Take Back Manufacturing by Nigel Southway, Engineering

More about the new book…..

Take Back Manufacturing… (TBM).

By Nigel Southway

This is my 2nd book …my first book was a business improvement book about the concept of LEAN Manufacturing and Six Sigma, and how to implement it, and was published in 1992, and was an early book on the subject before it was even called LEAN.

But…The TBM book is very much an advocacy book and is far more controversial.

It explains why taking back our manufacturing will be the next imperative for western societies if we want any future level of prosperity.

I don’t pull any punches, and I am very critical of our politics and to some extent our education system. It gets into the nitty gritty facts on the politics, the economics, and the science of manufacturing, and the significant culture change needed to take back manufacturing. It also provides a clear recovery plan and explains that it will demand a strong political will that has so far been sadly lacking.

History of TBM

The concept of TBM started in 2011… I  had returned after five years in China, moving product there, and was horrified with how I had assisted in hollowing out our local industries.

We discussed the problems with manufacturing’s decline at the Society of Manufacturing Engineer’s (SME) Toronto chapter and in a moment of jest I said …. let’s take it back…. and the concept took off from there, and it became an advocacy group for the recovery of our manufacturing sectors.

The TBM advocacy was well supported by many other associations and societies, and we Introduced TBM at trade shows and delivered many presentations and many newspaper and magazine articles over the next 5 years, including some presentations to local and federal governments, and we sat on several planning committees. But by about 2016 it was clear that the current Canadian government, especially the federal government, had zero political will to undertake a manufacturing renaissance, and they even struggled with supporting the oil industry and getting a proper deal in the USMCA.

A glimmer of hope.

The glimmer of hope was the TRUMP presidency and his “localize trade” policies. Also, the more recent geopolitical situation with China and Russia and the Covid supply chain disruption has sensitized everyone to what we were pushing with TBM, which is that globalization is not working for the western world. We need a total reshoring of our manufacturing so we can get back our prosperity and our economic security.

This has made now the correct time to release the TBM book … I have had it in the works since 2014 and I have been busy with other things …. but the delay has allowed me to add and bring it up to date… so its current.

What’s next?

The next cycle of political elections both here and in the US will define the direction and level of opportunity for TBM, but its clear the US is moving forward with reshoring and is leaving Canada far behind due to a significant lack of our own political will and leadership to stand up to the many challenges to support reshoring, so I hope our future governments and business leadership reads this book!

Why TBM ?

The TBM book explains why we must Take Back Manufacturing. It takes the reader through the history of manufacturing and the events that defined its decline. We explain what happened to western manufacturing and the slow death of Canadian manufacturing and how economics changed to make it happen. It explains in detail how much we have lost and how bad things are now with a lot of facts, graphs, and diagrams.

It explains why free trade and global supply chains just don’t work, and are not sustainable, and why we need to localize manufacturing within the USMCA trade bloc. Free trade and globalization have been very poor at generating real wealth, but they have been excellent at wealth transfer. Global trade has increased 8 times since 1980 but global wealth measured with GDP has only increased 3 times and has flatlined or worse in the western nations.

It explains how long supply chains are the antithesis of LEAN, and not sustainable. When supply chain total costs are reviewed fully it’s clear that we have reached the tipping point for reshoring across most industrial products.

We have not just lost manufacturing capacity but also much of the infrastructure to support new product development. We are now disadvantaged as it requires a strong local manufacturing base and all the infrastructure that goes along with it to act as a strong cross functional incubator for new products and ongoing innovation.

The future pathway

The book defines three parallel initiatives to undertake TBM…

1/ Our Governments must act in coalition to setup the critical positioning of trade and industrial policies, as well as changes in the approach for immigration, our educational system, industry 4.0, and climate change management, and how we need to focus much more on total national sustainability in all forms.

2/ The educators need to integrate their efforts much more with industry with far more coordination by government to achieve an Integrated Industrial Learning System.

3/ Our Industries must accelerate the use of Productivity concepts such as LEAN and Six Sigma and embrace new technologies such as INDUSTRY 4.0 as well as understand and explore the reshoring options much more.

This is the author’s website at www.nigelsouthwayauthor.com  and I will support an open Blog that I will use to get feedback and spread the word.