Manufacturing's Dynamic World

Dec. 21, 2004
IW 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.

About the Author

John McClenahen | Former Senior Editor, IndustryWeek

 John S. McClenahen, is an occasional essayist on the Web site of IndustryWeek, the executive management publication from which he retired in 2006. He began his journalism career as a broadcast journalist at Westinghouse Broadcasting’s KYW in Cleveland, Ohio. In May 1967, he joined Penton Media Inc. in Cleveland and in September 1967 was transferred to Washington, DC, the base from which for nearly 40 years he wrote primarily about national and international economics and politics, and corporate social responsibility.
      McClenahen, a native of Ohio now residing in Maryland, is an award-winning writer and photographer. He is the author of three books of poetry, most recently An Unexpected Poet (2013), and several books of photographs, including Black, White, and Shades of Grey (2014). He also is the author of a children’s book, Henry at His Beach (2014).
      His photograph “Provincetown: Fog Rising 2004” was selected for the Smithsonian Institution’s 2011 juried exhibition Artists at Work and displayed in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., from June until October 2011. Five of his photographs are in the collection of St. Lawrence University and displayed on campus in Canton, New York.
      John McClenahen’s essay “Incorporating America: Whitman in Context” was designated one of the five best works published in The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies during the twelve-year editorship of R. Barry Leavis of Rollins College. John McClenahen’s several journalism prizes include the coveted Jesse H. Neal Award. He also is the author of the commemorative poem “Upon 50 Years,” celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Wolfson College Cambridge, and appearing in “The Wolfson Review.”
      John McClenahen received a B.A. (English with a minor in government) from St. Lawrence University, an M.A., (English) from Western Reserve University, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, where he also pursued doctoral studies. At St. Lawrence University, he was elected to academic honor societies in English and government and to Omicron Delta Kappa, the University’s highest undergraduate honor. John McClenahen was a participant in the 32nd Annual Wharton Seminars for Journalists at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During the Easter Term of the 1986 academic year, John McClenahen was the first American to hold a prestigious Press Fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.
      John McClenahen has served on the Editorial Board of Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies and was co-founder and first editor of Liberal Studies at Georgetown. He has been a volunteer researcher on the William Steinway Diary Project at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and has been an assistant professorial lecturer at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


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