14 December 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]A select group of US manufacturers raised their productivity by 40 percent and showed that business success in the future requires more than just investments in new technology. These companies have begun comprehensive training courses for their employees and initiated new relationships with their customers and suppliers. That is the core finding of research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"It's easy for American manufacturers to think that investments solely in technology will remove enough slack from the supply chain to give them a winning competitive edge," cautions Barrett L. Boehm, a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner who oversaw the firm's participation.
"Yes, they must stay technologically current, but more is required," he adds. "To thrive amid the overcapacity and pricing pressures that characterize today's market place, the 72 percent who plan to step up capital spending over the next two years must also allocate money for extending their employees' knowledge base and forging stronger linkages with customers and suppliers. That is what the super-competitors are doing, and they're pulling away from the rest of the field."
Other points raised in the report include investing in people and sharing knowledge, finding new ways to build bridges between suppliers and customers, and employing technology selectively. Implementing these strategies should improve quality, productivity and efficiency.
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