Your Company Can Help American Manufacturing Become the Best in the World

USA Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Overview

If it seems to you as if innovation and advanced technology manufacturing in the United States have been on a rapid rise in recent years, that’s because they have. Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI) has verified your suspicions. This study, along with those Deloitte previously published on the subject in 2010 and 2013, have enabled them to confirm the steady upward trend of American manufacturing since the start of the decade.

Beginning with 2010, the United States was ranked 4th in the study, but since then it has climbed to the 3rd position in 2013, and now to 2nd in 2016. Thus it seems inevitable that the U.S. will take the number one spot from China—who has been in first place throughout—by the time the next Deloitte survey is released. In fact, that’s precisely what Deloitte predicts in its 2016 study.

“Consistent with the previous 2010 and 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index studies,” writes Deloitte, “China is again ranked as the most competitive manufacturing nation in 2016, but is expected to slip to second position as global executives provide their perspective on how the next five years will play out. The United States is expected to take over the number one position from China by the end of the decade while Germany holds firm at number three.”

But gaining that number one spot by 2020 won’t occur simply by happy accident or because Deloitte says it will be so. American manufacturers will need to continue to focus on improvement in what the Deloitte survey found to be the top 12 drivers of global manufacturing competitiveness (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Global CEO Survey: Top Drivers of Global Manufacturing Competitiveness

What has brought the U.S. to the brink of being the best in the world has been its investment in talent, innovation, advanced technology, higher-value products and services, and continued research and development (R&D). As a global leader in R&D—spending over $450 billion on it in 2013—the U.S. has the advantages of top-notch universities and R&D talent and a vast amount of venture capital to commercialize its advanced technologies. These, of course, are all large-scale elements that will need to continue. But what about where companies should be focusing their attention?


Deloitte has determined five specific areas in which to focus that will help companies succeed in the global manufacturing marketplace. According to the survey, the most important areas are:

  1. Ensuring talent is the top priority
  2. Embracing advanced technologies to drive competitive advantage (see Figure 2)
  3. Leveraging strengths of ecosystem partnerships beyond traditional boundaries
  4. Developing a balanced approach across the global enterprise
  5. Cultivating smart, strategic public-private partnerships
Figure 2. U.S. Executives Rank the Future Importance of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

In subsequent articles in this PolymerOhio Manufacturing Solutions series we will explore each of these five elements and provide some tips on what your company can do to be successful in each—and subsequently successful in the global manufacturing marketplace.

If we can help you implement improvements in any of these areas in the meantime, please contact us. We have the expertise to help guide you to success in the global marketplace so you can, in turn, help American manufacturing become the best in the world!

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Jill Jones

Marketing Communications Manager at PolymerOhio Inc.

Jill is a formally trained graphic and web designer and writer who has been employed as such for more than 18 years. Her experience includes long-term employment with a Columbus-based technology consulting firm that worked closely for years with the State and Federal government, and the Human Resources & Engagement Department of Honda North America. She manages both of PolymerOhio's websites, their social media, blog writing and editing of guest posts, and marketing materials.
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