That's right. Seize the year. For manufacturers, 2008 holds great promise as well as great opportunity.
IMTS, of course, will be the capstone event. When the doors of McCormick Place open in September, Chicago once again will be the center of the manufacturing universe--1.2 million square feet of innovation and productivity. And even though this 27th edition of the show will be only six days long, don't be surprised when attendance passes the 95,000 mark.
John Byrd is president of AMT--The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the sponsor of IMTS. He's a fervent champion of the high-tech wonders displayed at IMTS, yet he recognizes that manufacturing success must go beyond the hardware.
"Meeting the needs of ever more demanding customers requires more than simply selling advanced technology," Byrd observes in the T&P's exclusive Industry Outlook, which begins on page 20. "Manufacturing technology providers must develop a mind-set that they are partners with their customers, jointly seeking solutions to the customers needs.
"To compete in this environment, manufacturing technology providers must be prepared, not only to sell their products in every local manufacturing economy, but also to support the product after the sale."
Speaking of sales, manufacturing executives need to closely follow the current marketing pitches of our presidential candidates. In terms of taxes, trade, and workforce training, there's plenty at stake.
From this corner back in 1999, I cautioned that we should keep impressionable youth away from the TV until Election Day was over, arguing that political candidates at every level and from every party use the tube to perpetrate a wacky, neo-Keynesian fraud. Sometimes by implication and more often directly, they promote the notion that government is a primary engine of wealth creation.
Nearly a decade later, White House wannabes continue to traffic in such hogwash. Guess it's...