Chairman of the Productivity Council, Anthony Johnson (at podium) addressing the seminar at the Savanna Hotel. Seated from left to right are Ryan Byer of the Productivity Council, General Manager of the Bermudez Biscuit Company, Ingrid Lloyd, and Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Productivity Council, Anthony Sobers.

Unless the economic crisis subsides, more manufacturing firms will fold if they fail to re-think their business models to turn the situation around. This warning has come from Chairman of the Productivity Council, Anthony Johnson.

He made these observations today while addressing the Flexibility in a Volatile Environment: The Issue of Business Survival in the Manufacturing Sector seminar. The event was held at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

Noting that the financial meltdown had created an industrial crisis throughout Europe, the United States, Asia and other parts of the world, he quoted statistics from the Economist Magazine to substantiate his thesis about the decline in the manufacturing sector and its negative impact on a country’s economic output.
Mr. Johnson revealed that industrial production in Britain and the United States had declined by 15.4 percent and 13.8 percent respectively. 

Likewise in Germany, Taiwan, and Japan industrial production during the fourth quarter of 2008 had declined by 6.8 percent, 21.7 percent and 12 percent, respectively. The situation he said was much worst in China, where thousands of factories had been closed and millions left jobless as a result of the economic downturn.

While acknowledging that the manufacturing industry was still a big employer, the flipside to this scenario he said was that aid provided to the sector will not address “the underlining faults during the crisis”.

He pointed out that: “Unless the markets show signs of recovery, some firms will fail….”

In light of this situation, he outlined ten steps which business managers should adopt in order to remain competitive. Mr. Johnson advised them not to take shortcuts since this could be detrimental to their operations; to formulate a life plan and continually update it during the life-cycle of the business. He further recommended that they treat everyone as an associate; keep accurate figures on the performance of their operations, as well as keep a close watch on the competition.

During the session, the gathering also heard presentations from Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Productivity Council, Anthony Sobers and the General Manager of the Bermudez Biscuit Company, Ingrid Lloyd.

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