This issue of Perspectives focuses on overcoming the crisis and fueling the upswing. In our latest study on mechanical and plant engineering, we examined structural changes and projected sector trends through 2015. The study determined that companies will have to adapt to increased levels of uncertainty characterized by shorter economic cycles and more pronounced market fluctuations. China has overtaken Germany as the world’s largest producer of mechanical engineering products, and is elbowing its way into world markets. Western companies will have to meet this challenge head-on. The cover story describes appropriate strategies for a changed world. A number of articles highlight the opportunities for manufacturing companies in operations, organization and markets.
How can a company profitably grow in a changed world? What shape should this approach take? Professor Dieter Hundt, President of the Confederation of German Employer Organizations, offers some possible solutions. In an interview, he explains why companies need increased flexibility in working-hour volumes and describes the importance of a coherent strategy to retain skilled workers in this business environment.
Many industrial companies have everything they need to emerge from the crisis in a strengthened position. We hope you find this issue filled with valuable ideas to move confidently forward.