Manufacturing leaders announce new ‘critical issues’ agenda

Published:  13 August, 2014

Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, the global business network for senior industrial executives, has established a new Critical Issues Agenda for manufacturing for 2014 to 2015.

The council has focused the new agenda around six critical issues with strong emphasis on new product innovation and collaborative customer-centric cultures; key transformative technologies including Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things and digital manufacturing; the need for new approaches to employee engagement to attract and develop the next generation of manufacturing leaders; harnessing the potential of public and private partnerships to drive innovation and growth; and the rising importance of sustainability and social responsibility practices to the industry’s future.

“The Council’s Critical Issues Agenda is a mirror reflection of the most important business and technology issues facing industry today,” said David R. Brousell, global vice president and editorial director of the Manufacturing Leadership Council. “It also represents the Council’s core mission of bringing together executives from all sectors of manufacturing in a common purpose to address these issues for their own companies, as well as for the industry at large.”

The 2014/2015 Critical Issues Agenda includes:

Factories of the Future

o The Internet of Things on the plant floor

o 3D Printing and emerging production technologies

o Digital manufacturing

The Innovative Enterprise

o New product innovation, open collaboration and crowdsourcing

o Customer-centric supply chain innovation

o Business model innovation

Manufacturing Advocacy

o Public and private partnerships, especially between industry and education

o Global manufacturing sector growth, outlook, and future prospects

Next Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

o Leadership best practices, effective collaborative decision-making

o Employee engagement with diverse, multi-generational, multi-cultural and multinational workforces

o Skills gap, education, apprenticeships and attracting tomorrow’s workforce


o Financial and competitive benefits of sustainability leadership

o Emphasis on social and corporate responsibility

Transformative Technologies

o Big Data and predictive analytics

o Internet of Things / Industrial Internet / Industry 4.0

o Cybersecurity

The council’s annual Critical Issues Agenda is the result of a  member-driven process that identifies the most urgent and important issues facing the global manufacturing industry in the year ahead. It is based on extensive consultation with more than 100 senior executive members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council and Board of Governors.

The new Critical Issues Agenda also establishes the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s strategic plan for the year, directly influencing all major elements of the council’s product and services portfolio over the next twelve months.

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