Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – July 2021

Welcome to July 2021 edition of the IXth volume of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We recapitulate that the 2021 theme for the IXth volume of our Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs is Future of… as the basis for Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.

Our topic for the discussion for the month is – The Future of Manufacturing.

  • The Industry 4.0 technologies are changing the comparative advantages that drive competitiveness.
  • While technology is boosting productivity in today’s manufacturing hubs and largely offsetting rising wages, it is also reducing the cost of capital and slowing the need to offshore production toward lower-wage countries. Moreover, other factors such as proximity to consumers, the supply of skilled labor, and ecosystem synergies are playing a role as drivers of reshoring.
  • The rising value-added of pre- and post-production activities can reduce the relative importance of the mid-value-chain production stages.
  • The skill bias of technological progress and the increased capital intensity of production will continue to reduce demand for less skilled workers, polarize the job market, and contribute to rising income inequality….If history is a guide, new demand for labor and unforeseen occupations will emerge in the future.
  • The opportunities for the manufacturing in the developing countries will be on account of:
    • A rising middle class in the developing world could lead manufacturers to locate closer to fast-growing consumer markets.
    • The recent research has identified a set of industries outside of manufacturing – “industries without smokestacks” include horticulture, agro-processing, tourism, and some ICT-based services, among others-  that share the tradability and higher productivity features of manufacturing and have great scope to generate growth and employment.[1]

Manufacturing is no longer simply about making physical products…The changing economics of production and distribution, along with shifts in consumer demand and the emergence of “smart” products, are pushing manufacturers to explore radically new ways of creating and capturing value…. given the emergence of more complex ecosystems of fragmented and concentrated players across a growing array of manufacturing value chains, businesses that understand emerging “influence points” will have a significant strategic advantage. As the manufacturing landscape evolves and competitive pressure mounts, driven by the needs of ever more demanding customers, position will matter more than ever.[2]

Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation, a major report from the McKinsey Global Institute, presents a clear view of how manufacturing contributes to the global economy today and how it will probably evolve over the coming decade. Our findings include the following points:[3]

The Future of Manufacturing- The World Economic Forum’s Future of Manufacturing project tracks how the global manufacturing ecosystem is evolving. This five-minute investigation explores the future of industry and asks does manufacturing really matter? The Future of Manufacturing project identifies what companies and countries must do to win in a rapidly changing world.

Manufacturers must create a succinct list of priorities that will ensure financial resilience.

  • Focus On Aspects That Can Be Controlled to identify opportunities to improve operational resilience and put processes in place that enable adaptability.
  • Diversify Concentrated Supply Chains by re-examining supply chains and their weak points to reduce the risk of disruptions as much as possible.
  • Balance Risk Mitigation With Capacity Management so as to minimize risks by focusing on specific solutions and production processes, and by broadening offerings.
  • Think Differently About Upskilling and Labor Sourcing with help of remote work force technologies and digital transformation to create a work environment that can attract workforce talent.
  • Time for Leadership to think of better long-term solutions that support adaptability and resilience to take leadership with the future of manufacturing and do things differently. .[4]

Two key priorities that emerge for  both governments and businesses are education and the development of skills. Companies have to build their R&D capabilities, as well as expertise in data analytics and product design. They will need qualified, computer-savvy factory workers and agile managers for complex global supply chains. In addition to supporting ongoing efforts to improve public education—particularly the teaching of math and analytical skills—policy makers must work with industry and educational institutions to ensure that skills learned in school fit the needs of employers.

In all the decisions about where and how to play in this new environment, there is no master playbook—and no single path to success. But by understanding these shifts, roles, and influence points, both incumbents and new entrants can give themselves the tools to successfully navigate the new landscape of manufacturing.

Further reading:

We will now turn to our regular sections:

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we refresh our viewpoints about–

Performance Excellence Models and Leadership – Paul Grizzell, co-author, Insights in Performance Excellence, discusses why performance excellence models don’t take hold and what leaders need to do to guarantee a successful initiative launch.

In this episode: Paul Grizzell’s full Interview

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems this month:

Boredom – generally, any experience that is predictable and repetitive can result in boredom.

It is an attitude, rather than a condition. And since attitudes are learned, they can be unlearned and replaced with more productive attitudes.

Boredom can be a signal that you may be just a step away from going through some real growth. Some experts suggest that boredom can be a ‘call to action.’ It can be a catalyst for change. It can provide an opportunity for thought and reflection.

If you find yourself bored, it is time to look within and initiate meaningful change.

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have

Unintended Consequences – It’s the law – Adam Smith said that the individual, even one working purely for his own gain, is “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention,” and that end is the benefit provided to the public interest or the public good. It is a prime example of what is called a positive unintended consequence.

The ratio of positive to negative unintended consequences is about 3 to 1.

The best, and only, approach to take the Law of Unintended Consequences, is to surround ourselves with the tools and knowledge to reap our vigilante justice.

I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the theme of Future of… as the basis for Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.

[1] The future of global manufacturingBrahima Sangafowa Coulibaly and Karim Foda

[2] The future of manufacturing

[3] Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovationJames Manyika, Jeff Sinclair, Richard Dobbs, Gernot Strube, Louis Rassey, Jan Mischke, Jaana Remes, Charles Roxburgh, Katy George, David O’Halloran, and Sreenivas Ramaswamy

[4] The Future Of Manufacturing: What Executives Are SayingWillem Sundblad