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World Class Manufacturing

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World Class Manufacturing

The Lessons of Simplicity Applied

Free Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
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World-class manufacturing demands integrated design, blended management and alignment of process, people and equipment. What does that mean? Read on...

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Richard J. Schonberger, author of the critically acclaimed book, Japanese Manufacturing Techniques, which revolutionized American manufacturing theory and practices, now examines how world-class manufacturing techniques can be implemented by American corporations. This 1986 classic remains valuable, since manufacturing changes do not happen overnight, and plenty of companies are far from world-class in their approach to efficiency and productivity. Schonberger writes clearly, authoritatively and often amusingly, covering every element of world-class manufacturing in detail. getAbstract recommends this book for everyone involved in the manufacturing process, not just mangers and executives, but all employees who seek a context and a future for their work.



World-class manufacturing (known by the acronym WCM) focuses on blended management - rather than a separate group of managers, structured either bottom-up or top-down - that brings together resources for continual rapid improvement. To achieve such world-class status, companies must change their procedures and concepts to create more productive relationships with suppliers, purchasers, producers and customers. Change is always difficult, but involving employees on the "shop floor" in the decision-making and problem-solving processes can make it easier. Improvement isn’t just about modernizing equipment. Improvement relies on making maximum use of people and current machinery first, and then making only the necessary machinery changes and upgrades.

Manufacturing excellence relies upon getting to know the customer, efficiency in dealing with suppliers, reducing errors in production and deciding when and how to automate. Successful manufacturers have adopted just-in-time (JIT) production and quality-control strategies that are proven to be more productive. Western companies learned these strategies from successful Japanese companies, which use manufacturing...

About the Author

Richard J. Schonberger  is an authority on production and manufacturing. The author of Japanese Manufacturing Techniques , he is also president of Schonberger and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm in Seattle. He was formerly a professor of management at the University of Nebraska.

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