Monday, 30 July 2007

She is productive

In Pakistan, of those aged 10 years & above, 50.9% are males and 49.1% are females. Yet, out of the total civilian labour force, 79.9% are males and only 20.1% are females. Out of the total number of employed persons, 80.5% are males and 19.5% are females.

Do you think the Pakistan government, and Pakistani society more widely, realises the productivity handicap they are carrying by failing to realise the contribution of about a quarter of their population?

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Innovation works

The role of innovation - in both product and process - is clear in improving productivity. Take the automobile industry. The number of cars per hour produced in most plants is dramatically higher than, say, 15 years ago - the result of investment in new technologies. Now, models are designed for high productivity manufacture.

Volkswagen recently suggested that the next generation models for its Polish plant would create a productivity gain of somewhere reaching 50% - the result of fundamental design changes for the cars themselves ... designed to be attractive to customers, of course .... designed for safety of course ... but also designed to be manufactured quickly and efficiently.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Big Problems, Big Targets

The Japanese government is aiming to raise the nation's productivity by 50 percent in five years using technology and deregulation according to a new policy statement released this` week.

There is an imperative for Japan to do this: Japan is the world's most rapidly aging society and must raise productivity to maintain living standards as workers retire and aren't replaced.

The document calls for more economic cooperation with Asia, liberalisation of the aviation industry and greater competitiveness in financial and capital markets.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

We need government to play its part

Organizational productivity often depends on government creating a potential for high productivity by building the appropriate underpinning infrastructure. In Pakistan, this has been shown recently with claims from the government (articulated by the Prime minister Shaukat Aziz) that the productivity and competitiveness of products from Pakistan has been improved at the domestic and international level as a result of improvements to the transport/supply chain infrastructure.

The Prime Minister suggested that, under the National Trade Corridor (NTC) plan, steps have been taken to improve all aspects of the logistics chain. Railways are being modernized and highways and roads are under construction. This has been supported with simplification of the customs’ procedures and processes at ports, airports and borders to significantly reduce clearance times.

Now, of course, having built the infrastructure the government needs to 'back away' and let industry and commerce play their part. This is a tricky balancing act for many government - facilitating but not controlling.