Five Trends that Drive Innovation and Growth

The machine is constantly breaking down.  There is too much lead time in a process manufacturing system.  Costs of raw materials have just skyrocketed.  Motivation levels of plant operators are at an all-time low…..So what should a manufacturing leader do?  All these problems offer ripe opportunities for innovation and growth, but it is often difficult to know whether to make a move or sit on your hands.  It is even harder to determine when is the right time to step things up and push for growth after a time of stagnation or decline.  It is always a complex decision as to when a company should start laying off workers or begin to increase hiring.  As a recruiter that works exclusively in manufacturing I hear these issues come up consistently.

In today’s world, innovation and growth has become a crucial component in determining competitiveness and performance progress in all manufacturing industries.  Industries that constantly pursue research, development and innovation ultimately register higher profit margins than those that don’t.  Moreover, these industries also command a stronger brand and higher demand than their competitors.

The world is constantly improving due to innovation.  I share articles almost daily that address these issues in various ways.  The five major trends that drive innovation and growth are;

  1. Global Competition that is ever increasing.  Small and large companies nowadays compete anywhere and everywhere.  This is due to factors like labor mobility, capital mobility, increase in knowledge base and free trade.
  2. Technological advancements.  Technology is ever changing and it offers constant opportunities for new products and services.  Technology has changed the fundamental ways that human resources work.
  3. Scarcity of Natural Resources.  Availability of natural resources is becoming unreliable and volatile.   Energy demand and supply is a key issue within the manufacturing industry and thus the desire and drive to develop alternative energy sources is very hot.
  4. Environmental needs.  Everyone wants to live in a clean environment.  To achieve this, innovators strive to produce products and services that are environmentally friendly and renewable.
  5. Diverse Markets.  With technology and the internet, the world has been reduced to a small village.  Products and services need to satisfy various niches based on culture, politics, race, religion, and many other factors.

These five trends offer plenty of opportunities for innovation.  The new model of innovation involves collaboration of many partners to provide localized solutions to specific problems.  Industries team up with external and internal professionals to tailor solutions that meet their needs.  The problem today is not the lack of opportunities, it is the fear or lack of motivation by some companies to start moving again after such economic turmoil as we have experienced in the last several years.

Opportunities for growth and innovation are unlimited.  All it requires to identify and develop them is a positive attitude, the right motivation, and the correct talent.  Finding and capitalizing on these opportunities require hard work and sometimes risks.  It is never a one day event.  In physics we learn an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in motion tends to stay in motion.  Sometimes all that is required from an organization that is frozen, is simply to start moving.  The sooner an organization starts, the sooner it will reap the rewards.

Have you located a product or need within your company that fits within one of these trends?

Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions Inc.  MCS partners with industrial and machining manufacturing businesses to source and secure mid-to-upper level talent for operations, supply chain, and engineering positions.  They work to empower individual job seekers by helping them gain a competitive edge in their job search. For hiring needs contact Anjela at 513.753.3813 x101.

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