Hard to believe but we are now in the second half of the decade – the difficult teen years! As with adolescence this decade is throwing up some particular challenges, presenting some really interesting opportunities and keeping us all on our toes with some pretty crazy mood swings!
Close to home Australian manufacturing is beginning to prepare for the closure of the Automotive Industry. This is not a small matter and our economy is going to feel the impact of this for some time into the future. Toyota and Holdens’ manufacturing operations each have the same economic size as the state of Tasmania, with Ford not much smaller. Making cars is hard work and requires highly complex procedures and systems to keep those cars rolling off the line in the right colour, correct trim and equipment etc. All of the Engineers, Purchasing managers, Administrative staff and Management will be available to other industries – the opportunity here is for these highly skilled people to lift the capability of the remainder of Australian industries. We are however losing a lot of our Automotive Engineers to China and the US, this is a real risk to our capability. Once we lose the expertise it is very hard to get it back.
So where to for the Aussie Manufacturing Industries? The answer is broad and it’s well known – innovation. Make something where there was nothing before and wealth is created, new businesses formed and new jobs hit the internet. The key areas for us to exploit are around renewable energy, recycling and re-processing of waste, the smart application of 3D printing, 3D environments, and my favourite, connectivity of everything to the internet.
It’s time to start dreaming big – the tools and the people are available to make anything happen. Our challenge is to develop our ideas locally, keeping the economic benefits that come from fully commercialising an idea.
So from us at Arrow to our customers, suppliers and to all those having a go in Australian Industry – have an awesome 2016. It’s a year for building foundations for what will be a new landscape post 2017!