01 June 2003
Key element to a long, slow recovery
Patience is the key these days.You have to stay smart and remember there is no room for panic.
It seems like it is taking forever. When all the experts said the economy would recover slowly—they weren't kidding. Like a hockey season, this manufacturing recession just won't seem to end.
Sure, the leading oil companies are throwing up huge numbers. Take a look at BP. The U.K.-based oil giant's net income for the first quarter was $3.73 billion, up 136% from last year's $1.58 billion. ExxonMobil had a net income for the quarter of $4.79 billion, up from last year's $2.12 billion.
Other than the oil industry and a few other mega-companies in strong markets like pharmaceuticals, much of the rest of the economy continues to struggle. From engineers to chief executive officers, people are asking themselves "how long can we go on working under these stressful conditions?"
Patience is the key these days. You have to stay smart and remember there is no room for panic. We all know that having to work two and three times as hard just to stay afloat is not easy and surely wears thin. But we have to continue to hit our marks and stay on task.
Are you ready? By now all staffers have to know the plan and are all fired up and ready to go. Are you and your system geared up for nimble manufacturing, the ability to quickly change direction in a build-to-order environment? Have you resolved any differences you may have had with your IT department? You should. Like it or not, that is going to be a key relationship moving forward. This automation-IT connection has engineers and techies working together toward one common goal: Achieving greater profit and productivity from the plant floor. A strong engineering-IT relationship will help propel you and your company out of today's doldrums into a strong second half of the year.
There are some positive signs the second half will start to slowly pick up. The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose in April for the first time this year.
The private research group said its gauge of how the economy would perform over the next three to six months inched up 0.1% in April after declines in March and in February.
Even Treasury Secretary John Snow offered a glimpse of sunshine saying elements were in position for a recovery in the second half.
There is no quick fix; a recovery will not happen overnight. It is going to take months of slow growth that will hopefully lead to years of solid progress.
Do you have the patience?
Talk to me: email@example.com or (919) 990-9275.
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