In my last blog I had got to the point of outlining the opportunity that the 2007/08 recession provided for our manufacturing industries, but I also chronicled the problems that still existed within our industries borne of past hierarchical divisions and deep mistrust between Management and workforce.

So, what was, and to a large degree still is required is a plan, a blueprint:

  • To tackle the Malaise
  • To shake everyone out of the sleepwalk
  • To recognize the opportunity the Turning point has provided 

and to do these thing whilst not making the same crippling mistakes we made in the past, when inefficient, complacent, disjointed and conflict-riddled businesses watched helplessly, frozen by their own stupidity, while we lost our manufacturing reputation and market share.

Which in truth brings me pretty much up to date, and to the reason I have been chronicling this sad, sorry story of our manufacturing demise.

It has been a labour borne of frustration..........

  • frustration that we got ourselves into this mess int he first place
  • frustration that we simply didn't know how to combat the challenges when they came
  • frustration that even if we had known, we wouldn't have had the attitudes and wherewithal to join together to fight them....
You could argue that there were mitigating circumstances, because despite what we had being nowhere near good enough, we hadn't actually ever 'lost' before! In other words, it is only with hindsight that it is clear what a mess we were in.

However, we can't use that argument now.

Because now, we HAVE lost!

So now it would be criminally stupid to fail to make the most of the new opportunities afforded by the current renewed focus on manufacturing by making those same old mistakes again.

And it is this that excites me.
  • It is trying to contribute to not letting that happen that gets me up in the morning
  • It is for this reason that I do what I do
More about what I DO actually do later, but for a moment.................back to the plan!

In my mind there are 5 key things that we MUST do to return ourselves to the world’s manufacturing ‘top table’, and I genuinely believe we belong:

1) Get everyone pulling in the same direction - engage everyone in achieving success
2) Restore trust and respect - consign "them and us" to the dustbin of history, where it belongs!
3) Simplify and optimize business processes - eliminate the unnecessary and create smooth relationships and work flow across the business
4) Implement an immediate training "task force" to develop and provide the skills needed RIGHT NOW 
5) Develop a broader and deeper Apprenticeship programme, so that once again young people can be offered a worthwhile career path that does not incur the cost of University, particularly for those with greater practical skills than pure academic ability

I hope someone, somewhere is finding this interesting and relevant, and if so, please leave some comments on the site, and next time I will expand on the plan.

Thanks for reading