Skills shortages in China | Manufacturing facts: The U.S. is competitive but not dominant in total R&D investment | Kennametal CEO puts emphasis on R&D
February 28, 2013
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MAPI Research and Insight
Skills shortages in China
Yingying Xu, Ph.D., economist
Management-level human resources constraints are a major challenge for multinational firms operating in China. The rapid growth of China's domestic companies with global ambitions intensifies the stiff competition for highly qualified professionals, and the increasing staff turnover rate now surpasses those of all other major countries in the region. The potential talent pool appears to be enormous, and so the talent shortage challenge seems puzzling. This report analyzes the supply- and demand-side causes of the skills shortage and discusses how the labor markets and skills pools will likely evolve. Issues in Brief
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Manufacturing facts: The U.S. is competitive but not dominant in total R&D investment
This week's excerpt from The Facts About Modern Manufacturing: Total U.S. R&D spending rose from 2.6% of GDP in 2006 to 2.8% in 2009; however, while competitive, the nation is clearly not dominant in this arena. Japanese R&D spending as a share of GDP is notably higher. While China's level of investment remains far behind those of the U.S. and other rich nations, it has been rising steadily and significantly. Manufacturing Facts
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MAPI in the News
Kennametal CEO puts emphasis on R&D
Kennametal CEO and MAPI Board of Trustees Chairman Carlos Cardoso says his company has made a significant investment in research and development as part of its goal to have new products generate a minimum of 40% of annual sales. Cardoso said the company tries to get a jump on what products people will need in the coming years, instead of just making new products and then trying to sell them. A lack of skilled workers, however, is still a problem for the company and manufacturing as a whole, he added. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/TribLive (Western Pa.) (2/23)
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In the Industry
China unlikely to lose manufacturing advantage
Manufacturing in China is certainly going through a transition, but most likely not the kind of crisis many experts describe, writes John Jullens, a Shanghai-based partner at Booz & Company. He outlines several factors that could cancel out China's loss of its labor-cost advantage, including domestic demand driven by economic development, its continuing urban-rural divide, the potential for Chinese factories to optimize operations and innovation in cutting manufacturing costs. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (2/25)
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4 factors that veered Toyota off the road
Despite Toyota's recent troubles, its lean Toyota Production System is a good one that other companies have copied, write Stan Gwizdak and Dennis McRae of Celerant Consulting. However, the company lost sight of some of the system's fundamentals and allowed several factors to lead it down the wrong path, becoming complacent and making corporate decisions from afar, they write. IndustryWeek (3/6)
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Fla. task force to address skills gap in manufacturing
Leaders in business and economic development in the Tampa Bay area have formed a task force to address the manufacturing sector's growing skills gap. The group will complete an analysis aimed at identifying current needs of manufacturers through a survey that will target in-demand skills. The analysis will help educational institutions and elected officials allocate resources to provide appropriate training opportunities American City Business Journals/Tampa, Fla. (2/20)
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Leadership and Strategy
Target execs show how to lead balanced lives -- and still excel at work
The most effective leaders have learned to balance work, home, community and spiritual lives so they are self-reinforcing, writes Stewart D. Friedman, practice professor of management at the Wharton School. He offers case studies based on executives at Target in this post. "My experience with Target should bolster anyone's case that you can be a committed A-player executive, a good parent, an attentive spouse, a healthy person with time for hobbies ? yes, hobbies! ? and a community life." Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model)/HBR Blog Network (2/21)
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If you want to truly understand something, try to change it."
-- Kurt Lewin,
German-American psychologist
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The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, founded in 1933 and located in Arlington, VA, contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing by providing economic research, professional development and an independent, expert source of manufacturing information.
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