DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS - Steve Hart, Edi­tor. edi­tor@demm.co.nz

Based on the people I have spo­ken with across the en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries this year, it seems 2013 has been a bit of a mixed bag. Some firms have been so busy they did not know which way to turn, oth­ers have found it dif­fi­cult to hire the trained and ex­pe­ri­enced people they need – and this has sti­fled the growth of their businesses. Many have con­tin­ued to ‘do it tough’, and a few have fallen by the way­side.

Ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics NZ, there are fewer busi­ness trad­ing to­day than the peak of 2009 – the num­ber of firms op­er­at­ing has dropped from 481,000 (2009) to 472,600 (Fe­bru­ary 2013).

Not only has the coun­try lost more than 8,000 businesses in four years, but there are fewer start-ups re­plac­ing them. And the businesses that sup­plied goods and ser­vices to those failed com­pa­nies will have suf­fered a loss of cus­tomers and un­paid bills.

Talk­ing with Joel Leonard (see page 27), he was re­ally im­pressed with what he found when he vis­ited this year’s MESNZ an­nual con­fer­ence. We spoke soon af­ter he re­turned to his North Carolina home, and he reck­ons Kiwi businesses are miss­ing a trick.

He says Ki­wis are too shy and re­served, and that busi­ness own­ers should be shout­ing from the rooftops about their prod­ucts, suc­cesses and achieve­ment.

From what I can see, the own­ers of some Kiwi firms are con­fused. They see mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion as brag­ging. Brag­ging can be vul­gar, whereas shar­ing your achieve­ments and suc­cesses can be very worth­while.

Sur­viv­ing and pros­per­ing in to­day’s glob­ally com­pet­i­tive world takes a lot more than qui­etly do­ing ex­cep­tional work. We need more tall pop­pies.

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