Chapter

Production Systems

Michael H. Best

in The New Competitive Advantage

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780198297451
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595967 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198297459.003.0002
Production Systems

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Explores the links between a firm, region, or nation's production capabilities and productivity. Productivity is explained in terms of fundamental principles of production that underlie the organizational design of business enterprises and production systems. Industrial development, and enhanced competitiveness, is about making the transition to more advanced principles of production and associated levels of production capabilities. A ten‐scale production capabilities spectrum is presented to identify both where a firm or a region's firms fit in the world economy and the specific and critical challenges and opportunities to increased industrial productivity. The evolution of production principles and capabilities is illustrated with five examples of enterprises that established industrial leadership by the application of an enduring production principle: the American System of Manufacture and the principle of interchangeability; Ford and the principle of single‐product flow or mass production; Toyota and multi‐product flow or JIT; Canon and multi‐product flow applied to new product development; and Intel and systems integration.

Keywords: American System of Manufacture; industrial transition; just‐in‐time; mass production; product development; production capabilities; production principle; productivity; systems integration; technology management

Chapter.  15153 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Systems

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