Archive for June, 2011
I Want My Manufacturing Policy Back

By now, you’ve heard that President Obama announced the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) – an “innovation policy” of sorts, maintained by a collection of businesses, universities and governmental agencies to spur innovation via coordinated research & development of manufacturing processes and products.

(Wait a minute – didn’t we try this 2 years ago with the National Innovation Marketplace? Whatever happened to THAT? Oh, never mind …)

Just before POTUS announced the AMP at Carnegie Melon on Friday, I watched a C-SPAN video of testimony on Capitol Hill that dealt with an industrial policy for the US and what it would/should address. Testifying on that panel was one of my favorite ‘tweeps’ – Scott Paul, the Executive Director of Alliance for American Manufacturing. During his statement, Scott reminded me of something I hadn’t thought about in years, not since I was a high school student back during the Coolidge administration:

We had a fine industrial policy in this country. And we don’t anymore. Continue Reading

Manufacturing Technology Consumption Isn’t A Leading Indicator – Or Even Great News

Good news is good news. And these days, US manufacturing deserves as much as it can get.

This week, a report was released that announced manufacturing & machine tool consumption is up 105% in 2011 over 2010. The US Manufacturing Technology Consumption reports are co-produced by The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) & The American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA).

This is an industry that’s digging itself out of the worst hole since numbers have been kept. The fact that demand for upgraded technology for deployment on the shop floor is rising is as absolute an indication of real growth as I can think of – despite how far we had slipped or how affordable manufacturing technology has become.

But the chart below shows that strong consumption numbers in the manufacturing sector aren’t leading indicators, and  are certainly not reason enough to let our guard down. Continue Reading

Are Social Media Right For All Manufacturers? Maybe Not

Social Media these days may not be worth it for some manufacturing niches and their industrial marketing needs. At least not yet.

I’ve just read an article that eloquently and accurately explains the dramatic differences between industrial marketing and marketing for the consumer sector. It’s so good, that I wish I’d written it myself. I don’t care if you’re a small manufacturer in the heartland, a massive capital equipment OEM on the West Coast, an industrial marketing consultant that serves ’em, or anyone involved in the industrial manufacturing genome – stop what you’re doing:

Read it. Now. Because it’s great.

Great articles often transcend their initial concepts and take us to unexpected topics and conclusions. And this one does that. But more about that in a minute. Continue Reading