Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Miller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 17, 2014
Every morning when I read the business section, it is filled with articles about resources. I get it. We have a resource economy here in Canada. But why does it have to be that way? We used to have a thriving manufacturing industry. Now all we are trying to do is save what we have. We are in full survival mode when it comes to manufacturing jobs, with the focus being on the auto sector.
No wonder Canada falls so low on the productivity rankings. We seem to be innovative when it comes to technology (see the Kitchener-Waterloo corridor). We have some of the top business schools in North America, if not the world. We have access to most major markets through air, land, and sea. We have a diverse population with ties to all of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Yet we score poorly on innovation and productivity.
I believe that is BECAUSE we are so reliant on resources. Resources are always at the centre of any economic discussion. Why can’t we become the experts at some type of specialized manufacturing? What about assembling parts that were manufactured elsewhere? Why not focus on developing new ways to manufacture certain products faster and better? Or create a new supply chain that reduces touch points and risk?
Many smaller and mid-sized manufacturers have figured it out. They use recyclable materials, a “made in Canada” label, outsource where required, and an effective delivery model created to minimize risk. And they are very successful, not just in Canada. Check out Cate & Levi or Canada Goose or Korhani to see what I mean.
It’s time to redefine manufacturing in Canada. We need to stop focusing on productivity numbers and start looking at growth and profitability. That will move us from trying to save the industry, to having it thrive once again.
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Andrew Miller