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Lean Manufacturing Articles

Through the '90s, the rate of change for manufacturing companies continued to accelerate. The impact of this has been particularly hard on the small to medium-sized manufacturing company, with everything, on the sur­face, conspiring against them. The news coverage has been on becoming global and being part of the new economy. The focus of Wall Street supported by the media was on the success of large, multinational com­panies, encouraging companies to merge so that they could reach "critical mass." There were many pundits ready to announce the demise of the smaller manufac­turing company. However, beneath the hype and the headlines, there were a number of the changes in the '90s that offered tremendous opportunities for small to medium-sized companies. These opportunities make it possible to not only survive but to thrive with the new manufacturing realities of the twenty-first century.


Small to medium-sized manufacturers have always had an inherent advantage over their larger competi­tors in being both more focused and more agile in re­sponding to new opportunities and markets. The maturity of the Internet-supported supply chain has allowed them to effectively exploit this opportunity. Supply chain management has presented the process to blur the traditional boundaries between partners in a supply chain, minimizing the appearance and impact of size and allowing small to medium-sized companies to exploit new market niches. Traditionally, the high cost of technology and services for both software and hardware has left the larger manufactures with a sig­nificant advantage, a trend that appeared to accelerate with the enterprise software products. That is no longer the case. The software and hardware to support effec­tive supply chain processes is affordable and regularly getting more so.

The missing piece has been a new model to pro­vide affordable, first-quality understanding and train­ing so that small to medium-sized manufacturing companies can truly take advantage of the available supply chain tools. Parallel learning has added that missing piece.

This requires the small to medium-sized manufac­turing company to examine its operating principals and to align itself with the new competitive forces that have become known as supply chain management. To clarify the impacts of these dynamics, the session will:

1.      Look at the forces on the small to medium-sized
manufacturer and how those forces have changed
how they will successfully compete.

2.      Present the components of effective supply chain in­
tegration and how use of the tools and processes will
allow a small to medium-sized manufacturer to be
competitive with anyone in the world.

3.      Show how the power of parallel learning adds the
final piece to gaining a competitive advantage over
larger competitors.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14

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