Innovation Needed to Keep USA Manufacturing?

ICAR touted as example of innovation needed in U.S. [the broken link was removed]

“Our ace in the hole is innovation, and that’s why intellectual property is so important to develop,” Graham said. “How do we protect that advantage within the rule of the law?”

Lindsey Graham [the broken link was removed] and Hillary Clinton are co-chairs of the United States Senate Manufacturing Caucus. Is innovation our ace in the hole? I don’t think so.

There is no ace in the hole. If countries want to keep manufacturing jobs they are going to have to do lots of things right. No country has such an advantage they can expect to rely on their country being more innovative (or offering cheaper labor, or their citizens working harder or…) than all the other countries in the world.

Innovation has been an advatage for the USA. It should continue to be an advantage for the USA but many other countries will innovate very well (Japan, Germany, China, Korea, Singapore, England…). The USA has many assets: transportation infrastructure, banking, rule of law, educated and skilled workforce, huge market, decent tax laws, engineering education… The key will be to keep focusing on the whole system (and fix things like huge budget deficient, huge current account deficit, excessive health care costs, excessive executive pay…).

I also believe a key competitive advantage will be in applying management improvement concepts such as lean manufacturing. Companies that don’t use management improvement ideas will find it more and more difficult to compete with companies like Toyota.

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2 Responses to Innovation Needed to Keep USA Manufacturing?

  1. Pingback: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Blog Archive » Quality and Innovation

  2. Rick Neighbors says:

    Innovation will only take you so far. Making things will get you further. Yes, those manufactures will need to be competitive. For comsumable products, the retail philosophies will need to be changed. Eons ago ( or so it seems) retailers worked off keystone markup and they managed their stores, inventories and customers. At present they are suckling off prices from offshore at 400% margins. Products can be produced in the US and retailed at keystone markup for 20% less than current retail prices.

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