Will you and I witness the next “industrial revolution?” Consider how dramatically manufacturing is advancing in today’s economy. With astonishing speed, manufacturers are applying 21st century technology to produce state-of-the-art, enterprise-wide systems that support ongoing process improvements and ever-changing business partners. Manufacturers are reconfiguring their factories, returning to the U.S., and educating their workforces to utilize the latest technologies. Manufacturers are creating the next generation of highly customized, high-quality product lines with systems that are cleaner, leaner, faster, and smarter.
Some of Foley & Lardner’s first clients were manufacturers, dating back to the first industrial revolution more than 170 years ago. Today, we are still at the forefront of this dynamic industry. In fact, more than a third of our top 1,000 clients operate within the manufacturing sector. To continue serving the unique needs of manufacturers, in 2013, Foley launched the legal industry’s first-ever Legal Innovation Hub℠ for NextGen Manufacturers.
“Next-generation manufacturing involves a new wave of knowledge and innovation right here in the U.S., fully supported by the federal government which has committed over $1 billion to advanced U.S. manufacturing in the next three years.” Dashboard Insights blog, June 17, 2013
With the Legal Innovation Hub, Foley is taking an even closer look at the evolving business issues facing our manufacturing clients. By creating a firm-wide network dedicated to next-generation manufacturing, departments, industry teams, and practice groups engage in conversations to explore the transformational opportunities and overcome the thorny obstacles associated with advanced manufacturing.
Additionally, Foley is aligning with key industry leaders, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other trade associations, consulting firms, academics, and authors of leading next-generation manufacturing studies, to develop the latest thought leadership and share those insights with clients. As part of the Legal Innovation Hub, leaders in advanced manufacturing are coming together to form an advisory board. Foley is also connecting with think tanks, forums, roundtables, social media, and blogs.
This is not the first time that Foley has helped lead the charge in support of American manufacturers. For example, Foley also became the first law firm to sponsor National Manufacturing Day. This is an annual event giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is all about.
And now, our Manufacturing Industry Advisor blog will provide readers with insightful commentary related to advanced and next-generation manufacturing. The Manufacturing Industry Advisor will maintain a broad focus on the business and legal developments affecting the manufacturing industry in areas such as:
- Continuous Process Improvement
- Customer-Focused Innovation
- Human Capital/Labor
- Supply Chain Management
- Global Engagement/Foreign Direct Investment
- Reshoring/Nearshoring/Facilities Siting
- M&A/Joint Ventures
- Government & Public Affairs
- Big Data
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and engaging in conversations about these topics.