Technology is transforming all aspects of our lives. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the manufacturing sector is not immune to the effects of this technological transformation. Relentless competitive pressures are driving manufacturers to adopt technology to lower operating costs, increase flexibility and responsiveness, reduce waste, and improve product quality. These technologies are opening new doors for innovative, risk-taking companies, but also threatening to leave slow adopters behind.
Unfortunately, as detailed and documented by CME and other organizations including the Government of Canada, Canadian industry is a global laggard in technology adoption. This has hindered growth in the manufacturing sector and in the economy overall. Slow technology adoption has also resulted in sluggish labour productivity growth, the single most important determinant of a country’s standard of living. Canada’s poor technology adoption record directly limits our ability to compete for and win investment and jobs in the intensely competitive manufacturing sector.