New IfM guide warns that 'offshoring' and 'lean thinking' are not sufficient to guarantee futures of major manufacturers
Many of the world's biggest manufacturing firms could be missing out on "breathtaking" benefits because their production networks are not designed to suit 21st century demands, according to a new IfM guide.
Making the Right Things in the Right Places, a publication launched today by the Institute for Manufacturing, also warns that many firms are relying too heavily on short-term outsourcing and offshoring to countries such as India and China.
Without a more systematically designed global 'footprint' or network, it says, even leading businesses will miss out on savings, fail to gain market share and could disappear within the space of a generation.
The new guide is the result of over a decade's work by researchers and practitioners at the IfM, who co-developed a manufacturing network strategy with several leading multinational firms. It provides a set of best-practice guidelines, offering a systematic approach to the development of production networks suitable for 21st century markets. The constantly changing nature of the global environment means that it is essential these issues are continually addressed and adapted to meet evolving circumstances, it maintains.