World Class Manufacturing

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In his best-selling book Japanese Manufacturing Techniques, Richard J. Schonberger revolutionized American manufacturing theory and, more important, practice. In that breakthrough book, he revealed that Japanese manufacturing excellence was not culturally bound. Offering the first demystified explanation of the simple techniques that fueled Japan's industrial success, he demonstrated how the same methods could be put to work as effectively in U.S. plants.

Now, in World Class Manufacturing, Schonberger returns to tell the success stories of nearly 100 American corporations -- including Hewlett-Packard, Harley-Davidson, General Motors, Honeywell, and Uniroyal -- that have adopted the famed just-in-time production and "total quality control" strategies. Based on his firsthand experience as a major consultant to American industry, he examines how they did it -- and illustrates how the same concrete, specific steps used by these top companies can be implemented in any factory today. What's more, Schonberger shows that his bold concepts and reforms apply equally to all industries, whether the product is computers, pasta, or trucks, and to all divisions -- from manufacturing and engineering to accounting and marketing.

According to Schonberger, world-class manufacturing depends on blended management -- rather than domination by a separate group of managers -- which marshalls resources for continual rapid improvement. To achieve world-class status, companies must change procedures and concepts, which in turn leads to recasting relations among suppliers, purchasers, producers, and customers. Acknowledging the difficulty inherent in such changes, Schonberger stresses that employee involvement and interaction, both on the shop floor and in the decision-making/problem-solving process, is key. Wary of those who view improvement in terms of modernizing equipment, he points out that making maximum use of people and current machinery is a company's first priority; automation, if necessary, should come much later.

World Class Manufacturing also includes Schonberger's 17-point action agenda to guide innovators toward manufacturing excellence, from getting to know the customer to cutting the number of suppliers, reducing error in production, and deciding when and how to automate.

Indispensable for all manufacturing innovators who aim to keep ahead of the competition, this inspiring, groundbreaking volume does much more than just recommend or theorize about the new manufacturing approach. Plainly, realistically, and logically, it explains how it's done.
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About the author

Richard J. Schonberger, author of Japanese Manufacturing Techniques (also from The Free Press), is a world-renowned authority on production and manufacturing. President of the consulting firm of Schonberger & Associates, Inc., in Seattle, Washington, he was formerly George Cook Professor of Management at the University of Nebraska.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jun 30, 2008
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781439137543
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Industrial Management
Business & Economics / Operations Research
Business & Economics / Total Quality Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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No company is built to last, argues world-renowned manufacturing guru Richard J. Schonberger. In this devastating indictment of current manufacturing practices, Schonberger submits a four-part revolutionary plan to solve the manufacturing crisis for good.

From his statistically reliable database of 500 top global manufacturers, Schonberger finds that by the critical worldwide standard of lean production—shedding inventories –General Motors, General Electric, Toyota, and other world leaders have stopped improving. He presents powerful evidence that in recent years record profits have covered up waste and weakness. Clearly a lack of will to renew and recover from the natural tendency toward regression and erosion, it is more than a matter of garden-variety complacency—devastating as that is in this new era of global hypercompetition. Schonberger asserts that the inclination of industry leaders to engage in stock hyping to gain a quick fix from the dot-com explosion has distracted attention from "the basics" of world-class excellence. Among other villains contributing to the crisis, Schonberger contends, are newly hired managers with no trial-by-fire experience; bad equipment, systems, and job design; and retention of unprofitable customers and anachronistic command-and-control managerial hierarchies.

What to do? Just as he introduced the legendary "just-in-time" framework to the West in the 1980s, Schonberger prescribes strong medicine to cure our current malaise. Find your blind spots, he says. Roll confusing, time-sapping initiatives into a master program that is immune from "the flavor of the month." Put lean into heavy-handed control systems. Develop products and standardize processes at "home base" for ease of migrating volume production anywhere in the world.
The global phenomenon that has sold over 4 million copies, is published in a record-breaking 46 languages and is a bestseller across five continents—now updated and expanded with new content

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