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Publication Date: 02/2008
Pages: 4
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US manufacturing: New strategies for a new century

Many US manufacturers struggle to compete and grow at home while foreign competitors take more and more of their market share in major industries. With change taking place at such a fast pace, companies are finding it hard to keep up. But wasn’t globalization an American idea in the first place? Everybody wins, right? Not so for some companies. This article explains why the old organizational models don’t work anymore in today’s economy and why some companies have faltered. It then presents a new model and gives 10 strategies that successful companies follow to grow and win. Your company can also succeed in today’s world—if you adapt and change with it.

From the beginning of the twentieth century to the mid-1970s, American machine tool manufacturers had 28 percent share of the world market and 95 percent of the domestic market. But by 1986, “the U.S. share of the world market was less than 10 percent and their share of the domestic market had dropped from 95 to 49 percent. In five short years, from 1981 to 1986, the number of U.S. machine tool plants shriveled by one-third because of bankruptcies, takeovers, and reductions in capacity,” according to Max Holland in When the Machine Stopped: A Cautionary Tale from Industrial America1.

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