Looking at other factors, Brazil respondents ranked the need for modern infrastructure the highest, with 88%t rating it as very or extremely important. China, India, Mexico, and Spain followed with 82% in all four countries, and 66% in the U.S. agreed about modern infrastructure’s importance.

With regard to access to foreign investment, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Spain respondents rated access to foreign investment the highest, with 50%, 50%, 70%, and 62% respectively citing it as very or extremely important. Canada, Germany, and the U.S. ranked the lowest, with only 12%, 16% and18% respectively.

Government support ranked high with China (82%) while the U.S. did not rank this factor as high 42%).

When asked about factors that can improve workforce productivity, training and continuous improvement of the existing workforce was the top choice, with 68.2% of all respondents noting it as effective. Investment in technology followed next, with 63.3%.

 “The modern manufacturing workforce is going beyond its proud legacy of continuously driving higher levels of productivity through continuous improvement and is augmenting that legacy by being the pivotal resource in creating strategic advantage,” says. Bob Parker, group vice president of research, IDC Manufacturing Insights.

“Complexity is a given in our global supply chains and it is not just information that gives us advantage, but people with the skills to use that information.  As our surveys and detailed interviews confirmed, managing corporate capabilities through the workforce is a competitive necessity.”