April 02 , 2009

Engineering Firms

A Survey of Factors Affecting their Growth and Performance


Engineering Firms: A Survey of Factors Affecting their Growth and Performance is a concise account of business-economic and related factors affecting growth and performance in engineering. It covers a wide range of different types of firm (in all the main engineering fields) in Britain, the United States, Europe, and Japan. The study combines the findings of original field research with an extensive review of key literature on the subject. It will be useful for senior managers in engineering, management consultants, business school academics, and investment analysts and others with an interest in production engineering and manufacturing.  Contents 1. The Growth and Performance of Engineering Firms: an Overview Introduction* General influencing factors* The growth and performance of engineering and other manufacturing firms in Britain, the United States, Continental Europe, and Japan: international comparisons* Direct foreign investment and business development in engineering* Studies of individual company growth and performance* 2. Engineering Firms and the Economy Wider economic influences on engineering business growth and performance: an overview* Economic influences on mechanical engineering* Economic influences on information and communications technology and other electrical and electronic engineering* Local economic influences* Size of engineering firms, competitiveness, and performance: general* Significance of company size in engineering* Component supplies* 3. Engineering Markets, Product Developments, and Demand Trends Commercial influences on the growth and performance of firms: an overview* Manufactured goods trade and markets* The market for mechanical engineering products* The market for advanced manufacturing technologies* Information and communications technology products, markets, and demand trends* Responses to recession* Recent significant engineering product developments: a summary review* The marketing and sale of new technological products* Obstacles to selling* 4. Technological Development and Product Innovation in Engineering Benefits of new technologies: an overview* Factors facilitating and hampering technological development in industry: general* Technological developments in engineering production* Recent technology and productivity improvements in US engineering* Factors facilitating new technical-product and market development* Obstacles to radical product innovation* Case study: technical-product innovation in textile machinery* Organizational aspects of technical-product innovation and development* Personnel aspects* Finance and investment in technical-product innovation* 5. Organization and the Growth and Performance of Engineering Firms Introduction: theory and research* Changes in company structures and operations with development* “Lean” manufacturing: the Toyota production model* Factors affecting workplace productivity* 6. Managerial, Organizational, and Technological Aspects of the Growth and Performance of Engineering Firms: Twenty-Four Company Case Studies In-depth analyses of individual firms specializing in: Advanced machine tools and factory automation systems Advanced technology projects and consultancy Aircraft components Auto-parts manufacture Broad based mechanical engineering Bulk-handling equipment Chemicals and steel manufacturing equipment Domestic appliances, machine tools, and heavy industrial equipment Energy producing plant and equipment Flexible-manufacturing systems Fluid-handling equipment Handling and general automated systems Hydraulic power tools and components Industrial-commercial storage and handling equipment Machine tools Machining centres and systems technology Mechanical handling equipment Plant & equipment for the energy, civil engineering, and defence industries Production and mechanical handling equipment Steel, rubber, and paper making process equipment Systems integration projects and consultancy Traditional mechanical engineering 7. The Political and Legal Environment Introduction* Negative political-legal influences on engineering and other manufacturing firms* Political-economic liberalizing reforms* Impact of government monetary-economic policies on engineering firms and markets* Impact of legislation and regulatory controls* Government and technological innovation* Current industry concerns* 8. The Supply and Demand for Engineering Labour Introduction: problems in attracting, motivating, and retaining engineering labour* Key features of the engineering labour market* The significance of salaries and other benefits* Engineering education and training: general* Education and training for new technologies* Attempts to encourage more school leavers and college graduates into engineering* The supply and demand for engineering labour: a summary of problems and attempted solutions* 9. Investment and the Growth and Performance of Engineering Firms The contribution of investment to engineering business growth and performance* Types and sources of capital* The supply and demand for investment finance* Financial investment in engineering: international comparisons*Venture capital* Engineering firms and the stock market* How particular engineering firms have succeeded in increasing their profitability, investment returns, and thus attractiveness to investors: a summary review* Foreign direct investment and growth and performance in engineering*

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