Cost and Value in China and the United States

Cost reduction is a serious concern for most players across the global economy. A variety of approaches have been developed over the years in different communities. This article considers Value Analysis/Value Engineering and Cost Innovation as strategic tools. Value Analysis/Value Engineering (VA/VE) was originally conceived during World War II in the United States when critical… Read more »

From Lean to Agile

In the last five years the ‘lean’ metaphor has been developed in a new arena – business start-ups. A major factor in the growth of this approach has been the thinking and publications of Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. With this background the lean start-up approach has been used in many digital sector start-ups…. Read more »

UK Medical Equipment and Technology: Is the Strategy Right?

Between 2000 and the start of the recession in 2008, the global market for medical equipment expanded at an average rate of 7% per annum. In the remaining part of this decade the expansion rate could be even higher per annum from a current market size in excess of $200bn with new medical technologies, emerging… Read more »

Skills and Talent Strategy – the Key to Global Competitiveness

The last couple of months have seen important developments in the UK Industrial Strategy. A number of sector strategies have been published which now fall into three groups; Advanced Manufacturing, Enabling Sectors and Knowledge Services. Under Advanced Manufacturing there is Automotive Manufacturing, Aerospace, Life Sciences and Agricultural Technologies. The so-called ‘enabling sectors’ cover three energy… Read more »

Global Developments in Advanced Manufacturing

The US manufacturing sector benefits from their nation’s global strategic goal to remain the most powerful country in the world militarily. This requires a large innovative manufacturing sector and the Department of Defence is a major spender on industrial and technical R&D.  Federal decisions need to be based on good analysis and the Institute for… Read more »

Training & Competitiveness: too little UK investment for recovery?

Last month we suggested, following the Workplace Employee Relations Survey, that across the economy at the moment too many workers are simply working harder, rather than increasing the output of their work groups. Training in team working and problem solving occurs in too few workplaces and the percentage of workplaces offering training in these skills… Read more »

The Eight Pillars Of Perfection

The following article reports on how Total Productive Maintenance (known to some as Total Productive Management) became a winning improvement tool for organisations worldwide and explains how you can put the TPM theory into practice where you work: In an increasingly competitive global market, the only way that companies in the manufacturing and process sectors… Read more »

UK Teamwork & Problem Solving: On The Decline

How the UK economy is developing in terms of jobs, skills, training and management is much clearer with the recent publication of two major surveys. The 2011 Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS) looks at the experience of managers and employees and is part of a series stretching back periodically more than 20 years so that trends… Read more »