National Academies Press: OpenBook

Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice (1992)

Chapter: Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices

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Suggested Citation:"Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices." National Academy of Engineering. 1992. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1867.
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GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE MANUFACTURING PRACTICES

The authors of the 19 papers in this section draw upon their experience, knowledge, and expertise to explore many of the principles and practices that characterize world-class manufacturers. Differences in terminology and clarity among the papers are evidence of the communication barriers resulting from the functional specialties in manufacturing and the absence of a common manufacturing language. Despite the diversity of backgrounds and, therefore, the different perspectives from which they view manufacturing—as executives, university educators, and researchers—the authors express a consistent set of themes and concerns throughout this collection of papers:

  • A “system view” is critical to understanding the key relationships, interactions, and interdependencies of the people and components needed to develop, produce, and market a firm's products.

  • Manufacturing must move from a historically experiential basis and begin to develop the rigorous theories and foundations needed to understand, measure, control, and predict their performance.

Suggested Citation:"Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices." National Academy of Engineering. 1992. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1867.
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  • Management has the responsibility to involve and empower the work force to achieve the goals of the organization and must look beyond the walls of the factory to interact with customers, suppliers, and the educational community.

The breadth of the material presented in these papers effectively illustrates the scope of the challenge confronting manufacturers. The practices and concepts discussed here are central to an understanding of the concerns that U.S. manufacturers must address to become competitive in an expanding global marketplace.

Suggested Citation:"Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices." National Academy of Engineering. 1992. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1867.
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Page 83
Suggested Citation:"Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices." National Academy of Engineering. 1992. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1867.
×
Page 84
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Some 70 percent of U.S. manufacturing output currently faces direct foreign competition. While American firms understand the individual components of their manufacturing processes, they must begin to work with manufacturing systems to develop world-class capabilities.

This new book identifies principles--termed foundations--that have proved effective in improving manufacturing systems. Authored by an expert panel, including manufacturing executives, the book provides recommendations for manufacturers, leading to specific action in three areas:

  • Management philosophy and practice.
  • Methods used to measure and predict the performance of systems.
  • Organizational learning and improving system performance through technology.

The volume includes in-depth studies of several key issues in manufacturing, including employee involvement and empowerment, using learning curves to improve quality, measuring performance against that of the competition, focusing on customer satisfaction, and factory modernization. It includes a unique paper on jazz music as a metaphor for participative manufacturing management.

Executives, managers, engineers, researchers, faculty, and students will find this book an essential tool for guiding this nation's businesses toward developing more competitive manufacturing systems.

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