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Building a Base for Competency in Manufacturing

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One of the most often overlooked opportunities for improving the profitability of a manufacturing business is the development of the professional (exempt) personnel assigned to the manufacturing function. Decisions made in manufacturing, many at relatively low levels in the organizational hierarchy, will often appear to be routine but in reality have substantial impact on the present and future status of the business. It is not uncommon for the manufacturing function to account for two-thirds of the employment of a company, and to spend in labor, material, and overhead an amount equal to 60-70% of the net sales billed. The implications with respect to having highly competent manpower in place are obvious- and enormous. It is the performance of professional work force interfacing with engineering design on the one hand and shop labor on the other which determines how effectively this money is spent in achieving the goals of the business. At higher levels in the manufacturing function, there are a variety of education opportunities-short courses, seminars, graduate courses, workshops-to serve the continuing needs. The assumption is that the base building stages of individual competency have been completed and very specific needs can be identified and accommodated. Such is not the case at the middle and lower regions of the population.

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

May 1973

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