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Author Topic: MANUFACTURING THE FUTURE:  (Read 314 times)
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The Older I get The less I know for sure

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« on: November 14, 2006, 01:33:21 pm »

Dear Editor ,

I thought this might be of interest to your Hamilton Views readers. I’d be happy to speak with you in more detail if you wish.


By:Evan Carmichael

Innovation and Specialization Key to Keeping Canada Competitive

Behind the numerous nation-wide plant closures and the seemingly endless threat of losing business to lower-cost companies in China, India, and elsewhere, a closer look into the state of manufacturing in Canada reveals a different story.
Contrary to popular belief that manufacturing in North America is dead, the reality in fact proves just the opposite; manufacturing is indeed alive and well. The changing nature of the global competitive environment has not killed off Canadian manufacturers. Instead, they are learning that innovation and specialization are their keys to survival.

Manufacturing is Canada’s single largest business sector, employing over 2.3 million Canadians and generating 18 percent of the country’s GDP – or almost $200 billion. It has always been the traditional backbone of the country’s economy. But, many believe that manufacturing is the way of the past for Canada and that in order to continue playing a key role in the global economy, the country must shift its focus to the IT sector. Now, Canadian manufacturers are fighting back, using the very thing they have been criticized for lacking – innovation.

The PROFIT 100 ranking of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies is a case in point. It wasn’t the technology companies that had the highest five-year revenue growth; rather, it was the ones that were focused on manufacturing. One quarter of the PROFIT 100 list consisted of manufacturing companies, of which their combined five-year annual growth rate was a staggering 4,292 percent.
Manufacturing in Canada continues to represent one of the country’s greatest areas of potential growth. However, the Darwinian nature of the global economy is undisputable, and in order to survive, these companies are learning the essential nature of adaptability; they are realizing that their future lies not in abandoning manufacturing, but in becoming more innovative within the sector.
While manufacturing jobs in Canada have typically come from sectors such as transportation, food, chemicals, petroleum and coal products, and primary metals, evidence shows that the future lies in more specialized products. The success of the PROFIT 100 companies was due primarily to a focus on consumer goods, surveillance systems, health-care products and the like – rapidly growing industries where Canadians can leverage their manufacturing knowledge, which combined with the latest innovations, results in a uniquely marketable product.

Rutter Inc., the number one company on the PROFIT 100 list, is a perfect example of the future of Canadian manufacturing. Based out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Rutter Inc. is a highly specialized company that manufactures marine technologies. In just five years, the company’s revenues have grown from under a quarter of a million dollars to over $70 million. A similar picture has emerged in the U.S., where the three fastest growing manufacturing companies according to INC. are those that produced medical devices, casino gaming equipment, and LED lighting systems.
Today, the manufacturing sector in Canada is at a crossroads. The appreciation of the dollar, competition from emerging economies such as China and India, and rising business costs all represent challenges standing in its way. Indeed, as new technologies continue to develop at a rapid pace, the nature of manufacturing worldwide will inevitably be transformed in the next five to ten years.

Nevertheless, Canadian manufacturers are showing no signs of backing down in the face of those challenges. By identifying not only their obstacles but also the future needs of the sector, and by embracing innovation and specialization, they can develop the appropriate and all too necessary strategies for success.

Evan Carmichael is an entrepreneur and international speaker. At the age of 19, he became an owner and Chief Operating Officer in Redasoft, a biotechnology software company. The company quickly grew to over 300 organizations as clients, including NASA and Johnson & Johnson, in 30 countries. He started Evan Carmichael & Associates with the goal to give entrepreneurs the Inspiration to follow their passion and the strategies they need to succeed. Evan has delivered over 100 keynote presentations to entrepreneurs in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has been interviewed by newspapers, radio stations, and television stations including The Globe and Mail, CHUM FM, CityTV, Global TV, OMNI TV, Enterprise, and the Toronto Sun. Evan's website,
is the world's #1 website for small business motivation and strategies.

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