Yet in many of these economies, the manufacturing sector is being termed a ‘sunset industry’. However, this perception of manufacturing is becoming as outdated as its traditional model that focused on increasing output at a lower cost per unit. Today, innovation and ingenuity is the cornerstone of any successful manufacturer, and with that comes a focus on advanced design, sophisticated technology to continually improve processes, and a move towards mass customisation.
While manufacturing is unlikely to revert back to its glory days, with significant investment, energy and entrepreneurship, the industry could transform in line with an increasingly global economy. Manufacturers recognise they need to adapt and reshape their businesses, and not rely on a reversal of fortune from a declining dollar or an increase in government subsidies. However, many do not have the financial capacity to restructure their operations.