Manufacturing the FutureStrategic Resonance for Enlightened Manufacturing
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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.
1. Strategy Matters.
2. The Industries, The Plants and the Research.
4. Managing the Manufacturing Process.
5. Quality Within The Plants.
6. Inventory And Buyer-Supplier Relationships.
7. Managing Human Resources.
8. Becoming Enlightened - Creating And Sustaining Strategic Resonance.
Steve Brown heads the Operations Management Group at the School of Management, University of Bath, and is Visiting Professor at Baruch College of the City University, New York. He is the author of Strategic Manufacturing for Competitive Advantage, published by Prentice Hall, and Strategic Operations Management (with Richard Lamming, John Bessant and Peter Jones), published by Butterworth- Heinemann. He has also published numerous journal articles. After years of production management, Steve became an academic although he remains committed to industry and is often involved in management consultancy projects within organizations.
Contact Steve Brown at S.E.Brown@Bath.ac.uk
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 considered by others to be practical. A team based on the KA-I Inventory could assist the innovator in communicating with the CEO to the benefit of all. What is needed is the alliance of the innovator with an entrepreneurial style CEO¯¯a rare combination.
This work should not only be read, but studied, by all manufacturing managers and their CEOs. The author makes very clear the need for, and responsibility of, manufacturing as part of the overall strategy but I would like to see some comments on how this work could fit in with the views of Finance and Marketing: however this could be the subject of a follow-on volume.
The book is well presented; the type is clear and easy to read, with a good and comprehensive index. The up to date references are placed at the end of the chapter, however I feel that a consolidated list of references at the end of the book would have been an asset. The mini-case studies used throughout are both of value and sometimes entertainment, with the accent placed on innovation.
In conclusion, I found this book to be one of the best I have read for some time and one which will be referred to often. The eight chapters are packed with valuable information and the case studies bring the book to life, being a means of giving the book added impact. A very good buy. G. Hayward, Science Direct
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