Like many of you manufacturers, I have been following the transformation of manufacturing and the world economy for the past several years. We all recognize that globalization has radically impacted the competitive balance of our businesses. And, most acknowledge that this issue is the single greatest challenge we must confront to ensure continued prosperity for our industry.
Change has been a fact of life in our industry. Our 130-year history is one of constant adaptation to new technologies, new customer demands and new opportunities. However, the skills that carried us through previous challenges are not necessarily the skills required to move forward under the new business reality that now confronts us.
The segment of our business most at risk from globalization is high-volume, commodity-type parts for which cost is the dominant issue. To manage that risk, we must continually re-evaluate our competitive position across the full range of the parts we supply.
Some manufacturers have success-fully made the transition from being solely manufacturers to being total solution providers. They have done this by supplementing their manufacturing expertise with an outsourcing competence and presenting themselves to their customer base as an entirely new value proposition.
The goal is not to abandon our proud heritage as manufacturers; we will always be, first and foremost, engineers. We are not replacing our core competence as manufacturers, but, by complementing it with an essential set of new skills, we are preserving and protecting it.
The PMPA is working aggressively to develop and transfer to you the competencies necessary to confront and embrace the challenges of global competition. We want to capitalize on the opportunities offered our industry for a much-needed, new engine of growth.
There are options in the way we manage our evolution to being adaptive and responsive to external pressures. One option is to do nothing at all. A better option is to take a proactive approach. That’s why we are offering you the opportunity to visit China, so you can begin developing a competence in outsourcing.”
I welcome your support and partici-pation in what I see as a positive, enthusiastic and ultimately successful industry response to the challenge of global competition.