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Reshaping the Manufacturing Industry Perception to Attract the Next Generation

January 28, 2013 at 7:44 am PST

In a time when the manufacturing industry is in dire need of new employees as more and more baby boomers move to retire, I find it interesting that more than 50 percent of 2011 college graduates are either jobless or underemployed (AP Report). To me the numbers don’t add up. Sure, at first glance, it’s easy to blame the poor economy for the unemployment rate, but try considering reasons beyond that. What are the real reasons many college graduates are unemployed? I don’t necessarily think it’s because there aren’t jobs, because in the manufacturing industry, there are plenty. Some have estimated there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going unfilled in manufacturing in the US alone; jobs that are good-paying and that can be the foundation and means for someone to attain their “American Dream”.

As I reflect on this information, a couple of things come to mind. Kids growing up today are expected to go to college and graduate. This is great, but over the past few years, we have seen more and more students going to college without a well thought out career in mind. They all have aspirations to be “successful” and have a “dream job” once they graduate, but many students are never really able to untangle what that dream job looks like. This can lead to four or more years of education along with college debt without a clear career path.  Read More »

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Dan Kern joins the Cisco Manufacturing Blog

January 23, 2013 at 7:08 am PST

I’m delighted to introduce Dan Kern to the Manufacturing Blog!

Cred Dan Kern

Dan joined Cisco five years ago and leads the Manufacturing & Energy Industry Sector marketing practice for the Americas.

He focuses on understanding the business needs of Cisco customers and drives engagements that introduce business transforming concepts to lines of business managers and executives.  Because of his industry knowledge and contributions, Dan was recently recognized as the “Industry Leader of the Year” by GDS International at the 2012 Next Generation Manufacturing Summit and also received the President’s Award at the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership Summit.

Thanks to his past experience, Dan has an intimate understanding of customer business needs.  He has a Six Sigma black belt and held roles in market and customer operations as well as product development.  Dan has also held sales, strategy and marketing positions for manufacturing, financial and government institutions.

Dan has degrees in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from Northern Illinois University and a Masters of Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

We’re looking forward to Dan’s insights and contributions to this Manufacturing blog.

Welcome Dan!

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Welcome Helder Antunes to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm PST

Please Welcome Helder Antunes to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

helderantunes

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a key member of the Cisco Connected Industries Group (Cisco CIG), Helder Antunes.

Helder Antunes is Managing Director, Smart Connected Vehicle, CIG . He  is a 15-year Cisco veteran with a background in both network security and the automotive industry.

Helder is currently working closely with all the global automobile manufacturers, in order to explore a partnership between Cisco and the OEMs in defining the next generation Smart Connected Vehicle platform, a key initiative within Cisco’s “Internet of Things” strategy.
Outside of Cisco, Antunes is also a General Partner at Pereira Ventures and a counselor to the Regional Government of the Azores, Portugal.

Helder is no stranger to the cutting edge of the automotive industry. He raced cars for many years and designed some of the early data acquisition systems for race cars. On a personal level, Helder was born on the island of Terceira (Azores, Portuguese Territory) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and traveled to Mozambique, Macau, and other former Portuguese colonies before his family settled in Rhode Island.

Helder Antunes-John Chambers-Portugese President

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Antunes at Cisco HQ, during the 2011 Portuguese Presidential Visit to California.

He has been published in many industry publications on Automotive and other topics including:

Antunes has also received many awards for his work at Cisco and with the Portuguese government and state.

  • 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Entrepreneurial Innovation Award
  • 2008 CIO 100 Award
  • 2004 Cisco Pioneer Award in Technological Innovation
  • 2003 Cisco Teamwork of the Year Award

Welcome Helder!
Check out his first blog by clicking  here

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How Does Corporate Culture Impact a Company’s Success?

Culture exists in any organization, whether created through careful design and implementation, or through natural development as a company grows.

What exactly is “corporate culture”?

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Happy New Year to the Manufacturing Industry from Cisco, 2013

January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm PST

The numbers coming out month after month show that we seem to be tracking a slow but steady recovery. As I’ve said before, I’m cautiously optimistic about the manufacturing sector – especially in the USA.

On Thursday (3rd January, 2013), ADP1 said construction added 39,000 positions in December, second only to trade and transportation utilities, which grew 53,000. Medium- and larger-sized businesses led the way with 102,000 and 87,000 new jobs respectively

Overall, Employers added 1.84 million jobs in 20112, the most in five years. In the first 11 months of 2012, employers added 1.67 million. Job gains would have to top 170,000 in December to push 2012 ahead of the previous year. Some economists do expect gains at that level or higher.

Robot_factory_smallEven in Asia things are looking up. In the New Year we learned about China’s services growth3, as China’s official purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 56.1 in December from 55.6 in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Other PMIs on the manufacturing sector suggest China’s growth is starting to pick up based on late 2012 data. Not the heady double-digit growth of earlier years, but increases none-the-less. Construction was also up, though all of this growth is partly owing to government investment. The Friday (4th January 2013) HSBC PMI report shows slower growth as it mainly focuses on the private sector. The HSBC report4 showed a softening from 52.1 to 51.7. As you know above 50 is still good. India’s looking good too re PMI for last month! Read More »

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