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Well aware of the impact capital equipment has on the bottom line, manufacturing companies wouldn't think of making a major capital investment without extensive research and planning. But to successfully meet industry challenges as we enter the 21st century, it is the investment in people that will have the greatest bottom line impact. Proactive companies are taking a hard look at their "intellectual capital," and how to manage this critical asset to remain competitive.
"In the long run, everyone has the same access to capital and technology, so a company's human resources (are) what makes the difference and makes it successful." This statement was made by the CEO of oil and energy giant ARCO in a recent interview in HR Magazine, but it could have been said by any CEO in any industry and still be true. The only way a company can truly differentiate itself and be successful is through its people, or its "intellectual capital."
In light of the challenges faced by the paper industry, the importance of this concept cannot be overstated. With global competition, over capacity, rapidly advancing technology and increasing environmental pressures, the industry is at a point where successful companies will not only differentiate themselves, but will reinvent themselves.
Yet industry consolidation, downsizing and reorganizations throughout the '90s have …