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Manufacturing the Future

Strategic Resonance for Enlightened Manufacturing

By (author) Steve Brown
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, United Kingdom
Imprint: Financial Times Prentice Hall
Published: 15th May 2000
Dimensions: w 156mm h 234mm d 12mm
Weight: 322g
ISBN-10: 0273643223
ISBN-13: 9780273643227
Barcode No: 9780273643227
Underpinned by extensive research, Manufacturing the Future highlights and reconfirms the importance of manufacturing strategy as part of the overall business strategy * shows firms how to radically re-appraise the way they are organised, including the role of manufacturing personnel * describes the importance of the role of senior manufacturing personnel to the business * shows how to successfully apply manufacturing strategies, which feed into and form part of the overall success of the business strategy * shows both why and how manufacturing firms need to move away from traditional, unsuccessful approaches to become an enlightened successful outfit.

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"Steve Brown highlights the key dimensions within the task of managing manufacturing plants in the highly competitive world of the 21st century. Providing the appropriate strategic context in which the essential tasks of manufacturing management need to be placed has been completed with sound insights and written in a challenge and interesting style. A good read." Scott McLean, Formerly World-wide Manufacturing Manager, Computer Peripherals Bristol Division, Hewlett Packard Ltd "This is a very complex subject which has been dealt with in a very clear, understandable and down to earth way. It integrates the elements that today's manufacturing businesses are struggling with, in a manageable and realistic way. It provides a coherent structure to help businesses really understand their current situation and develop a winning strategy for the future." Professor Terry Hill, Department of Operations Management, London Business School "Why is it that some manufacturing firms perform better than others? There's no doubt that manufacturing firms need to change in order to sustain corporate success and a competitive edge. Manufacturing the Future shows both why and how manufacturing firms need to move away from traditional, unsuccessful approaches to become enlightened, successful outfits. An essential read for all levels of management in manufacturing firms, this book offers a radically different, strategically oriented approach to manufacturing. A highly effective strategy for the future." Colin Swan, Business Unit Manager, Hewlett Packard Ltd It is pleasing to read a book by an academic with a solid background of industrial experience--a quite rare combination. The author certainly draws on this background to the full in presenting his views.

The general theme of the book is the introduction to the manufacturing department of a strategy devised for the 21st century: excising some of the old strategy systems and devising ones based on sound industrial knowledge, combined with discussions with manufacturing managers, and a strong academic base. The result is strategic resonance; a dynamic organic process based on harmonisation and linkages between:

1. the market and the firm's operating aspects

2. the firm's strategy and its optimum capacity

3. all functions and learning within the firm.

The use of relevant and up to date mini-case studies to support the arguments is put forward with the accent being placed on innovation. The role of the buyer-supplier is not overlooked in the new strategy.

Whilst the UK is very good in the field of innovation, a major failure is often observed in turning innovation into practical reality in manufacturing--often leaving this to our friends in the US and Europe and adding to their profitability. Dr Brown's book goes some way towards showing how innovation can be moved into the manufacturing arena. It explodes the myth put out by so many writers that strategy is some elitist activity only to be undertaken by CEOs. The book includes many thumbnail case studies which serve to underwrite the author's conclusions and make most interesting reading. The author has concentrated on two specific activities--cars and computing--and displays a wide knowledge of both.

The book deals with the need to identify an organisation's future strategy and the key role of manufacturing in its implementation. Hopefully the qualified Engineer may be given some credit in an age when so many award themselves the title of engineer on very flimsy grounds. His role is very often severely undervalued. Innovation is dealt with in detail as is the need for a sound team to be champions of innovation. The Kirton Adaptor-Innovator Inventory springs to mind as a tool which could be used to build up such a team. Innovators are often viewed as obsessed with their own ideas which are not consid