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French Manufacturing Competitiveness Radar 2015/'16

November 1, 2015

An increasing understanding

The role of manufacturing in advanced economies is changing, a mood positively reflected in the steady increase of French manufacturers who consider themselves competitive. Manufacturing players across a variety of industries, from pharmaceuticals to agriculture, frequently exceeded their own projections for increased competitiveness in recent years; however, this is now beginning to stabilize. In 2015, 82% of plants called themselves competitive, yet only 46% expected to improve further in 2016.

Profit margins have also been stable and are expected to remain so. While labor costs are high, most competitive manufacturers are more concerned with operations, seeking to ensure efficiency in their processes and along the supply chain. Larger manufacturers may perform better, but our study shows that size does not necessarily have any correlation to competitiveness. Similarly, the volume of products manufactured for export also had little bearing.

Automated manufacturing: The increase in understanding of the impact of digital concepts is crucial to continued competitiveness.
Automated manufacturing: The increase in understanding of the impact of digital concepts is crucial to continued competitiveness.

  • Manufacturers have become increasingly knowledgeable about digital plant concepts. In both 2014 and 2015, they identified cybersecurity, RFID, and robotics as being particularly impactful. This rapidly growing awareness is illustrated clearly in the number of respondents who see RFID and robotics as impactful on their industries – in both cases, the number went up over 20% in just one year. Our study also revealed that 97% of manufacturers said they had a good understanding of cybersecurity, and 89% had a good understanding of both RFID and Robotics, another significant increase from 2014 in which only 47% of manufacturers understood robotics and its potential impact.

This increase in understanding and cognizance of the potential impact of digital manufacturing concepts is crucial to continued competitiveness. Our study reveals that the key to maintaining – or in the case of non-competitive plants, creating – this competitive edge will lie in increased involvement in new product development.

  • Photo credits: danieldiaconu / iStockphoto; Monty Rakusen / Getty Images; A Tatiana Popova / iStockphoto

Roland Berger Study - French Manufacturing Competitiveness Radar 2015
Study

French Manufacturing Competitiveness Radar 2015/2016

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Fourth edition of our survey on French plant competitiveness: The role of manufacturing in advanced economies is changing.

Published November 2015. Available in