The Manufacturers Agenda

Manufacturer's Agenda: Of Manufacturing Operations, Supply Chain and … Finance?! ... Best Practices

Look for increased intergration between IndustryWeek and Business Finance in the coming months.

At IndustryWeek, we've been dabbling in the world of finance for some time, noting the discipline's importance to running a manufacturing business, but without delving too deeply into the best practices of manufacturing CFOs and other financial executives. 

The reasons for that are many, not least of which is that finance seemed far removed from the more obviously critical manufacturing disciplines: operations, supply chain, workforce, technology, etc., for which we're better known. Besides, the manufacturing executives we talked to tended to credit improvements in the traditional disciplines, not finance,  for their success, so that's what we covered. 

But that's starting to change.

As readers of IW and visitors to, you've likely noticed the inclusion of "finance" in every issue and as a top navigation topic on our website. We added coverage of the topic in December 2011 when we noticed an increased interest in cost, cash and risk management, and other finance best practices.

finance coverage from IndustryWeek and Business FinanceIt helped that Dave Blanchard, a former IW editor-in-chief, had just recently taken the helm as chief editor of, an IW sister media property. At Business Finance, Dave delivers strategic insight for senior finance leaders in all industries, so we jumped at the chance to have him share with the IW audience the finance best practices of particular importance to manufacturing companies. 

With "Managing the Financial Supply Chain," Dave publishes his first feature-length article describing manufacturers' growing interest in finance and sharing the finance best practices of two manufacturers: Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. (IW 500/18). Also, whether he intended to or not, he explains why covering finance in manufacturing is so important:  "Manufacturers devote considerable time and resources to managing their physical supply chain, but often it's their financial supply chain that needs the most attention."

We're excited to increase our finance coverage to meet this need and feel particularly lucky that we -- and you -- will be able to leverage Dave's unique background in -- and knowledge of -- manufacturing and supply chain in combination with his new focus. 

Also, look for increased integration between IndustryWeek and Business Finance in the coming months. We think it's a powerful combination and hope you agree.

Operations Excellence

Even as we extend our coverage into finance, we're as eager as ever to continue our traditional focus on operations excellence with the launch of the 2013 IndustryWeek Best Plants competition. Click here to download the application and test yourself to see if you're among the best. 

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