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The Future of Manufacturing

The Future of Manufacturing

Talent, the ability to innovate and the strategic use of public policy will play a significant role in defining manufacturing sector competitiveness in developed and emerging economies going forward, finds The Future of Manufacturing, a report by the World Economic Forum. Written in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, the study finds that the global manufacturing ecosystem is undergoing a dramatic transformation, with many emerging economies developing significant manufacturing and innovation capabilities, enabling them to produce increasingly complex products, leading to the globalization of manufacturing supply chains. Fading labour rate arbitrage, exposure to currency volatility, sovereign debt pressures and emerging protectionist policies will be countervailing forces to further globalization of manufacturing value chains.

The report highlights the key trends that will define manufacturing competition over the next 20 years and which will require the attention and collaboration of policy-makers, civil society and business leaders. With an estimated 10 million jobs with manufacturing organizations worldwide that cannot be filled today due to a growing skills gap, the report identifies talent as one of the key differentiators that will define the future of the sector. The other top differentiators identified in the report include the strategic use of public policy and the ability to innovate. The infrastructure necessary to enable manufacturing to flourish and contribute to job growth will grow in importance and sophistication and be challenging for countries to develop and maintain. Growing materials resources competition and scarcity will fundamentally alter country and company resources strategies and competition, and serve as a catalyst to significant materials sciences breakthroughs. 



John Moavenzadeh photo Craig A. Giffi photo


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