than half of US manufacturers are very confident they
can meet their own growth goals, says a new Capgemini
study. The study also finds that only one in five American
manufacturing executives considers their companies global
scale in key areas.
an average, the study, Leading Through Growth,
notes that less than two in five or only 39.9 per cent
US manufacturing executives are "very confident"
of being able to increase revenues sufficiently to maintain
or improve their position in the global marketplace over
the next three years with their current resources.
performance may also be compromised by the fact that very
few less than 20 per cent of the 273 respondents
consider their companies to be global standard in the
revenue generating areas of product innovation, operational
excellence, and customer retention. As a result, manufacturers
are considering a host of initiatives for growth. The
most popular are:
continuous improvement practices outside of production
(56.5 per cent)
training (49 per cent)
larger investments in capital assets (38.3 per cent)
some current functions (32.4 per cent)
more people (32 per cent)
mergers and/or acquisitions (28.5 per cent)
to Gary Baldwin, vice president and North American Manufacturing
Industry leader for Capgemini , two-thirds, or 67 per
cent, of the most often cited strategies for improving
performance and growth relate to people management. Manufacturers
are considering multiple and complex strategies, but for
many companies, the real solution can be much more straightforward,
notes that by partnering with external companies who possess
deep industry insights and global resources, manufacturers
can address the people management challenges.
his view, an experienced and trusted third-party provider
can not only help manufacturers meet the challenges unique
to their industries, but will also provide the types of
resources they need to meet their revenue targets and
achieve sustained business growth into the next decade.
Capgemini study Leading Through Growth was conducted in
May 2007 by IndustryWeek Custom Research and included
respondents restricted to the job titles of CEO, COO,
president, CIO, CFO and CMO.
of the study:
very small percentage of the executives surveyed believe
that their companies are of a global standard:
product innovation (18 per cent)
operational excellence (14 per cent) and
retention (21 per cent)
each of these critical growth areas, the respondents say
they could strengthen their positions by knowing more
about their customers:
than half (39.9 per cent) of manufacturing executives
are very confident they can increase revenues enough
to maintain or improve their current market position
over the next three years with their current resources
higher percentage - but still less than half (47.6 per
cent) of the executives are very confident they can
adequately address the challenges their companies face
in the coming year; issues include rising costs, increased
competition, escalating customer demands and shortage
of skilled workers.
thirds (67.8 per cent) of US manufacturing executives
say the biggest challenges to customer attraction and
retention are increased demands imposed by customers
and global competition.
overwhelmingly say they would reinvest cost savings in
the business to improve their ability to deliver in changing
market conditions. Specifically, they would like to:
new machinery (53.4 per cent)
processes (45.8 per cent)
new products (30 per cent)
product innovation (24.5 per cent)
new plants (20.9 per cent)
noted that among the myriad of challenges faced by manufacturers,
the most critical issue is managing customer relationships.
said that most US executives believed that further insight
into their customers'' needs would make them more successful,
but US manufacturers admit they don''t know their customers
well enough, Baldwin said. "This lack of customer
intimacy hampers product innovation, lifecycle management,
and time to market," he says.