Recent trends in the activities of a sample of European manufacturers are analysed in this paper. The data have been collected through annual surveys in the last five years, and in particular, the results of the 1987 survey (222 responses received in the first trimester of 1987) have been analysed in more depth. The priorities set for the development of varions types of capabilities in manufacturing (related to quality, delivery, flexibility, cost, etc.), and the specific programmes under implementation for improvement of manufacturing performance which are receiving highest attention are described. Through correlation analyses, statisically significant associations between specific improvement programmes and profitability and growth are also established. The picture that emerges is one which shows the typical large European manufacturer (as judged from this sample) showing more confidence than in previous years. This manufacturer, after being shaken up by a recurring profitability crisis and the discovery of low-price high-quality competitive products in the early 1980's, believes that he has restructured his manufacturing and is closing the gap in quality. However, there is a danger of becoming complacent at the expense of not preparing for the next competitive battle driven by manufacturing flexibility.
Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Operations and Supply Chain Management
Columbia Journal of World Business
FERDOWS, Kasra and DE MEYER, Arnoud Cyriel Leo.
European manufacturers: The dangers of complacency. (1988). Columbia Journal of World Business. 23, (3), 15-23. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5447
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