Category Archives: Education

Apply new technology to old manufacturing


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

My goal IN BETTER MAKES US BEST (see previous article) was to apply new technology to old manufacturing processes, to transform underperforming companies into profitable ventures. Some of the underperforming companies we acquired were in danger of losing supplier status with their customers.

You can provide machinery and technology but if you lack employee commitment the formula won’t work. The buildings, the machines, don’t really do much unless people have the motivation, the desire and the know-how to do a good job. They turn it around. We provide leadership and creative management.

I wrote and published a book, describing the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy, which was distributed free of cost to all of our employees – over 7,000 people at the time.

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Managing the Manufacturing Enterprise


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor.

We must recognize that the development and deployment of new technology is only one part of our competitiveness problem. Technology may, in fact, not be the primary or most important factor in regaining manufacturing competitiveness. Perhaps foremost among these other factors is a lack of ability in managing the manufacturing enterprise.

There are a number of ways in which our managerial shortcomings manifest themselves.

One is that many accepted management structures and practices do not interface well with advanced manufacturing technology. The product and process flexibility of new technologies, the linking together of different operational nodes on an electronic network, and the “knowledge-embededness” of the new technologies tends to make a traditional “bureaucratic” command structure obsolete. There is a much greater emphasis on inter-functional and interdepartmental integration in the organization of the future,as well as less of a need for hierarchy and accompanying rigid status structure. There is a requirement for multi-skilled employees, and greater responsibilities must be given to each of them than is required by task specialization.

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The Future Workforce

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

Let us turn once again to general workforce issues. In this case, however, I would like to concentrate my observations on the workforce of the year 2025 and beyond,.

The entry-level workforce for the challenges ahead is now in the early grades. To understand what the implications of that statement are for the future of manufacturing, one needs to examine, a few demographics of that seven to twelve year old group which is now struggling with the basic skills of grammar and math school.

For one thing, that age cohort is  smaller than previous groups of the past twenty years. There has been a decline in fertility among most groups in this country, and unless reversed will result in a much smaller group of youths ready to start work as we look at the next couple decades. Again, manufacturing will be competing against all the other employment possibilities, but this time for a shrinking supply of person power.

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