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The Business Forum Journal

 

Reality Check: Your Most Potent Competitive Advantage

 

By Seena Sharp


 
The United States is the world’s largest manufacturer.  And, by a significant amount.  If you believe that this is a press release from some PR shill with rose-colored glasses, read on for a reality check.  International data compiled by the United Nations on global output indicates that manufacturing output from the U.S. is 45% higher than it is for China.  Higher than China?  How is that possible?
 
Part of the reason is that American workers are increasingly productive.  Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama are actually cheaper for manufacturing for select industries than in China.  In fact, net labor costs in China are rising (up 17%), and that is resulting in China moving some of their manufacturing to cheaper sources in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. So before you spend money setting up a factory in China, check out the specifics for your industry.  Invest in due diligence or market intelligence.
 
Far too many executives know only some information… but, when you’re making important decisions, “only some” is just not good enough. The less input you have, the more likely it is misleading, insufficient or even outdated.  For example, while U.S. manufacturing jobs are declining, jobs in technology and health-related fields are increasing.  While manufacturing is moving to low-cost Asian countries, many of those countries lack the supply chain, infrastructure or labor skills needed.
 
If this is surprising, confusing, counter-intuitive because you think it does not make sense - or if you are convinced we are wrong….  Excellent!  
 
Information that is the most contrary to your beliefs often proves to be the most valuable. What you do not know about current reality can lead to missed opportunities and bad decisions.  


Seena Sharp is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and a pioneer in competitive intelligence, founding one of the first companies in the United States, Sharp Market Intelligence.  They provide cutting-edge strategic intelligence to companies entering a new industry, expanding their line, targeting new customers or uncovering unknown customers, launching a new product, purchasing equipment, and finding alternative uses.  Their clients range from Fortune 500 firms to those who are not as familiar – in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.  She spent her corporate years in New York City with four major companies, including BBDO Advertising and Equitable Life Assurance, while earning a masters degree in mathematics from New York University. She received the Fellows Award from her professional association.  John Wiley & Sons asked her to write the book on this topic, Competitive Intelligence Advantage: How to Minimize Risk, Avoid Surprises, and Grow Your Business in a Changing World. Seena speaks to corporation and business groups globally, and has written numerous business articles.


Visit the Authors Web Site  ~  http://www.sharpmarket.com

Contact the Author:  ~  Click Here


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Editorial PolicyNothing you read in The Business Forum Journal should ever be construed to be the opinion of, statements condoned by, or advice from, The Business Forum, its staff, workers, officers, members, directors, sponsors or shareholders. We pass no opinion whatsoever on the content of what we publish, nor do we accept any responsibility for the claims, or any of the statements made, within anything published herein.  We merely aim to provide an academic forum and an information sourcing vehicle for the benefit of the business and the academic communities of the Pacific States of America and the World.  Therefore, readers must always determine for themselves where the statistics, comments, statements and advice that are published herein are gained from and act, or not act, upon such entirely and always at their own risk.  We accept absolutely no liability whatsoever, nor take any responsibility for what anyone does, or does not do, based upon what is published herein, or information gained through the use of links to other web sites included herein. Please refer to our: legal disclaimer
 



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