As we continue to wrestle with an economy weighed down by major energy and housing shocks, it’s clear that US Manufacturers are helping to offset some of these losses through strong exports abroad.  With a weak dollar and with increasingly efficient manufacturing processes in the US-export growth has risen 11% in the last year alone creating over 119,000 new domestic jobs.  See this press release from National Assoc. of Manufacturers (NAM).


“ With the domestic economy stuck in low gear, global engagement is the key to growth and job creation.”  NAM President and CEO John Engler


In my customer and press presentations I talk frequently about emerging markets as being one of the core manufacturing forces shaping the future.  It’s more critical than ever that the software and solutions we bring to market at Microsoft help our customers get to global markets and manufacturing networks.  Microsoft capabilities around collaboration, BI, content management, IP security, and social networks all enable global engagement. 


My favorite case study on this topic is the Gates Corporation story about building a global “culture of speed” in supplying hoses and hydraulics to the global auto industry.    This is just one of many stories that I hear over and over again from our customers in the field. 


There has never been a more important time for US Manufacturers to arrive in new markets with the right products tailored to local customer requirements.   Succeeding in the global marketplace will require a new manufacturing network of people, suppliers and partners all connected with the information necessary to compete.   


If you have stories of how Microsoft software has enabled you to collaborate and compete in new markets, I would love to hear more about them here.