Perspectives on Manufacturing Industries 2/2010

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.

In addition, the report puts China in the spotlight: China has overtaken Germany as the world’s largest producer of mechanical engineering products, and more and more Chinese companies are elbowing their way into world markets. Western companies will have to meet this challenge head-on. They need a strategy for the rapidly growing mid-market segment, a stronger focus on sales and service in emerging countries as well as a new approach to lowering costs while increasing the speed and flexibility of their business models. This issue’s cover story explores the demands and the potential courses of action.

The focal points of Perspectives are overcoming the crisis and fueling the upswing. 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 the importance of a coherent strategy to retain skilled workers in this business environment.

Perspectives on Manufacturing Industries 2/2010