Have you ever noticed that, here in the UK, manufacturing doesn’t really get the attention it deserves in the national media? Well, Max Gosney, the editor of Works Management, has some strong views on why this might be over on the Works Management web site

He argues that, all too often, manufacturers and Government treat the media as foe and not friend, which is certainly true in my experience. I’ve lost count of the times a company has told me about its latest brilliant innovation only to add the caveat, ‘but we can’t tell the press about that’.

In fact, it’s not always brilliant innovations companies keep secret. Quite often it’s just their opinion on the issues of the day. Even more often it’s the fact that they use red widgets to achieve exceptional red widget success, instead of blue ones.

The frustration is that there is no reason to keep these secrets.

If your competitors want to reverse engineer your products, they can get the information by pretending to be a customer and asking for it. They could even buy a product and actually reverse engineer it. Probably the last thing they are going to do is leaf through copies of the trade press until they happen upon a story about the product and use the complex and intricate data contained therein to build themselves one. That’s not really how the whole industrial espionage process works.

So, if you’re one of the ones keeping secrets, it’s time to help raise the profile of manufacturing by telling the world about your successes. And, if you’re not in the secrecy party, it’s still worth reading Gosney’s article on the Works Management web site

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