2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index examines how global manufacturing companies can succeed

Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez

In the first two blog posts about the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, I discussed country rankings and global competitiveness drivers uncovered in the Index which I coauthored with several colleagues at Deloitte (including Craig Giffi, Vice Chairman, US Automotive Leader and Tim Hanley, Global Manufacturing Leader) and in collaboration with the US Council on Competitiveness. The study follows earlier versions released in 2010 and 2013, and the findings are based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.

As a follow up to the posts on rankings and competitiveness drivers identified in the study, I also wanted to take a deeper look at how global manufacturing companies can succeed, which you can learn more about in the full study.

Five tips for global manufacturing success

Here are five key insights from the report that manufacturing executives should consider to position their companies for future competitiveness:

  • Ensure talent is “the” top priority: A focus on creating differentiated talent acquisition, development and retention strategies to be regarded as “employers of choice,” as well as identifying and nurturing new models of collaboration that leverage key sources of talent outside of the organization will be key. As talent is ranked as the most important driver of competitiveness by executives around the world, the competition among nations and companies is expected to be fierce.
  • Embrace advanced technologies to drive competitive advantage: Advanced technologies are increasingly underpinning global manufacturing competitiveness. Leading 21st century manufacturers have fully converged the digital and physical worlds where advanced hardware combined with advanced software, sensors, and massive amounts of data and analytics is expected to result in smarter products, processes, and more closely connected customers, suppliers, and manufacturing. Predictive analytics, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), both smart products and smart factories via Industry 4.0, as well as the development and use of advanced materials will be critical to future competitiveness.
  • Leverage strengths of ecosystem partnerships beyond traditional boundaries: Adoption of innovation strategies aimed at embracing a broader ecosystem approach, developing and taking advantage of integrated manufacturing and technology clusters and partners, will be a growing imperative going forward. Competitiveness will be directly correlated to the strength and robustness of an organization’s collaborative networks and eco-systems.
  • Develop a balanced approach across the global enterprise: Increasingly sophisticated tools and strategies will be required to optimize the global manufacturing enterprise from a talent, technology, operational, financial, tax and regulatory perspective. The core of this approach is achieving a successful balance across a variety of drivers, including talent management, innovation portfolio, cost competitiveness, manufacturing footprint and supply chain in challenging and rapidly evolving new markets. Indeed, both leading companies and countries are taking a more balanced approach by building a foundation for growth across multiple drivers of global competitiveness.
  • Cultivate smart, strategic public private partnerships: Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the significant benefits a manufacturing industry provides to national economic prosperity. Likewise, manufacturing companies are keenly aware of the role government policy can play in their success. Therefore, many nations with unfavorable or overly bureaucratic manufacturing policies are working to improve and reform those, invest in greater economic development, and strengthen overall manufacturing infrastructure, while seeking to partner in more productive ways with businesses. Leading companies, in turn, are targeting new, smart and strategic public/private partnership models to help drive improvements not possible alone, resulting in non-traditional business-public sector alignments as the global competitive playing field undergoes a significant transformation at both the company and country level.

In summary, our full study offers a critical and timely jumping-off point for companies and economies as they make strategic investments in advanced manufacturing technologies and enact public policies designed to spur post-industrial era manufacturing growth. We hope, both government heads and company CEOs adopt key takeaways from this study to reshape the future of manufacturing.

Be sure to visit our GMCI Interactive Website to drill down into additional findings.


If you didn’t have an opportunity to view the first two post in the three part series, please be sure click the following links to read about additional findings from the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index study: competitiveness rankings and drivers of manufacturing competitiveness.

Join the conversation on @DeloitteMFG #GMCI16

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