Excellent speakers from large manufacturing companies, drug
- The difficulties of finding funds for new equipment. One panelist had to go to Italy for funding!
- The importance of marketing brands and protecting their integrity
- The constant need for innovation and patenting new products to stay ahead
- Accurately capturing the Voice Of the Customer
- The challenges associated with attracting quality new people, particularly middle managers and apprentices
- The drive to re-shore manufacturing and supply activities, as companies seek greater responsiveness, next day deliveries, low inventories and reduced cost of replenishment
A Futurist focused on trends in the business world, citing the rapid changes that can occur in company fortunes; some suddenly accelerating as they find new opportunities or markets, while others suddenly collapse. Some companies seem like a supertanker; they are difficult to turn around, despite impending difficulties. He gave the example of Kodak. Whereas companies would be looking to predict trends years ahead, the timescales are now much shorter, due to the speed at which markets change.