Manufacturing’s Evolving Workforce
Authored by Bob Dean, Executive Director, Business Transformation, Cisco.’s-evolving-workforce (February, 11 2013)
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Pop culture references manufacturing as the factories of the 1800s or modern day overseas sweatshops — full of mind-numbing, remedial tasks in dark and dingy factories. Today’s manufacturing environments tell a much different story: clean and safe environments with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity.

But are these manufacturing stereotypes creating barriers to attract new employees to the industry?

As more companies demand efficiency and collaboration among their workforce, roles are evolving. Manufacturing is driving productivity growth in the United States economy — increasing at two and a half times the rate of the service sector (Manufacturing Institute, Facts About Manufacturing, 2012). As manufacturing drives productivity in our economy, manufacturers are also seeking productivity practices to streamline day-to-day tasks.

The United States continues to be the world’s largest manufacturing economy, employing nearly 17 million people — about 1 in 6 private sector jobs.’s-evolving-workforce

The New Manufacturing Workforce: Time For Action
The New Manufacturing Workforce: Time For Action, Authored by Robert Dean & Joel Conover, Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal (July 2012 issue)
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The global manufacturing industry is fighting a growing skills gap. Without immediate corrective action, it could be facing a collapse. Manufacturing executives now need to focus on training, education, and partnership to debunk the myths about a career in manufac-turing and attract the inspired, skilled, and innovative workforce the industry needs to secure its future. 

Creating Virtual, Flexible Links in Tomorrow’s Global Value Chains
Creating Virtual,Flexible Links in Tomorrow's Global Value Chain, Authored by Craig Hartman & Robert Dean, Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal (January 2012 issue)
Creating Virtual-Flexible links-Tomorrow[...]
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In years gone by, factories were often considered fixed monoliths of production—not growing, not flexible, and not changing within their fixed walls. Tomorrow’s markets, however, demand that factories must become more responsive to ever-changing customer needs. They will no longer be standalone entities receiving, producing, and sending raw materials and finished products, but virtual, flexible links in an extended enterprise value chain.

Manufacturing Leaders Stress Importace of U.S. Competitiveness, BI, Mobility
Author Chris Chiappinelli, SME Robert Dean, Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal (May 2011 issue)
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Excerpt - "Bob Dean, Director of Cisco’s Manufacturing Industry Vertical segment, referenced an unnamed manufacturer that recently closed five major plants around the globe and relocated those operations to one facility in the U.S. The company now runs 70% of its revenue through that single U.S. plant “because the talent is there,” Dean said. Availability of talent ranked high in Deloitte’s survey of competitiveness factors.


Inspiring more re-shoring initiatives will be critical to ensuring the success of the U.S. industrial base, experts said. Dean encouraged manufacturers to read the tea leaves in the U.K.’s plunge – the U.K. dropped five places on Deloitte’s list of the most competitive countries. In the U.S., “We need to look at the U.K.,” Dean exhorted the crowd, “because I think that may be a foretelling of the future for us.”"

A Passion for Agility
A Passion for Agility, Author Jeff Moad, Manufacturing Executive Leadership Council Roundtable, (March 2011 issue)
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Even as complexity increases, manufacturers must become more adaptable in how, and how quickly, they respond to everything from shifting customer expectations to natural disasters that threaten supply chains. At a recent meeting of the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Council, leaders discussed the organizational, cultural, and leadership qualities that enable adaptability.

Factories of the Future - The Dynamically Networked Organization
The Dynamically Networked Organization from the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal (January 2011 issue)
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For companies to be successful, they need to use technology to find new ways of engaging with their customers, their partners, and their suppliers. This is called the Dynamically Networked Organization (DNO) and it’s the future of manufacturing. It’s a new business model for how companies work with their value chains to drive business advances.

A Return to Optimism - While Mitigating Risk
A Return to Optimisim - eKnowtion (December 2007 issue)
A Return to Optimisim - While Mitigating[...]
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For more than 30 years I have worked with companies around the world on supply chain related business opportunities. One thing the senior executives of those firms had in common was a relentless, positive perspective and motivation for change management to  optimize inventories, increase on-time deliveries, improve their cost of supply acquisition, provide better service, open new markets, introduce new products, etc..  That optimism went along way to fuel supply chain improvements.   As risk management becomes the pervasive mantra throughout the supply chain world, this optimistic approach is being replaced by fear-based motivation.


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