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World Class Manufacturing: The Next Decade: Building Power, Strength, and Value Hardcover – April 3, 1996

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Schonberger was one of those who made early note of Japanese manufacturing methods, in Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity (1982). Now he surveys the state of manufacturing today in nine different countries. He argues that, rather than financial indicators, two key measures consistently correlate with a company's strength. One, inventory turnover, is easy to measure. The other, customer satisfaction, is not. Schonberger developed 16 principles of "customer-focused, employee-driven, data-based performance" that companies can use to "score" themselves and evaluate their ability to satisfy the customer. He uses the results of scoring done for almost 140 manufacturers to provide benchmarks for other companies and to help illustrate each of his principles. Although academically grounded, this book will be of value to practitioners who seek to improve customer satisfaction. David Rouse


Robert Anderson Director of Manufacturing Operation, The Wheelabrator Corporation For years now manufacturers have known that there was something wrong with measuring manufacturing strength by profit and sales. Other measurements were needed. Now with an understanding of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order measurements we have new tools and a better understanding of their relationships. -- Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (April 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684823039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684823034
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
When Dick Schonberger first showed us a glimpse of the research that was going into this book, I could not wait to see "the real thing." This book is, like all his work, an important and major examination of what makes a manufacturing organization excellent. Built from "the numbers', as well as years of observations, Schonberger's work allows anyone - consultant, practitioner, teacher, executive - to understand the critical points at which a group defines its capabilities. HIs comprehensive References and Bilbliography show that he gets around; his overall vision shows that he sees where good process is headed. Read this book for a measured look at manufacturing progress over the past ten years or so.
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Format: Hardcover
Schonberger hits on several strong manufacturing ideas in this book, but overshadows these good points with a severe lack of focus. One comes away from this book with lots of buzzwords floating around in one's head, but no idea where to begin applying any of them, or what form such an application would take.

The mantra of the book appears to be "do everything," when what a lost manufacturing manager needs is help on what are the (very few) key points of control in a system, how to identify them, and how to use them to powerful effect.

The author would have you believe that "customer service" should be the goal of production. Nonsense. Customer service is a very important tool that is a means to an end: cash flow. If cash flow could be best guaranteed by ignoring customer service, then companies would be foolish to do otherwise.

As it happens, customer service is a vital key to production, but only so far as it directly or indirectly supports the financial engine that drives a company. Evidence: it would be trivial to design a production system that supports the customer better than any in the world and that loses all viability in a month.

This book gets a couple of stars due to the presence of a few good thoughts, but the author seems to have no clue what to do with them, or which are most critical.

For better results, go straight to the source with Deming, or get some focus with Goldratt.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Schonberger hoists the flag of what he calls 'Customer Focused Principles'- with all due respect to Covey's 'Principles' -and waits to see who salutes. He is still waiting.

With much name dropping, plenty of abbreviations - see, I know the jargon, many cited 'conversations' - see I am scholarly, and many random and pointless narratives about various companies - see, I am really scholarly and connected, Mr. Schonberger manages to waste the readers time while managing to obfusticate the principle of Total Quality Management and Lean Manufacturing. I came away from reading the book saying 'So what is the point'.
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