"The Great Recession is widely understood to have been triggered by a financial crisis, but that analysis diverts attention from an even more malignant current that threatens to erode the U.S. economy at its very foundation: our productivity in the years since the recession has grown at only half its historical average, and in the last two years, against the backdrop of an alleged recovery, it has been essentially stagnant. This should be the central economic issue of our time because productivity is the most important driver of overall economic welfare, the sine qua non for increasing people’s incomes and improving their standards of living.E sorri, porque no dia anterior tinha relido com prazer "The Focused Factory", publicado a 1 de Maio de 1974 (era o tempo da ascensão imparável do Japão) na HBR da autoria de Wickham Skinner, onde encontrei:
If the U.S. is going to flourish again, it must put technology-driven productivity first, which requires restoring robust public and private investment in the drivers of growth: research, infrastructure, and investment in new machines, software, and skills.
We should instead adopt a new, more proactive economic strategy that is grounded not in fiscal or monetary policy, but in the recognition that productivity drives growth and that achieving sustained high rates of productivity growth requires spurring persistent investment in R&D, infrastructure, skills, and capital equipment, especially in the next wave of information and communications technologies."
"In the popular press and at the policy level in government, the issue has been seen as a “productivity crisis.” The National Commission on Productivity was established in 1971. The concern with productivity has appealed to many managers who have firsthand experience with our problems of high costs and low efficiency. So pessimism now pervades the outlook of many managers and analysts of the U.S. manufacturing scene. The recurring theme of this gloomy view is that (a) U.S. labor is the most expensive in the world, (b) its productivity has been growing at a slower rate than that of most of its competitors, and therefore (c) our industries sicken one by one as imports mushroom and unemployment becomes chronic in our industrial population centers.
In this article, I shall offer a more optimistic view of the productivity dilemma, suggesting that we need not feel powerless in competing against cheaper foreign labor. Rather, we have the opportunity to effect basic changes in the management of manufacturing, which could shift the competitive balance in our favor in many industries. What are these basic changes? I can identify four:
1. Seeing the problem not as “How can we increase productivity?” but as “How can we compete?”2. Seeing the problem as encompassing the efficiency of the entire manufacturing organization, not only the efficiency of the direct labor and the work force. (In most plants, direct labor and the work force represent only a small percentage of total costs.) [Moi ici: Os elementos da tríade precisam de ler isto]
3. Learning to focus each plant on a limited, concise, manageable set of products, technologies, volumes, and markets.
4. Learning to structure basic manufacturing policies and supporting services so that they focus on one explicit manufacturing task instead of on many inconsistent, conflicting, implicit tasks."