What sets high-performing manufacturers apart?

13 January 2017

When it comes to competitiveness, what differentiates the top global manufacturers from the rest? Learn the capabilities and attributes that help make top performers stand out—even when the bar continues to rise.


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Over the last three years, the gap between high-performing manufacturers and their competitors has narrowed significantly.

Rapid globalization, technology advancements, changing consumer preferences, and evolving government policies are reshaping the manufacturing industry, exponentially accelerating the pace of competition and continually raising the bar on company performance. Still, some manufacturers consistently and convincingly outperform their peers.

How are they doing this? They tend to focus on five critical factors:  

They make “brand, reputation, and managing customer perceptions” a top priority – because they know a declining brand and reputation can hurt the bottom line.

They see talent as a key competitive advantage. The fight to hire the best and brightest is shaping up to be one of the key battlegrounds for manufacturers.

They set their sights on new markets and new customers, looking to expand global sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities while at the same time focusing on improving price competitiveness and total delivered cost.

They are aggressively applying new, advanced technologies to help drive innovation—while making sure to enhance cybersecurity and guard intellectual properties.

But even for high performers, it isn’t easy to maintain a top spot in the hypercompetitive global manufacturing space. They should stay focused on acquiring key capabilities, which change over time and can vary based on a company’s chosen playing field. Leaders must identify and prioritize which capabilities enable their companies to create unique value. And then consistently deliver that value to customers in a way that stands out from the rest.