Euro exchange rate makes US system integrators a great deal

As some of you may know, I recently left a large company to work for myself as an independent manufacturng operations system consultant. Along with Dennis Brandl and other members of the WBF 88 committee and 95 committee, I am leading the effort to form the Industrial Interoperability Compliance Institute (IICI). The IICI will be providing compliance review and education services for a number of interoperability standards over the next few years. The organization will pay experts to do these services. However, because the IICI is a not-for-profit, the services rate is $25-50 USD under the market rate. This is not a problem since it is a low-cost-of-sale project -- except it is a problem since the exchange rate between the USD and the euro is 1.40. The rate is very low for our expert in Europe and not competitive for our USA expert because they are in very high demand in Europe and outside the US because their high end rate is now very competitive overseas. Since there is a huge demand for really experienced MES/MOM engineers and consultants worldwide, the already very thin USA talent pool has just gotten much thinner. So it is about time for large end users and vendors to realize that they need to fund and form MES training programs and put their experienced people in mentoring roles to address the lack of scalability across the entire MOM solution space globally.