Title: The Japanese approach to productivity and quality – a European's view
Author: Mark Snowdon
Address: Managing Director, Austin-Rover Group, UK
Abstract: Japan's motor industry success of the 1970s has caused a variety of responses from western companies. In many cases Japan-conscious strategies have been adopted without a complete understanding of their significance or the importance of their content. Although Japan's cultural base is undergoing some transitions, the deep-rooted capability to adopt, assimilate and use ideas remains an important creative technique. By understanding the generic thinking behind industry management improvements which Japan has made, western companies can assimilate, adopt and use from Japan as a complement to drawing upon other sources and building their own skills. Austin Rover has done this over a number of years, and although relatively few techniques directly reflect Japanese equivalents, the underlying thinking does. In looking to the future there is no reason why Europe should not be able to compete. Learning from Japan will remain an important addition to building on Europe's own strengths.
Keywords: computer integrated engineering; CIE; cultural influences; design for manufacture; DFM; flexible manufacturing systems; FMS; international industrial collaboration; just-in-time; JIT manufacturing; Japan; productivity; quality; Austin Rover; automobile industry; automotive manufacturing.
Int. J. of Technology Management, 1986 Vol.1, No.3/4, pp.411 - 424
Available online: 27 May 2009