Episode 123 – Featuring Peter Marsh (“The New Industrial Revolution”)

Take A Bow For the New Revolution:  If Peter Marsh Had His Way, Manufacturing (And the “Three C’s”) Will Lead the U.S. and the “Old Economies” Back to Global Economic Prominence
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When historians look back at the period known widely as  “The Industrial Revolution”, they note that period as a time that took the American economy, and other economies around the globe, including Great Britain, Germany, and Japan, to a whole new level.   Inventors developed new ways to manufacture mass quantities of product at once, and business skyrocketed as a result.   Conventional wisdom had dictated that there was no turning back from the progress that lay ahead.

Until the inevitable happened, and, as many were quick to note, economic complacency set in.   Faced with rising costs across the board, struggling American companies had begun to look for ways they can cut costs, and one of the chief targets was what had been the bell cow for many decades: manufacturing.   Why continue to produce things here, they thought, when it would be cheaper to produce these same items in places like China and India, where the cost of labor is far less than it is domestically?

So they did.   And what seemed like a good idea for the businesses that used this strategy turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for manufacturing in the U.S., and other markets that relied heavily on manufacturing for their health and growth.  The sector has taken a significant hit over the past few years, with seemingly no sustainable end in sight.

Enter Peter Marsh.   The former longtime Manufacturing Editor for the Financial TImes has spent decades honing his craft on a global scale, keeping a keen eye on how manufacturing has evolved, not only in the “old economies”, but in the emerging “BRIC” countries as well.

He sees hope for the countries that have had felt the manufacturing pinch in recent years, but the answer to their problems lies in one critical word:

Adaptation

Peter also cites three other significant factors that are key to the success of the manufacturing sector, alliterative concepts that he dubs “The Three C’s”:  Connections, Creativity, and Customization.

In 2012, Peter laid his ideas out in “The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization, and the End of Mass Production”, which has become a must read for not only anybody IN the manufacturing industry, but anybody who is trying to wrap his or her head around what it takes to turn this behemoth around.  Peter discusses how the “Old Economy” and the “New Economy” can work together to fill each others’ needs, and how dialing back from mass production in order to customize output is the blueprint for success.

On this edition of “The Raja Show”, Peter joins Raja live from Great Britain to discuss what “The New Industrial Revolution” means, and what companies across the globe can do to capitalize on the trend to “go small”.

Episode 123