Better the second time around

Dec. 21, 2004
Changes and comparisons makethis years IW 1000 even more intriguing than the original.

This is the year the fun begins with the IndustryWeek 1000.

Not that last years launch wasnt fun. Far from it. The sense of accomplishment IWs editorial staff felt upon completing the first-ever ranking of the worlds 1,000 largest publicly held manufacturing firms was incredible -- all the more so because of the enormous reader and press response the effort garnered. Newspapers and broadcast outlets across the country ran stories on the IW 1000, and the list immediately became a benchmark of global manufacturing size and prowess. The searchable, sortable version of the IW 1000 on our Web site ( became one of its most popular pages. Most gratifying of all, the list and the prominence of the corporations on it -- in industries ranging from silicon chips to potato chips, from biotech to baguettes -- served as a reminder of manufacturings continued vitality and importance in economies around the globe.

This year, however, we have a story that couldnt be told in the IW 1000s first year: how the list has changed in 12 short months. Mergers, business coups, and investment failures -- along with day-in, day-out competition among the worlds largest manufacturing concerns -- have reshaped the list significantly. Finding out which companies rose and fell -- and reporting why they did -- is the kind of journalistic fun that only gets better as the IW 1000 acquires a history. I think that after reading the analysis of this years shifts youll join me in speculating on how certain companies -- as well as entire industries -- will do during the coming 12 months.

Then, too, we made a few changes of our own to the list -- ones that go beyond including 1996 and 1997 ranks for each corporation. On last years list we reluctantly omitted integrated oil companies whose operations combine significant exploration and refining operations, primarily because the industrys inconsistent reporting of the revenues derived from upstream and downstream operations made it impossible to determine which integrated oil companies met IW 1000 criteria -- specifically, earning more than 50% of revenues from manufacturing (i.e., refining). But an additional year of detective work by IW and our research partners -- two companies of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Dun & Bradstreet and Moodys Investors Service -- has resulted in a careful analysis of oil-company financials that allows us to confidently include them in their rightful place among the worlds largest manufacturing conglomerates. We believe the list now offers a global survey of manufacturing without peer.

Other improvements include the addition of total equity statistics for all 1,000 firms, as well as each companys unique D-U-N-S number in the alphabetical index.

Yet, despite the changes, some things remain constant, including IWs debt not only to our corporate data partners -- the aforementioned companies of Dun & Bradstreet Corp. -- but also to the people at those companies without whose intelligence and commitment we could not complete so massive and comprehensive a research effort.

From Dun & Bradstreet: Craig Albert, marketing manager; Michael J. Azzi, manager, public relations; George Lin, applications consultant; David Monfried, vice president, public relations; Thomas J. Shaw, vice president, international marketing operations; Cort Steel, director of international reference products; Wendy Wong, director of marketing.

From Moodys: David L. Callahan, senior business analyst, global fundamental data; Mikki N. Fardella, assistant vice president, director of marketing; Erik L. Fine, associate director, global fundamental data; Jerald I. Moskowitz, vice president, FIS Group; Vidar Pettersen, manager, global fundamental data; Jeffrey M. Zazzaro, manager, global fundamental data.

We hope that you have as much fun reading the IW 1000 as all of us had in creating it.

Send e-mail messages to John Brandt at [email protected]

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