Archive for April, 2010
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Mining, Agriculture & Manufacturing – The Pillars of Any Economy of Consequence

These are the pillars that hold up and support substantial economies – they’re certainly what the US economy was built upon. All other services – banking, shipping, financial – are there to support those pillars.

Not the other way around.

I just read an article that reminded me of this, that examines Germany’s strong turnaround based on manufacturing – Germany’s New Boom: Making Money By Making Stuff.

But we still hear some industry, economic and academia pundits talk about ‘post-industrial.’ Why is this tangible fact so difficult to understand? Is it wishful thinking? Is it the hope of those academics and economists that it isn’t so any longer? Perhaps. But we’re decades – at least – away from us 3-D printing coffee makers and lawnmowers in our basements.

I realize fully the disruptions and seismic impact on people and businesses when economic plates shift. It’s painful for many ‘em. And there are remarkable opportunities for some as the masses catch up to those shifts. And once they do catch up, we all take a deep breath, enjoy the fruits, and when the next change comes we act as though we’ve never been through it before.

And so it goes.

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When You Find You Can’t Compete On Price – Is It A Currency Issue, Or Are You Making The Wrong Product?

Machine shops and discrete parts manufacturers in mature industrial markets like the US often point out that they can’t possibly compete with low-cost countries.

Their complaints usually center on unfair currency manipulation & low material costs (China), high tax and regulatory burdens levied by their own government, or the low overhead that smaller (1- to 3-person) shops enjoy.

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Tough Love For Manufacturers

Ennect is a company that provides marketing tools and services for small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). The bloggist there is named Carol.

Carol has worked with manufacturing businesses for years. It’s obvious – at least to me – because you  can’t fake her voice and experience.

Carol has posted a a great piece that is certainly direct, but reflects those experiences and gives SMMs a message they need to hear:

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Reshoring Interview – AJ Sweatt on CNBC

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to discuss the emerging trend of reshoring on CNBC’s Street Signs. Here’s the interview:

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