Next Generation Manufacturing Study Released

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 4, 2013

Patricia A. Felise
MRC Marketing & Communications
610-758-6069 or


Greater Lehigh Valley, PA – On October 4, 2013 the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC), in conjunction with Manufacturing Day, released a summary of its results from the 2013 Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) Study. The NGM Study measures manufacturers’ readiness, support systems and resources, and performances in six key strategic areas necessary for world-class manufacturing and future success.

The Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI), part of The MPI Group, conducted this research based on recent survey responses of manufacturing executives. The current data shows that manufacturing organizations that achieve world-class status in at least two of the NGM strategies and maintain industry-average levels in the other four areas are in the best position for long-term survival.

However, the 2013 data finds that most of these manufacturers – successful as they are today – aren’t investing in the strategies that will carry their firms into tomorrow.

“The study data identifies an enormous execution gap – the difference between the numbers of firms that recognize the importance of a particular NGM strategy, and the number that comes close to or that achieved world-class status in that strategy,” said John Brandt, Founder & CEO of MPI.

For example, the study found:

  • 90% of manufacturers believe superior process improvement is important, whereas only 44% of those manufacturers are near or currently at world-class status in process improvements.
  • While human capital management is an issue, NGM data suggests few manufacturers are taking initiative to address talent shortages: 69% of manufacturing executives have the leadership and talent to drive world-class customer-focused innovation, but only 37% have talent development programs to support world-class customer-focused innovation.
  • Most manufacturers have the tools, technologies and business equipment they need today, but those tools won’t meet the needs of the future.  Only 11% of manufacturers describe their tools and business equipment as “state-of-the-art” and capable of providing long-term support for world-class supply-chain management.
  • 33% of manufacturing executives anticipate a planned leadership succession in the next five years, and another 28% of executives indicate a succession may occur.
  • Similar to 2011, manufacturers continue to seek external support from outside organizations in dealing with a range of activities from compliance issues, to strategic planning, to supply-chain development. Of those manufacturers that have used outside resources they report a positive impact.

“Next Generation Manufacturing teaches us that small and medium-sized manufacturers must continue to transform in order to remain competitive,” according to Jack Pfunder, President & CEO of Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC).  “In order to develop world-class manufacturers; it is imperative that nationwide organizations like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership continue to provide customized training and consultation services in these strategic areas.”

A good example of one of MRC’s client successes is at HindlePower who benefitted from two of our manufacturing leadership programs: the CEO Forum and the Manufacturing Leadership Institute.  MRC Lean Manufacturing experts also taught employees 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain) and other operational excellence tools contained in its Lean Master Certification program.  The leadership programs provided a valuable learning opportunity for HindlePower managers and the 5S implementation enabled the company to become more efficient in turning raw materials into a finished product.  The company has since become more efficient in their processes and overhauled two departments based on MRC’s Lean recommendations.  As a result the company experienced:  • 30% growth in 4 months   • Six-fold productivity increase   • Build time cut from eight hours to two

“When you only focus on the bottom line you lose, but when you focus on people you win,” said William Hindle, President, HindlePower, Inc.  “And MRC has helped the company do just that.”


Customer-Focused Innovation: Develop, make, and market new products and services that meet customers’ needs at a pace faster than the competition.

Superior Processes/Improvement Focus: Record annual productivity and quality gains that exceed the competition through a companywide commitment to continuous improvement.

Human-Capital Management: Secure a competitive performance advantage by having superior systems in place to recruit, hire, develop, and retain talent.

Supply-Chain Management and Collaboration: Develop and manage supply chains and partnerships that provide flexibility, response time, and delivery performance that exceeds the competition.

Sustainability: Design and implement waste and energy-use reductions at a level that provides superior cost performance and recognizable customer value.

Global Engagement:  Secure business advantages by having people, partnerships, and systems in place capable of engaging global markets and talents better than the competition.


 The Manufacturers Resource Center is a nationally recognized leader in manufacturing assistance providing innovative custom solutions for process improvements, technology acceleration, market expansion, workforce development and supply chain management.  MRC is a national affiliate of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP), a member of the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center Network (IRCs) and a member of the Lehigh Valley Partnership for Regional Economic Performance (PREP), funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s “Discovered in PA, Developed in PA” program.  For more information about MRC services, please visit:

About American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC): ASMC is a trade association of manufacturing extension agents whom work to improve the innovation and productivity of America’s manufacturing community. ASMC advocates for legislative and programmatic resources that allow its small manufacturing clients to better compete in the global marketplace. For more information, visit

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