have placed manufacturing at what MIT's David Simchi-Levi describes as a "tipping point." The organization went straight to the source: surveying manufacturers. Response proved revealing.

Dates: 07/30/12

In Depth:
M&M Refrigeration
Association AMT
Focus Economic Shifts

Dates: 07/30/12

June 2012

US Manufacturing at the Crossroads
Further decline in US manufacturing could be permanent, but rebound could mean renaissance. That depends on education policy, worker training, tax code, the regulatory environment, international relationships (particularly with Mexico), according to a recently released study.

Dates: 06/28/12

American Manufacturing: Recent Growth Buoys Confidence
US manufacturing is regaining its former stature. Data supports optimism, a recent ThomasNet.com study indicates. But if the trend is to continue, the industry requires an infusion of new blood.

Dates: 06/28/12

US Debt: Worse than Imagined
Talk about bad weather. A recent Deloitte study reveals that America's debt crisis appears more dire than previously forecasted. Risks related to the nation’s growth need careful, thorough re-examination, the consulting firm stresses.

Dates: 06/28/12

Industrials and Chemicals M&A: A More Measured Approach
The global industrials and chemicals sector has been one of the liveliest markets for mergers and acquisitions. We can expect another strong year of activity, according to a recently released report. But while acquirers’ M&A appetite remains healthy, they're more closely monitoring their deal-making diet.

Dates: 06/28/12

Global Economy: No Country's Isolated
The United States—with its considerable economic problems—cannot remain an island in a sea of troubles. The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) draws that conclusion, based on a recent Institute of Supply Management (ISM) report.

Dates: 06/28/12

Infrastructure: The Race is on
Hear the thundering hooves? Canada rushes from the backstretch, China closes on the inside. If the United States doesn't keep pace, this won’t even be a photo-finish. The problem? A lazy trainer. US Seaports and private-sector partners can’t wait for slow-responding state and federal agencies to recognize an urgent need. The Industry has responded with a five-year, $46-million infrastructure investment plan. A sizeable figure, true; but a necessary investment.

Dates: 06/28/12

In Depth:
Adams Manufacturing
Kasai Mexicana
MD Helicopters

Dates: 06/28/12

May 2012

Global Skill Gap: Million of Manufacturing Positions Unfilled
A Deloitte/World Economic Forum report reveals that 10 million global manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled, further exacerbating the manufacturing skills gap problem plaguing the United States. Despite the high unemployment rate in many countries where companies are struggling to fill these jobs, the companies cannot attract, develop and retain the highest skilled talent.

Dates: 05/30/12

Talent: Key to Manufacturing’s Future
A recently released report from the World Economic Forum reveals the factors that will significantly impact the manufacturing sector: lack of talent and the need for innovation and a collaborative public policy. Fading labor rate arbitrage, exposure to currency volatility, sovereign debt pressures and emerging protectionist policies will also challenge globalization of manufacturing value chains.

Dates: 05/30/12

Business Barometer: Readings Rise
Optimism about the US economy continues climbing among US industrial manufacturers, according to a recent business barometric survey; PricewaterhouseCoopers US (PwC US) Q1 2012 Manufacturing Barometer. More than 90 percent of respondents forecast growth in 2012, and many companies indicate they plan to increase investments and hiring. However, optimism is counterbalanced by continued uncertainty about the global economic outlook.

Dates: 05/30/12

Manufacturing: Bringing the Work Back Home
Results from a recent survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) confirm that a significant number of large manufacturers are considering reshoring from China to the United States. Among other factors, companies cite logistics and rising Chinese wages as reasons for reconsidering where they manufacture.

Dates: 05/30/12

The Mighty Middle: Driving the US Economy, Driven by Manufacturing
Pay attention to the middle-market segment, advises Dr. Anil Makija, an economic expert who focuses on that area of US and global financial well being. Signals sound loud; and we ignore them at our own risk.

Dates: 05/30/12

Steel Demand Bodes Well for US Industry
A Ball State University research director sees increased demand for more steel, based on the needs of the automotive and energy industries. What are the implications?

Dates: 05/30/12

In Depth:
Arcos Dorados Latin America
Craftsman
St. Marys Cement

Dates: 05/30/12

April 2012

Gaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media
Industrial marketers who think that LinkedIn is only for job seekers, and Facebook is just for catching up with long-lost friends, need to think again.

Dates: 04/30/12

US Manufacturing Drumbeat is Upbeat
KPMG's latest Global Business Outlook's interesting results found US manufacturing and service executives confident about revenues, profits and new business. Companies polled anticipate increased business activity. Expectation levels are the highest witnessed since KMPG began measuring US business sentiment with its tri-annual survey initiated in October 2009.

Dates: 04/30/12

The New Math on Outsourcing
A painful chapter in American manufacturing employment over the past 70 years has been the steady outsourcing of jobs from the U.S. to other countries. As many manufacturers in the U.S. know, production cost savings in places like China more than offset the additional expense of shipping goods to U.S. markets.

Dates: 04/30/12

Forecast: Stormy Weather with Clearing Skies
Export Development Canada uncovers a trade-driven growth buried beneath a "new normal" storyline. It presents a forecast that indicates recovery.

Dates: 04/30/12

Servant Leadership Sustains Competitive US Manufacturing Advantage
Bringing out the best throughout a manufacturing organization can add as much as 10 to 20 percent each year to the bottom line. Servant Leadership can bring out that best.

Dates: 04/30/12

Who Will Win in November? - Look to the Stock Market
Renowned economic theorist Robert R. Prechter, Jr. describes why the stock market is a good predictor of presidential elections. What's the prognostication? Read on. Most likely you won't lose a bet.

Dates: 04/30/12

In Depth:
Eastern Shipbuilding Group
Schulz
Simmons Machine Tool Corporation
Thermo Design Engineering
Viper Motorcycle Company

Dates: 04/30/12

March 2012

Saving the Heart of American Manufacturing
Economic CPR is needed—and right now—for a nation enduring heart palpitations. But manufacturing—the direct heart line to survival—remains resilient, says Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Look to the auto industry – and watch out for China.

Dates: 03/06/12

Remaking America's Competitiveness via "Make"
"Make: An American Manufacturing Movement," a recent product of the US Council on Competitiveness, addresses problems that plague the American economy. By developing appropriate solutions, it provides a 21st century blueprint.

Dates: 03/06/12

2011 M&A Action: Higher Volume, Smaller Transactions
Industrial manufacturing and metals deals drove 2011 industrial products merger and acquisition activity, according to PwC US. While it was a record year for volume, the focus was on smaller deals – a less risky approach in an uncertain economy. The year also witnessed increase in divestitures and local deals.

Dates: 03/06/12

Infrastructure: A Global Opportunity
New and revitalized infrastructure is critical to the world's economic health. Global engineering and construction companies rapidly adapt to meet the demand, according to a recent KMPG survey. But they face substantial barriers – lack of government policies and leadership, and lack of investment (public and private), represent the biggest challenges.

Dates: 03/06/12

Taking US Businesses Beyond Borders
In a world more dependent on technology, and where trade borders are seamless, boards need to acquire new tools and skills to become effective and relevant in the global market. A company's board assesses, validates and oversees strategy. Its fiduciary duty is to provide oversight, governance and a platform to build a successful global presence that stands up to change and be on target, on budget and time, states Mona Pearl, a global strategic business development expert.

Dates: 03/06/12

Aerospace and Defense: A Sector at Risk
The Aerospace Industries Association reported last December that annual sales are expected to top $218 billion in 2011, marking the eighth consecutive year of growth. Despite persistently sluggish market conditions around the globe, the aerospace industry remains one of the most significant contributors to the national economy.

Dates:03/06/12

In Depth:
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM): Environmental Regulations Should Pass Cost-Benefit Test
Multivariable Testing (MVT)
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM): A Year for Crucial Decisions
Economic Shifts

Dates: 03/06/12

January 2012

Redefined Economic Power in a Changing World
The United States is at a crossroads. It could go the way of Rome—a classic case of a once-dominant empire that went into decline—or it can shape a new-empire paradigm, where a world power continually redefines and recreates itself to endure. The challenge won't be easy. Eastern powers have well positioned themselves to supplant Western global entities. No one ever promised that the world would remain the same – or that it's a rose garden.

Dates: 12/21/11

Supply Chain Optimization: Don't Forsake Customer Service
Too often, companies seeking to increase profits by cutting costs sacrifice a critical supply chain component: customer service. Grant Gordon, a KPMG supply chain specialist, indicates that this is a misguided approach that results in missed opportunities. He delineates a more effective, three-point strategy.

Dates: 12/21/11

Entrepreneurs Remain Resilient
Despite economic adversity, SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses) remain as hardy as the human heart. That's good news, as such enterprises provide the blood flow that invigorates global economic growth. A recent report, published by Hiscox, reveals SMB owners' determination.

Dates: 12/21/11

Should the US Follow the Irish Tax Model?
Yes, indeed. As US lawmakers debate the future of the country's tax rate, Brian Purcell of WTP Advisors Ireland describes benefits of Ireland's low rate (12.5) and the lessons the United States could—indeed, even should—learn from such a system.

Dates: 12/21/11

We Want our MVT!
And for good reason: multivariable testing (MVT) provides a process improvement tool that helps US manufacturers compete in the global marketplace.

Dates: 12/21/11

Happy New Year – of Increased Challenges
What will 2012 herald? Intensified volatity and unrest on the economic front, says Control Risk's Simon Whistler.

Dates:12/21/11

In Depth:
US Cold Storage (USCS): The Big Chill
Penoles: Mining For The Future
China: Early Birds And China's Roaring Mouse
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA): Port-Related Infrastructure Investments Can Reap Dividends
Diesel Power: Powering Energy For Todat And Tomorrow
U.S. Manufacturing: Standards Boost Business: Call To Action For Corporate America

Dates: 12/21/11

December 2011

The Skills Gap Widens  
Despite high unemployment, filling skilled manufacturing and technical jobs is getting tougher, indicates the Society for Human Resource Management’s Jennifer Schramm.

Dates: 11/30/11

Optimism Drops, Revenue Outlook Rises
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ most recent survey indicates that a recent drop in economic optimism is offset by a fundamentally strong revenue outlook – at least for the next 12 months.

Dates: 11/30/11

Environmental Regulations Must Pass Cost-Benefit Test
Fossil fuel opponents never tire of demonizing companies that produce oil and natural gas and manufacture petroleum fuels and petrochemicals, observes Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. But he avers that the characterization couldn’t be further from the truth. Faulted organizations, he points out, actually recognize their role as environmental stewards – as well as their position as a catalyst to economic health and growth. His article might change your mind. Indeed his organization—and its constituents—do not place profits above social responsibility.

Dates: 11/30/11

Demand for Manufacturing Technology Defies
US manufacturing is rebounding, but some issues still need to be resolved before we can consider this a renaissance. The Association For Manufacturing Technology has a vision about what needs to be done. Part of it involves applying pressure to elected officials to develop a more sharply focused plan.

Dates: 11/30/11

Employee Segmentation Brings out the Best in your Workforce
There’s power in employee segmentation, Bain & Company has learned. So use it! The consulting company offers an illustrative example.

Dates: 11/30/11

2014: A Growth Odyssey
Deloitte consultants David N. Martin, Anand Sairam and Yesulk Myung look at emerging markets and how these relate to growth expectations for the next three years. Opportunities are present; but with opportunities come challenges.

Dates:11/30/11

In Depth:
Bergstrom: Shifted Into High Gear
BMW Manufacturing Company: New Highways
Chrysler Canada: Driving Forward
Helibras: The Sky is the Limit
Jacto: Full Harvest
Ottomotores: Generating Quality

Dates: 11/30/11

November 2011

US Manufacturing: Renaissance is Fair
What goes around comes around. A report recently released by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) provides good news for the United States: Millions of manufacturing jobs could return to America in the next five years, as labor costs in China continue rising (and erases the attraction of offshoring). The wayward sailor is coming home. But which industries will best benefit from this renaissance? BCG's Harold L. Sirkin, Michael Zinser, Doug Hohner and Justin Rose combine their thoughts for this article. 

Dates: 10/31/11

Help Wanted − Now!: Manufacturing Industry Needs Skilled Workers
There's good and bad news. A recently released survey revealed that American manufacturers have been unable to fill 600,000 skilled-worker positions. That means there are plenty of jobs out there. But how will companies staff these empty slots? More creative approaches to recruitment and talent management will be the key, according to respondents.

Dates: 10/31/11

Optimism for US and World Economy at All-Time Low
Despite uncertainty, US industrial manufacturers express confidence in own-company growth, plan major new investments, and forecast continued international sales growth.

Dates: 10/31/11

Manufacturing Maintains Momentum
A recent Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI survey gives good reason for a positive business outlook. Manufacturing demonstrates strength despite economic turmoil, it reveals.

Dates: 10/31/11

Equipment Finance Industry's Confidence Improves in October
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's most recent survey reveals that confidence in the equipment market has risen. Results indicate some respite from global economic concerns.

Dates: 10/31/11

Manufacturers' Immediate Mission: Let it Grow, Let it Flow
Despite macro-economic risk and volatility, global manufacturers place growth at the top of their agenda, at least for the next two years – according to a recent KPMG survey. The international consulting company provides the details.

Dates: 10/31/11

In Depth:
Albras: Proving its Metal
Festo: Automation Nation
Morgan Olson: Delivering the Ultimate Delivery Vehicle
Makro Engenharia: Making the Right Move
Saur: Lifiting Industry to Greater Heights
Danica: Best Served Chilled

Dates: 10/31/11

October 2011

Manufacturing: The Savior of a Declining Empire?
Observers say the US needs a paradigm shift in its economic direction. This involves a re-strengthened manufacturing base. A return to what once worked best – what a radical thought!

Dates: 09/28/11

The Public's Take on Manufacturing: Unwavering Commitment
Americans are understandably nervous about the future of their nation’s economy. Despite bromides proffered by politicians, economists and journalists, the populace knows the score. They don't need a weatherman to tell them which way the wind blows. They hunger for job revitalization – and that hunger isn't just a metaphor. And they know where the next meal will come from: manufacturing.

Dates: 09/28/11

Comprehending the "Big" Picture
Companies aren't ready to realize the promise of big data. The problem, as witnessed by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), is that more than 60 percent of employees lack skills needed to make good business decisions. CEB, a consulting organization that helps corporate clients optimize performance, outlines steps to help companies capitalize on business intelligence and investments and to minimize risks related to failed judgment.

Dates: 09/28/11

Rethinking Science for Economic Benefit
As leaders turn to science to stimulate the US economy and the nation's competitiveness, researchers say the science field needs to work smarter. A cultural change is in order.

Dates: 09/28/11

No Tin Man: Aluminum Fosters Auto Industry Growth
Expect that aluminum usage, as a percentage of automotive materials mix, will double by 2025. There are many good reasons for this shift - strength, safety and fuel efficiency are but a few.

Dates: 09/28/11

Low-Carbon Ethanol: Just How Much Can Brazil Contribute to the US and EU Mandates?
Growing concerns over the long-run sustainability of liquid fossil fuels and their impact on global climate trends have prompted several countries to institute aggressive renewable fuel mandates.

Dates: 09/28/11

In Depth:
Administracion Portuaria Integral(API) de Manzanillo: Online Shipping
Airbus: Castle In The Air
UTC Engenharia: Engeneered Energy
Volvo Trucks Mexico: Keep Rolling
Takata-Petri: Safety First
Administracion Portuaria Integral de Veracruz (APIVER): Shipping For Everyone

Dates: 09/28/11

September 2011

Red Flags — Ignore at Your Own Risk
In fraud cases where trouble could - and should - have been avoided, warning signs either went unrecognized or were ignored. KPMG's recently released investigation came up with red flags that can help businesses avoid financial and legal damage.

Dates: 09/28/11

Reduced Turbulence for Aviation Industry
The aviation sector has weathered the storm. Expect to see some dips occur — but nothing as bad as 2008

Dates: 09/01/11

Economic Outlook: Optimism Dips
Like zigzagging patterns on a stock market chart, confidence about economic recovery fluctuates. It's now trending down, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey. But the direction doesn't reveal the entire picture. Private companies plan to increase investments and growth.

Dates: 09/01/11

New-Era Demographics — Aging Impacts Workforce
"Baby boom" means far more than a generation that grew up with The Beatles and astronauts, or even the impact the demographic will have on entitlements such as Social Security. Practical implications loom large. Employers face a significant problem: an aging workforce moving toward retirement. The Boston Consulting Group offers a proactive plan to address the issue.

Dates: 09/01/11

An Anatomy of the Growth in the BRICs: Past Trends and Future Prospects
Combined together, the four largest emerging market economies - Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRICs) - contributed 36 percent of the world GDP growth in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms in 2010, and their share of global output increased from 16 percent in 2000 to about 25 percent in 2010. This trend is expected by many to continue and become even more pronounced in the next decade.

Dates: 09/01/11

In Depth:
Draexlmaier Automotive of America: Excellence Inside/Out
Lockheed Martin: Casting A Different Shadow
Marinette Marine Corporation: Transformational Shipbuilding
Oldcastle Building Products: Castle Built on Stone

Dates: 09/01/11

August 2011

Ex-Im Bank Authorizations Hit All-Time Record Exceeding $ 24.5 Billion, Supporting 213,000 American Jobs
With two months left in fiscal year final total will climb.

Dates: 08/03/11

High-profit Supply Chain: A Resource-focused Approach
Is your company tossing away money? The authors, members of Deloitte's consulting team, offer five steps to uncover wasted resources in the supply chain.

Dates: 08/03/11

Manufacturing Technology Orders Up in 2011
The recent United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) Report provides some heartening news: manufacturing technology orders were up 108.0 percent in 2011, compared with 2010.

Dates: 08/03/11

Business Outlook: Manufacturing Remains Strong Even as Expansion Rate Slows
Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI's recently released business survey revealed the composite index has dropped four points since the last quarterly report. However, the index remains solid, well above the 50-percent threshold.

Dates: 08/03/11

Fast Growing Companies Focusing on IT Budgets
As US private companies seek to increase growth and efficiencies, many plan to boost their IT budgets. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, perceived need for global growth and competitiveness drives investment.

Dates: 08/03/11

Manufacturing's Positive Picture – Revenue Growth
According to the PwC's 2011 barometer, the manufacturing industry's bicep is bulging – with its growth coming from natural market direction. Expect to see international sales and prospects offset uncertainty about US and global economies at the same time that oil and energy prices remain a major concern. Also expect increased spending and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

Dates: 08/03/11

In Depth:
Volkswagen - Beetle Mania Continues
Alfa Laval - Triple Threat
Cummins - Driving Full Speed Ahead
GM Cadillac - Automotive Renaissance

Dates: 08/03/11

July 2011

Not-so-sweet Smiles on a Summer Night
With a nod toward a favorite Ingmar Bergman film, Dan Harvey, Editor offers these observations about recent events – both personal and political.

Dates: 06/28/11

Workforce Shortages: The Real Picture
Do workforce shortages result from politics? Mark Tomlinson, chief executive officer and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, indicates that that's a narrow-minded view that can only lead to short-sighted solutions. The real issues are substantive, and require long-range foresight. Education will be the key.

Dates: 06/28/11

Japan Quake: Tough on the Supply Chain
Devastation from the recent Japanese earthquake was profound. Deloitte consultants describe the effect it's having on the United States' manufacturing supply chain, and they recommend proactive strategies to mitigate the negative impact of future disasters.

Dates: 06/28/11

Barometer Reading: Strong US Economy, Uncertain World Economy
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, private companies are confident about the economic strength of the domestic market. Results indicate the optimism is not just sustained but has reached pre-recession levels. At the same time, the survey revealed less certainty about the global economy.

Dates: 06/28/11

Don't Worry, Be Wary: Economic Slowdown Appears Temporary
Just when we thought that we saw a light at the end of the dark tunnel, Washington (with head slouched between its shoulders) handed us its bad report card. The recovery we anticipated seemed to evaporate as rapidly as condensation upon a post-shower bathroom mirror. But it's only temporary, says a leading industry economist, and he cites three factors. Inflation? It's not that big of a threat. Japan? It's recovering. Cash? Expect to see more spending.

Dates: 06/28/11

A New-old Industries Perspective: Innovation Translates into US Economic Growth
Not that we don't already know, but elements of US economic leadership inexorably moves abroad. It doesn't bode well for the nation's future. Trend reversal requires private/public sector collaboration. Innovation is just element that helps underscore the issue. Where do we go from here? James Manyika, Daniel Pacthod and Michael Park—of the McKinsey Global Institute—indicate that we better soon figure it out.

Dates: 06/28/11

In Depth:
Brazil: Fertile International Investment Environment
The Phoenix Center - Reining Regulation
Princeton Council on World Affairs - Fluent in Foreign
U.S. Must Focus on Exports

Dates: 06/28/11

June 2011

Figuring out My Tax Returns
It's getting harder and harder in the increasingly complex world. Now that we've experienced our annual and collective national trauma—filing our income tax returns—we can objectively contemplate what we just endured. The taste is especially bitter this year, as we were asked to swallow a particularly tough pill: General Electric, an American business monolith, reaped billions in profits and paid nothing in federal taxes.

Dates: 05/31/11

Supply Chain – Forging the Strongest Link
The strongest link that holds a supply chain together is a plan for each part. Manufacturing is tough enough without missing materials.

Dates: 05/31/11

Made in the USA, Again!
Manufacturing Is Expected to Return to America as China's Rising Labor Costs Erase Most Savings from Off-shoring.

Dates: 05/31/11

Chinese Direct Investment Abroad Could Total $1-$2 Trillion by 2020
'Great Potential' to Benefit U.S. New study shows rapid rise of Chinese investment in U.S.; warns of political barriers and recommends ways to overcome them.

Dates: 05/31/11

2011 revenue growth projections for U.S. Industrial Manufacturers improves
The latest edition of the PwC US Manufacturing Barometer reports that despite the ongoing uncertainty about the U.S. and world economies' prospects over the next 12 months, a vast majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers expect positive revenue growth for 2011.

Dates: 05/31/11

Heading South: U.S. Trade and Job Displacement Post-NAFTA
What have we learned in NAFTA's aftermath? Perhaps it's best to chant one of those old and earthy nursery rhymes: Roll me over once and I will let ya', roll me over twice and I'll know better. We shouldn't make the same mistake again.

Dates: 05/31/11

Featured Companies:
Gazin, Heil Trailer International, Milsco Manufacturing & New World Yachts

Dates: 05/31/11

May 2011

The Mean of "Lean" – Vulnerabilities Revealed in Quake Aftermath
The recent catastrophe in Japan, and its after-effects on manufacturing, was much like what happens when an unexpected death visits a family.

Dates: 04/25/11

The Japanese Earthquake and its impact on the Aerospace Supply Chain
Japan's Tohoku 9.0 earthquake is one of the worst earthquakes on record, and the resulting tsunami has brought devastation to the northeast coast of Japan, which may take decades to recover. While it may take more time to fully ascertain, it appears that the Japanese aerospace and defense industry, centered some 600 miles to the south, has avoided much disruption. This has allowed the industry to continue operations and supplying much needed parts to the global aerospace supply chain.

Dates: 04/25/11

General Aviation: Ready for Takeoff
General Aviation is poised to outpace other industries as far as growth.

Dates: 04/25/11

The Budget Follies: Demagoguery and Sophistry Reign
In this commentary, Peter Morici, Ph.D., offers a bi-partisan perspective: Neither Democrats or Republications are offering reasonable solutions to restore fiscal sanity.

Dates: 04/25/11

Beyond Employee Engagement: Creating Enrichment
Although employee engagement and productivity are the bell weather concepts that have steered business principles for motivating people to do their best for their organizations, the great recession has undermined the foundation on which these human resource pillars are built.  

Dates: 04/25/11

Brazil Should Remain Attractive Market for Investment
Brazil continues to expand its presence in world markets, supported by its large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors and a growing middle class. As an increasing number of overseas companies add Brazil to their list of potential new locations, an overview of the opportunities and challenges that may arise could be worthwhile.

Dates: 04/25/11

Featured Companies:
Chinese Steel Industry, National Air Cargo, Kimberly-Clarck, Crisis Management, National Association of Manufacturers(NAM)

Dates: 04/25/11

April 2011

When Is a Plan Not A Plan?
What can be done to manage resiliency in an increasingly risky world? This is the moment of truth. Did or would your organization's continuity plan effectively address business disruptions resulting from the confluence of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and radiation events?

Dates: 03/31/11

Industrial Indication
How to get a handle on the manufacturing business environment and, more importantly, the direction manufacturing is heading. PwC's quarterly manufacturing survey provides strong clues.

Dates: 03/31/11

After the Fall: The New Normal
The economic downturn had a market impact on purchasing behavior and perceptions of value in buyers of industrial markets and intermediates.

Dates: 03/31/11

Keeping it Close to Shore
Benefits of near-shoring should be readily recognizable, but that's not always the case.

Dates: 03/31/11

The North Carolina Chamber: Making Jobs Recovery Number One
At the beginning of the 2011, Wells Fargo Economist Mark Vitner told members of the North Carolina Chamber that there was a great "under-appreciation for how hard and how far the economy fell in this recession."  While that may be true, North Carolina's businesses, especially its manufacturers, have surely felt the Great Recession's impact – as have most private-sector employers across the country. 

Dates: 03/31/11

Educational Investment: We Ignore it at our Own Risk
As the United States arises from the "Great Recession," state and national leaders must cast a glance toward next-generation industries, wherein job creation will prove critical.

Dates: 03/31/11

Featured Companies:
Egemin Automation, MAN Latin America, Mundial, Reelcraft Industries

Dates: 03/31/11

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

Industry Spotlight