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Manufacturing's Dynamic World

<b>IW</b> presents its exclusive global guide to the communities where companies invent, make, market, ship, and manage.

This year, even more than in 1998 when we published the first comprehensive worldwide analysis of the places where manufacturing makes a difference, your competitors don't want you to share IW's unique global perspective on world-class manufacturing communities. Their reason is simple -- and selfish: The descriptions and data that fill these pages are the critical elements of competitive advantage. Your competitors don't want you to know about the commitments they're making to communities around the world and to manufacturing -- the new manufacturing of the fast-approaching millennium. They don't want you to know, for example, that they're placing plants in metropolitan Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Houston, Shanghai, and Warsaw. Or that they're doing R&D in Tel Aviv, Taiwan, Singapore, and Baja California. Or that they laud Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Singapore for logistics. Or that they're sold on marketing from Chicago -- and see the promise of So Paulo, Seoul, and Warsaw. Or that they're siting their headquarters in Chicago, Amsterdam, Seoul, and Singapore. Nor do your competitors want you to know that among the 315 U.S. metropolitan areas, Lake Charles, La., ranks No. 1 in worker productivity and that Baton Rouge is No. 2. Or that the Chicago metro area tops the U.S. in its share of gross domestic product from manufacturing. Or that Houston can lay claim to the greatest three-year growth rate in the value of manufacturing. In a sentence, your competitors don't want you to have the details on the dynamics at work in manufacturing communities all over the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world. Manufacturing today in Chicago, Houston, Detroit, and San Jose is not what it was 10 years ago, five years ago, or only a year ago. Nor is manufacturing the same as it once was in hundreds of communities from Toronto to Tokyo. No longer content -- or able -- to be mere makers of products and providers of post-sale service, manufacturing executives in many nations are constantly defining and redefining their companies. Production, albeit both more sophisticated and more flexible than ever before, remains the core component of manufacturing. But in the new definition of manufacturing, production is partnered with R&D, sales and marketing, logistics, and the strategic directions provided by company headquarters. As a result, manufacturing communities, whether they're among the select few that have already achieved world-class status or the many that are still working toward it, display a remarkable dynamism not only in making things, but in inventing, selling, shipping, and managing them as well.

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