Keywords: industry policy, best practice, manufacturing strategy, integrative planning, technology management, key performance indicators
Transforming Australian manufacturing enterprises for global competitiveness
The title, "Transforming Australian manufacturing", presumes there is a need to review the performance of the manufacturing industries and the Government's sectorial policies for achieving best practice to leverage manufacturing capabilities of Australian firms. Pressures to reconfigure the manufacturing industry within Australia have been intense and diverse over the last decade in the face of globalisation, advanced technologies, innovation and commercialisation of R&D. Federal and State Governments' intervention and assistance programs to redress the situation have had varied degrees of success in the absence of a strategic approach to management by SME firms, in particular. This paper examines the structural situation facing the Australian economy and the problems confronting its manufacturing sector as it moves from traditional commodity to global information and knowledge-intensive industries. It explores the record of best practice initiatives taken to combat these pressures, provides a specification for defining the requirements for transforming our manufacturing firms' performance, and outlines a conceptual framework for firms to develop a strategic manufacturing capability for competitive advantage in global markets. A number of recommendations are made in these respects.