Will 2008 be a positive year for U.S. manufacturing? Having now been with the magazine for a relatively short time, I have found this to be the most commonly asked question when somebody discovers I am the new publisher of IndustryWeek.
And how, you may ask, do I respond to this question? After all, we at IndustryWeek take pride in being the leading resource for top manufacturing executives and managers. Our award-winning content in the magazine has led us to record growth on our Web sites and e-newsletters. Surely, I can provide some valuable insight into this important question. And so what answer do I give?
Well in short, my answer is a definite yes. Or maybe no. As you well know, manufacturers are affected by many influences in any given year, and this year the industry will be facing what looks like an economic slump, while dealing with stiffening global competition, technology upgrades, supply chain issues, shorter product life cycles, labor shortages, customer demands, and a whole lot more.
So the fact is, the best answer to this question depends on you. IndustryWeek will continue to act as the facilitator for the manufacturing community, but it is your voice, your ideas and your products that drive the industry's success as a whole. Monthly, through the pages of the magazine, and weekly, daily and hourly through our Web sites and e-newsletters, we will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturing. Original content from IndustryWeek editors, our readers and our partners is the driver that helps support manufacturing business success.
In essence, IndustryWeek provides the canvas through our print, digital and event products. You, the manufacturing community, supply the paint. Each idea, plan, case study, example and discussion that takes place between IndustryWeek readers and staff is the paint you can use to create your picture -- your business strategy. As in art, each business strategy is unique due to its own circumstances. Although we would like to paint/create the best picture/strategy we can, we all are operating in an environment that requires us to win versus our competition. Painting to win.
In response to your request for more information, we have increased the number of editorial pages in the magazine to aid in the ongoing discussion of manufacturing issues and solutions. Nowhere else will you find this level of discussion, driven by industry experts, manufacturers and top business leaders, all geared toward manufacturing executives.
My answer to the question regarding the U.S. manufacturing industry will continue to be formulated through analysis and participation in the ongoing conversation between IndustryWeek staff and you, the industry leaders. I don't believe there is a better source for the answers to today and tomorrow's manufacturing questions than this.
I look forward to continuing IndustryWeek's role as an important steward of the manufacturing industry community. I am grateful for the opportunity to add my voice to the mix. The industry leaders I have met all share a sense of pride and competitiveness. I thank them for their passion and insight, and want to thank you in advance for your active involvement in driving U.S. manufacturing success.
Ron Lowy is IndustryWeek's publisher. He is based in Cleveland.