May 12, 2005

News & Opinion: Daily Drucker - May 12th

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:18 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Manufacturing Paradox
How do you get far more output with far fewer workers?
The most believable forecast for 2020 suggests that manufacturing output in the developed countries will at least double, while manufacturing employment will shrink to 10 to 12 percent of the total workforce. What has changed manufacturing, and sharply pushed up productivity, are new concepts, such as "lean manufacturing." Information and automation are less important than new theories of manufacturing, which are an advance comparable to the arrival of mass production eighty years ago.
The decline in manufacturing as a creator of wealth and jobs will inevitably bring about a new protectionism, once again echoing what happened earlier in agriculture. The fewer farm votes there are, the more important the "farm vote" has become. As numbers have shrunk, farmers have become a unified special-interest group that carries disaproportionate clout in all rich countries.
ACTION POINT: Determine the rate of growth in output per person in your manufacturing or operations functions. Is your organization experiencing the manufacturing paradox? Recommend programs for retraining excess manufacturing workers.
This from The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.