It is management, and particularly managers’ willingness to learn and change — not unfair competition or unsupportive economic policies — that is at the heart of America’s manufacturing crisis, contend Robert Hayes, Steven Wheelwright, and Kim Clark. These world-renowned authorities on manufacturing and technology base their conclusion on studies of hundreds of American and foreign firms.
Writing for general managers in this long-awaited successor to their award-winning Restoring Our Competitive Edge, the authors go beyond the structural decisions — the “bricks and mortar” of facilities and equipment — to the infrastructure of a manufacturing company: the management policies, systems, and practices that must be at the core of a world-class organization. Most importantly, they address the difficulty of creating that infrastructure, emphasizing the management leadership and vision that are required.
This thorough and comprehensive volume points out the weaknesses of traditional management practices, which are built into authoritarian, hierarchical organizations. The authors show dramatically how many companies today are breaking out of this “command and control” mentality and creating a whole new set of relationships involving workers and managers, engineering, marketing and manufacturing, and suppliers and customers, which is giving them a competitive advantage in the international marketplace.
Comparing the companies that are winning with those that are losing market position, Hayes, Wheelwright, and Clark conclude that the key differences are that the winners focus on creating value for customers, continual improvement, quick adaptability to change, and extracting the full potential of their human resources. They constantly strive to be better, placing great emphasis on experimentation, integration, training, and the building of critical organizational capabilities. They are, in short, “learning” organizations.
Dynamic Manufacturing explores in depth such key infrastructure issues as capital budgeting, performance measurement, organizational structure, and human resource management, demonstrating how they interact to foster productivity growth, new product development, and competitive advantage. The book shows today’s managers how to implement the changes that must be made if they want to create a truly superior manufacturing company. Taking concerned, committed managers step-by-step on the path toward better products, lower costs, and increased profits, this seminal work provides a road map for manufacturing firms seeking to build a competitive advantage through manufacturing excellence.