18 posts categorized "Manufacturing"

April 07, 2014

Japanese manufacturers focused on high performance

Bzi_gro_glb_ho_1918A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to return once again to Japan to visit with a number of Deloitte Japan manufacturing clients. One of the many highlights of my trip this month was the opportunity to meet with several manufacturers in Nagoya. Japanese manufacturers have been long admired by many for a relentless focus on continuous improvements to their business. So it is not surprising that during my visit we had rich discussions around best practices of leading manufacturers to sustain top performance.  

During several of these conversations, I referenced a point of view written by my partner Craig Giffi, Deloitte United States (Deloitte LLP) and others entitled, Cracking the genetic code of high-performing manufacturers. Hot off the press, the article provides great insight on the set of game changing capabilities that high performing manufacturers have in areas of brand image, leadership and management, business strategy, research and development, delivery speed, manufacturing processes, and supplier networks.

During my visit with several Deloitte Japan clients in Tokyo, we also had a wide ranging discussion on business models. While many of the best companies in Japan are role models as best practice companies, they are always looking increasingly outside their industry for ideas for business model innovation, as they strive to have the most efficient support structure. In all of my visits, I found a real thirst for insight on what others were doing to drive efficiency and high performance. It is this relentless focus on high performance that allows these companies to be truly viewed as world class.

Japan is a country of many challenges with the aging population and limited natural resources. Yet the best companies are prospering and are increasingly looking to invest where their customers will be in the years ahead. Among the locations of interest are the fast-growing economies across Southeast Asia, which represent very attractive customer markets for many Japanese companies. Japanese manufacturing investments in research and development, manufacturing plants, and to establish sales and distribution operations in these growth markets is expected to continue in the years ahead.


Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.

February 24, 2014

Connectivity and innovation underline 2014 for automotive industry

Auto showA few weeks ago I had the opportunity to join thousands of global automotive industry executives in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show 2014. The show continues to be a striking demonstration of the dynamic innovation happening in the sector. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) use this event to kick the year off with an outstanding showcase of new vehicle designs, many of which feature innovative technologies to help consumers stay connected. (Read Deloitte views on connected vehicles), What was also striking to see this year was the further integration of advanced materials in some of the new models. (Read more on Advanced Materials Systems trends).

During the auto show, the Deloitte U.S. member firm released the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring consumers’ mobility choices and transportation decisions, sharing perspective on Generation Y consumer trends. Based on a survey of almost 700 U.S. Gen Y consumers, around 60 percent expect to buy or lease a car within the next three years. Not surprisingly affordability and high operational and maintenance costs had been top reasons preventing ownership. But as explained by graduate school students during the annual Deloitte U.S. Gen Y event, as their purchasing power grows, vehicle ownership is more in reach. (Read the Deloitte U.S. press release).  Please stay tuned over the next several months, as Deloitte member firms worldwide launch the local findings of a broader mobility survey of more than 23,000 consumers across 19 countries.

Like in many other countries, the automotive industry is a vital engine for economic growth in the U.S. Given industry sentiment that 2014 is expected to bring growth in production of new passenger and light commercial vehicles, this certainly is a positive sign for the U.S. economy and local industry.


Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.

December 19, 2013

Manufacturers wait and watch India

Ind_er_glb_ho_785_hiAs you can imagine, India is an interesting place these days. As highlighted by Deloitte’s most recent global and Asia Pacific economic outlooks, the Indian economy has clearly slowed down and the promise for accelerated growth that seemed to be on the horizon a few years ago appears elusive.

There are a variety of potential reasons for the economic slowdown and falling value of the rupee in India. However, based on conversations with senior executives and industry observers during my recent visit to the country, most of the challenge revolves around the country’s inability to establish the reforms needed to attract more foreign direct investments. Many multi-national corporations (MNC’s) have been increasingly cautious about investment in India and most Indian business leaders that I talked with believe that significant reform may not come until after the elections in 2014.

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October 29, 2013

Awakening in the land of the rising sun

TokyoEarlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with several manufacturing executives and also leaders of the Deloitte Japan manufacturing industry practice. On this return visit, I was very interested to learn more about the current strength of the manufacturing economy in Japan and to get a sense from Deloitte member firm clients on their views of the business landscape in the near term. An awakening was in the air with rising business confidence.

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September 20, 2013

Growth again in Europe?

Munich 2Over the past several years, the global competitiveness of manufacturing in Europe has been challenged. It certainly has been acknowledged that the ability of European manufacturing economies to compete globally has been weakened both by the challenges in their respective economies, as well as an increasingly strong global competitive landscape.

Amidst these challenges in Europe, global competitors have also been clearly getting stronger, and the bar is rising. For example, in the U.S., the ability to extract shale gas has given the U.S. both a significant and relatively long term energy advantage. This advantage comes both in a secure source of energy through plentiful shale reserves, and also at a very competitive cost. In the emerging markets of Asia, both in the major market of China, as well as in frontier markets such as Thailand and Indonesia, capabilities continue to mature. Based on our recent Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, executives view China as the strongest in terms of global manufacturing competitiveness. The frontier markets also have very strong momentum, and are viewed as very important markets in the years ahead.

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September 19, 2013

Holding the banner high: Innovation, value chains, and competitiveness in a new era of global growth

Gary with Mayor of TianjinThe World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC, or Summer Davos) in Dalian, China, last week centered on the theme of innovation. With China’s growth no longer in the double digits, innovation and the energy it can bring to the world economy is looming large. Indeed, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was emphatic in his remarks at the event’s opening plenary: “Innovation is the running theme and spirit of the policies adopted by the Chinese government, and it is the banner that we will always hold high.”

But innovation in a vacuum is meaningless, and Premier Li recognizes this. “We live in a global village” said Li. “No country can live in isolation of others like Robinson Crusoe.” Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to global value chains (GVC). Value chains are now the ties that bind countries together and bring public and private innovation to the world.

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July 23, 2013

Visit to the 50th International Paris Air Show

Dttl_2012aerospaceoutlook_200X200A few weeks back I spent a fascinating week at the 50th International Paris Air Show with an international delegation of Deloitte member firm partners. This was my second annual visit to the show, which alternates sites each year between Paris, France, and Farnborough, United Kingdom. The Paris Air Show serves as the primary gathering for senior executives from almost every aerospace and defense (A&D) company from around the world.  The high quality interactions held at the show make it a key event for Deloitte’s Global A&D Sector group to attend. The Deloitte team took advantage of the opportunity to have several meetings with various industry executives, attend numerous receptions, participate in media interviews, and also attend many industry seminars.

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June 28, 2013

An interesting week in Southeast Asia

BangkokLast month, I had the opportunity to spend a week with many Deloitte clients and colleagues in Southeast Asia (SEA). While there were many highlights, one of them certainly was my first visit to Bangkok. We started the week with a series of meetings with manufacturing executives in Bangkok which helped me to gain a better perspective on this important manufacturing economy. A few key facts about the manufacturing industry in Thailand that may interest you:

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May 15, 2013

Insights on Brazil

139695226I returned from another interesting week in Brazil and with each visit I find that I get a better glimpse of the dynamic changes happening in this market. This was my second visit in the past six months, and given the deep and ongoing interest by manufacturing companies, it certainly seems to be a place that deserves increasing attention.

During this most recent trip, I had the opportunity to meet with several senior executives at top Brazilian and multinational companies. It was fascinating to receive firsthand accounts from these manufacturing leaders on both the strengths and challenges of the current business environment in Brazil and their outlook on prospects for the future. Not surprisingly, despite the diverse manufacturing sectors these leaders represented, their insights had very common themes.

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April 02, 2013

A view of U.S. Manufacturing

Bzi_foc_glb_ho_1522_hiRecently I had a chance to spend two days with a group of CEOs leading manufacturing companies around the United States (U.S.). I find that participation in these types of meetings provide a great venue to discuss top industry issues. In addition to world-class speakers at the meeting, one of the things I find particularly refreshing is the chance to interact with the leaders from large companies as well as small and medium size manufacturers to get a pulse of what is happening in manufacturing.

A high-point of the session was a CEO panel which featured a vibrant discussion on the key issues facing manufacturing today. These leaders have a relative consensus that business domestically is continuing to grow, although this growth is somewhat muted by the many headwinds that exist in the current manufacturing environment. Unanimously this group of CEOs indicated that they are spending more time than ever before in Washington, D.C. as they find it is critically important for them to ensure that legislators are well aware of the issues that are important to them as the primary providers of employment.

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