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October 26, 2012
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The 2012 manufacturer is open to new Cost Containment Solutions


Global Procurement ConsultingIt’s been a rough few years as the U.S. economy sputtered out under the weight of the banking crisis, experiencing hits to many top sectors that are responsible for economic growth. Many companies had to make drastic cuts just to stay afloat. The times are changing, though, and there is a renewed sense of optimism among U.S. manufacturers. The Q1 2012 Manufacturing Barometer shows that industrial manufacturers are seeing signs of growth in the economy and expect that to continue throughout 2012. 

Unlike the manufacturing of old, companies have learned that in order to stay afloat, and be profitable, the whole process of manufacturing goods must adopt advanced techniques. The trend today is to figure out sustainable cost containment solutions that analyze every nook and cranny of a business. Global procurement consulting or cost management consulting is a big part of this trend. These firms help companies find hidden cost savings in various parts of their operations including packaging, shipping, telecommunications and energy. 

Management teams are realizing that they need to get leaner and smarter in how facilities are managed and run. Companies that have survived and thrived during tough economic times recognize that procurement consulting firms make their job a lot easier. Procurement consulting involves working closely with an experienced cost management consultant to identify and pinpoint specific areas in vendor contracts and processes where changes can be made quickly. Companies that are weighted down with burdensome vendor contracts often realize that they can renegotiate for increased savings.   

Two areas where there are big changes in American manufacturing are skilled workforce and digital technology. While unskilled manufacturing jobs have mostly migrated to China and other low labor cost countries, there is ample opportunity to use highly skilled American workers for specialized assembly work that can only be done here at home. Since there are not enough of these highly trained workers to fill all positions needed, the trend is to partner with colleges and technical schools to train future employees for these jobs. This model is proving to be quite successful. 

Looking towards the future, the other cause for optimism is the area of technology. Manufacturers are seeking to upgrade their supply chain systems with the latest in digital innovation. This is something that procurement consulting companies can help to initiate. There is an increasing desire among customers and manufacturers to see more data networking solutions. Making investments to include more sophisticated technologies like mobile networking and cloud computing are essential in today’s competitive environment. The road to profitability is truly bright in 2012 and beyond for businesses that include cost reduction consulting as part of their growth strategy.