This project undertakes an analysis of how the Metals & Engineering Sector within Queensland can be further developed.
This sector has been analyzed as it represents the major component of Australia's manufacturing industries, and as it is a sector in which the writer has, as a Mechanical Engineer, been associated with for 10 years.
The report has been developed from October 1988 until June 1989. This period has seen a serious deterioration in Australia's Balance of Trade and Current Account Deficit. However, this trend was set into motion well before the period during which this report was developed.
It seems that only since the release of the May 1989 Current Account Deficit that the seriousness of Australia's gradually deteriorating trade performance has received broader recognition in the press and by the public.
For too long Australia has been adding too little value to products for internal and export consumption. This report attempts to determine a methodology by which the Metals & Engineering Sector, the key sector of our manufacturing industry, can develop and also make a greater contribution to our value added exports.
The methodology of the research was primarily survey based, with seventeen "face to face" interviews being conducted. Eleven interviews were conducted with Brisbane based manufacturers in this sector and six interviews were made with government bodies and industry associations.
It was found that international marketing intelligence is generally very poor, that surveyed companies are seeking leadership in future direction setting of the Metals & Engineering sector, that a closer association with all levels of senior government is being sought by industry, that greater investment should be encouraged in this sector and that lower management requires considerable further development. Some of the recommendations also have relevance to manufacturing outside the Metals & Engineering Sector.
These and other recommendations are outlined in Section VIII, Strategic Recommendations & Analysis. Ideally these recommendations should be discussed with survey participants and the MTIA and changed or modified as necessary to ensure they are truely relevant to the industries needs.
Further research work is necessary to determine:
• more effective methods of gaining international marketing intelligence;
• an effective and co-ordinated industry planning process; and
• how State and Federal governments can facilitate implementation of an industry plan.
In times of considerable criticism being levelled at our manufacturing sector, this report attempts to identify a rational course of action for improvement.