The TBM Forum
How the TAKE BACK MANUFACTURING Forum got started...
A little while ago our SME chapter's volunteer leaders decided to examine the issues Ontario's manufacturing industry is facing. We concluded there were many issues, and I'm sure that's no surprise to you. Many government surveys and reports at local and federal levels indicate that Ontario and Canada as a whole is falling further behind in business productivity and innovation as measured on a global level.
We have concluded that we cannot “service sector” our way out of this recession, or compete in a global economy with the current focus or approach. Many experts believe that the trend in the last two decades to under-capitalize the development of local manufacturing technology, reduce capability and related education, and allow extensive migration of production to offshore sources has become detrimental.
This situation has now severely unbalanced import/export trade and has become counterproductive for the Canadian economy as a whole.
This out-dated globalizing policy and approach has developed a lack of entitlement and ability for local Canadian business to manufacture, flourish and sustain, and this situation needs to be reversed before it becomes irrevocably detrimental to our future economic success and prosperity.
We have all witnessed how this decline in core manufacturing capability has extended our supply chains and reduced our ability to incubate innovative activity for the next generation of products and services.
We have seen how the capacity stripping and de-capitalization of most manufacturing sectors has increased the costs of doing business
and decreased true profitability. It has created a greater burden on the local governments by reducing revenue from value adding activities and leading to increased taxation and budget balancing
has reduced the capability for long term prosperity for Canadian families.
Manufacturing in most sectors no longer has the strong and popular image it once had in Ontario. We believe it has been systematically weakened by the trend of globalized manufacturing,various political decisions, under-capitalization and lack of training and education.
Additionally we are now in a situation where our youth are no longer seeking careers in manufacturing in great numbers...in large part because there are very few jobs. The other side of that coin is that the expertise we have in our current manufacturing population will be lost in the coming years as they retire because there is no "next eneration" to pass it on to.
We believe that we all collectively (Governments / Venture capitalists / Management / Employee Associations / Unions / Educators / Technical societies / Institutions / Safety councils etc) cannot keep doing the same tired old things and expect better results in our manufacturing and industrial sectors.
It is now time (and it’s never too late) to reach a better balance within our manufacturing and operational activities in all sectors of business. We need to learn how to firmly embrace and harness the latest strategies, concepts and technologies. We need to adopt a strong and broad re-education and retraining at all levels to win back our declining productivity, innovativeness, competitiveness and prosperity.
We must take back our manufacturing entitlement, re-develop our manufacturing aptitude and know-how in order to compete and win once again.
So we suggest the action needed is largely two fold at this point:
1/ We need to earn the right to reduce imports and bring manufacturing home (re-shoring) where it makes sense, or position a re-birth of local capacity to better support local demand.
2/ We need to provide the correct infrastructure to ensure its success when it does come back!!
We know we are not the first to recognize this situation...or the last, but we believe the first thing we are lacking is a consolidated voice to get government officials, industry and education leaders listening and moving in the right and in the same direction rather than having divided efforts.
This is where our TBM forum initiative comes into play.
We have reached out to organizations who we believe are like-minded and have a vested interest in the success of manufacturing in Ontario and/or ensuring and maximizing the correct decision process in that regard.
Our goal is to gather support of many organizations and to establish an ongoing forum led by a core group of individuals who will take this initiative further and eventually present the message and action plan on behalf of all of us to members of political parties, educators and industry leaders as well as to the public.
We believe the timing is now right, and work has began by forming the TAKE BACK MANUFACTURING forum.
We have initiated and will support the activities of this powerful partisan TBM forum with the aim of integrating the efforts of ALL
interested groups and societies behind a common interest and concern. Then,with a collective strength and united leadership,
decide how we can develop and undertake a plan to create the best future for our declining industries, economy and for our children…… before it’s too late.