Management processes[ edit ] Globalization and complex supply chainsalong with greater physical distance between higher management and the production-floor employees often requires a change in management methodologies, as inspection and feedback may not be as direct and frequent as in internal processes. This often requires the assimilation of new communication methods such as voice over IPinstant messagingand Issue tracking systems, new time management methods such as time tracking softwareand new cost- and schedule-assessment tools such as cost estimation software.
So I thought to write a followup to lay out its premises more directly and to offer a restatement of its ideas. I submit that we have two big biases when we talk about technology.
First, we think about it too much in terms of tools and recipes, when really we should think about it more in terms of process knowledge and technical experience. Second, most of us focus too much on the digital world and not enough on the industrial world.
Our obsession with the digital world has pushed our expectation of the technological future in the direction of cyberpunk dystopia; I hope instead that we can look forward to a joyful vision of the technological future, driven by advances in industry.
This is one of my longer essays; the final section summarizes the main points. Process knowledge is represented by an experienced workforce.
|Resolve a DOI Name||This will enable you to streamline your knowledge and order parts more easily and eventually have spare parts on hand. ATM Parts and Replacement costs:|
The tools and IP held by these firms are easy to observe. I think that the process knowledge they possess is even more important.
The process knowledge can also be referred to as technical and industrial expertise; in the case of semiconductors, that includes knowledge of how to store wafers, how to enter a clean room, how much electric current should be used at different stages of the fab process, and countless other things.
Anyone with detailed instructions but no experience actually fabricating chips is likely to make a mess. I think Secure outsourcing expense statement 2 technology ultimately progresses because of people and the deepening of the process knowledge they possess. The accumulated process knowledge plus capital allows the semiconductor companies to continue to produce ever-more sophisticated chips.
This cluster of talent allows the US to maintain its lead on a critically-important technology. The US industrial base has been in decline.
But sustained innovation in semiconductors is an exception in US manufacturing. The country used to nurture vibrant communities of engineering practice a term I like from Brad DeLongwhich is another way to talk about the accumulated process knowledge in many segments of industry.
But not all communities of engineering practice have been in good shape. The real output of the US manufacturing sector is at a lower level than before the recession; that means that there has not been real growth in US manufacturing for an entire decade. In fact, this measure may be too rosy—the ITIF has put forward an argument that manufacturing output measures are skewed by excessive quality adjustments in computer speeds.
Take away computers, which fewer and fewer people are buying these days, and US real output in manufacturing would be meaningfully lower. Manufacturing employment peaked in at nearly 20 million workers; it fell to 17 million in14 million inand stands at 12 million today.
When firms and factories go away, the accumulated process knowledge disappears too. Industrial experience, scaling expertise, and all the things that come with learning-by-doing would decay. I visited Germany earlier this year to talk to people in industry. One point Germans kept bringing up was that the US has de-industrialized itself and scattered its production networks.
While Germany responded to globalization by moving up the value chain, the US manufacturing base mostly responded by abandoning production.
Brad Setser has shown that the US stands out amongst rich countries for its low level of manufactured goods exports. Instead, the US runs both a trade deficit and a current account deficit. In order for other countries to import more from the US, first it should have better goods to sell.
Knowledge should circulate throughout the supply chain, flowing both up and down the stack. Successful industries tend to cluster into tight-knit production networks. The easiest way to appreciate the marvel of clusters is to look at Silicon Valley, where capital, academia, a large pool of eager labor, and companies both large and small sit next to each other.
There are many other examples of industrial clusters. Silicon Valley is so-named because it was the center of semiconductor production and it has enough toxic Superfund sites nearby to prove that heritage. Proximity makes it easier to generate process knowledge.
But what happens when we tear apart these production networks by separating design and manufacturing? But I believe that in most cases, dislocation makes it more difficult to maintain process knowledge.
Both the design process and production process generate useful information, and dislocation makes it difficult for that information to circulate. I think we tend to discount how much knowledge we can gain in the course of production, as well as how it should feed back into the design process.
The best developers are those who understand how processes interact both up and down the stack.Type or paste a DOI name into the text box. Click Go. Your browser will take you to a Web page (URL) associated with that DOI name.
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