In spite of the significant progress made by a wide range of manufacturing companies over the past decade, few senior executives in U.S. firms would point to manufacturing as a significant source of competitive advantage. This paper seeks to explore some of the basic reasons for this. It begins by providing a framework for manufacturing competitiveness. It then outlines a handful of characteristics that seem to have been pervasive in a wide range of manufacturing competitiveness programs over the past decade. In contrast to those characteristics, it uses three quite different organizations to illustrate a very different mode for pursuing manufacturing competitiveness. Finally, the paper concludes by outlining three elements that appear to be essential in the successful pursuit of manufacturing advantage.
Production and Operations Management – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1996