Scenarios from the Business Trends Library

Area 6 of the Business Trends Library


Contents - Manufacturing

A. INTRODUCTION AND METHODS - Stages of Economic Development

B. HISTORICAL ANALYSIS of the following Sectors to identify the Constant Trends operating


The Interactions and Impacts from other Areas

Major Impacts have Sectors built into this Manufacturing Area. Thus a Sector from Distribution is included. It shows how goods have been traded and distributed throughout history, merchant chains to local retail and market outlets, and how these develop into the complex systems of our own time. It is the building block for the Information Flows in Industry & Commerce, and enables the structure of the whole to be mapped out. Parallel to this is the structure of the Manufacturing Area which becomes complex.

Another Sector indicates how the increasing wealth with economic development is deployed, which is a driver for what manufactured products will be in demand, especially in many of the Consumer Manufacture Sectors, including new things. Another such Sector is Computation, which leads to a new concept in information flow, with the development of automation. These interact with the major trend of our time, New World Trading Patterns, where basic manufacturing migrates out of the advanced world. What is basic changes with time to become higher technology, though the very high technology manufacture is liable to stay in the advance countries or return to it. Taking into account the sources of world demand, and the supply of Components and Machinery, the fortunes and location of various Manufacturing Sectors can be considered.

Another impact from the Distribution Area is packaging. Since factory gate prices are generally less than a third of the selling prices, more effort goes into marketing and distribution. Part of this is the transport of bulk products and break-down into single units for sale, where packaging has a major role. Trends show evolution of levels of packaging, and with these considerable developments of automation.

There is a concept of the primitive economy, where in simple societies people have to do most things for themselves. As economic level rises, the effect is that more tasks are done for you within the economic system. One area where the primitive economy still exists is in and around the home, where trends have gone slower than previously expected - despite a large increase in women in work in the last century. Where and how this could change is important for Consumer Manufacture.

Fashion Effects affect many businesses especially in Consumer Manufacture. Important from the time General Motors went ahead of Ford with an annual model change, longer term trends can be understood while short term ones generally cannot be ascertained from business forecasting - yet many business are based on setting or successfully meeting fashion effects.

The Services Area gives impacts on manufactured items where there is a service and repair requirement during a product's life.

If you would like such a Contents List applicable to your firm (or project), which may bring in Interactions and Impacts from other Areas, Email Dr R H G Whaley to order:

- Prospectus for Scenarios from the Business Trends Library. Free.

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