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World Class Manufacturing


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.

Discussion Group Questions
1. Why should industry evolve toward customer-focused, employee-driven, data-based principles? What are the requisites of sound world-class manufacturing company principles meaningful to any manufacturer?
2. What is the significance of inventory turnover as an indicator of long-term power, strength, and value? (Note: Richard Schonberger's inventory research included over 200 manufacturers of every stripe in four countries as of summer 1997; over 80% show the pattern of decline throughout the third quartile of this century and rise ever since)
3. What performance measures are most relevant for motivating continuous improvement?
4. Roughly score your organizational unit on the 16 principles (for this assessment to be meaningful, think in terms of a whole product family or business unit as the organization -- not a functional department). Where are your organization's strengths? Where are its weaknesses and what must be done (or is being done) to address them?
5. Are your organization's dominant measures of performance consistent with principles-based management? If not, what needs to be done?
6. What is your organization's recent year-to-year performance in becoming lean and agile, as measured by reduced inventories and cycle times? (Relates to Principle 6)
7. Is synchronized, rate based scheduling well-suited for your organization's product line and customer requisites? Why or why not? (Relates to Principle 7)
8. How successful has your organization been in "commonizing" component parts? In reducing t "a few good suppliers?" (Relates to Principle 5)
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (December 11, 2012)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471109720