Issue 4, 1991

Viewpoint International, Multinational, and/or Global?

Alfred Zeien

How do large, worldwide businesses evolve from international to multinational and then to global structures? [...]

Issue 4, 1991

Japanese Businesses at a Crossroads

Masamoto Yashiro

In the 1990s, Japanese businesses are being challenged to revise their fundamental approaches to doing business, both domestically and internationally. The practices that are being called into question include both export policies and exclusionary business practices, as well as deeper cultural traditions. [...]

Issue 4, 1991

How Japanese Multinationals Work So Well

Nigel Campbell

The Japanese multinational gains its efficiency and effectiveness through a management system superbly well equipped to handle complex coordination. Where the manufacturing processes are complex, where customers are fickle, and where technical innovations are continuously changing, Japanese multinationals are steadily increasing their global market share. This is why Japanese multinationals are particularly successful in electronics, machinery, and automobiles, but less successful in chemicals, building materials, beverages, and food products. Japanese multinationals score over their Western counterparts wherever the business requires a system adapted to complex coordination in a continuously changing environment. [...]

Issue 4, 1991

The Outlook for Central and Eastern Europe

Kurt Kasch

In this fall of 1991, as the former constituents of the Soviet Union struggle to define new political identities and to avert economic disaster, it is worth considering the situations of some of the countries that emerged earlier from behind the Iron Curtain. Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary have renounced communism. Their citizens enjoy freedom of speech, assembly, and travel. As prices are permitted to change in response to market conditions, currencies exchanged, and foreign businesses welcomed, their economies are improving. East Germany no longer exists as a separate country, but as part of the democratic, market-oriented Germany. The Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, and former East Germans have a future full of hope. [...]

Issue 4, 1991

Europe 1992: Issues and Opportunities

Martyn F. Roetter and W. Tom Sommerlatte

During the whole postwar period, Western Europe has been moving in fits and starts toward more intimate forms of economic cohesion that transcend the traditional relationships between individual nation states. Some visionaries have even promulgated ideas of eventual political union. [...]

Issue 4, 1991

The North American Free Trade Area: Impacts and Implications

Roberto E. Batres and Byron F. Battle

The North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) - comprising the United States, Canada, and Mexico - will soon come into being as the world's largest trading bloc, directly challenging the growing primacy of the European Community and the Japan-East Asia bloc. [...]

Issue 4, 1991

The Inevitability of Managed Trade

Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr.

Pose the question to any audience, "How many here favor free trade and how many support protectionism or managed trade?" Inevitably, an overwhelming majority of hands are raised for free trade. [...]

Issue 3, 1991

Viewpoint Achieving Environmental Excellence: Ten Tools for CEOs

Robert D. Kennedy

Achieving environmental excellence means addressing issues of planetary - if not cosmic - importance:

  • How do we make sure that the products and by-products of our industrial society do no harm to our planet?
  • How do we continue industrial growth while preserving the resources our grandchildren and their grandchildren will need?
  • And how can we convince the public that we understand their fears for the environment, that we are moving to solve our problems, and that we want to work with them to guard this Earth we all share?
[...]

Issue 3, 1991

Packaging: Meeting the Environmental Challenge

E. Joseph Stilwell and Hardin B. C. Tibbs

Packaging is the ultimate symbol of the 20th century's consumer culture. It protects what we buy and raises our standard of living. In developing countries, 30 to 50 percent of food shipments are spoiled because of inadequate packaging and distribution systems. In developed countries with more sophisticated packaging, storage, and distribution, only 2 to 3 percent of food shipments are wasted. Packaging not only protects goods, but conveys information about their contents and preparation or administration, and - in some cases - foils would-be tamperers. It plays a vital and growing role in the global economy. And through the vision of Andy Warhol, the Campbell's Soup can and the Brillo box have been elevated to the level of art. [...]

Issue 3, 1991

Identifying Strategic Environmental Opportunities: A Life Cycle Approach

Karen Blumenfeld, Ralph Earle III, and Jonathan B. Shopley

Leading companies now recognize that commitment to the environment can help them not only avoid costly problems or liabilities, but also identify environmentally based opportunities for competitive advantage. These opportunities take two forms: cost reduction and differentiation of products, processes, or services. For example, Du Pont reports saving $1 million a year in one plant by using less of one raw material, cutting the plant's waste by two-thirds. Similarly 3M's Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program has saved the company more than $500 million since 1975 through process adjustments to avoid waste. And ICI has recently made a commitment to reducing its waste output by 50 percent by 1995. Meanwhile, manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble and retailers such as Loblaw in Canada and Walmart in the United States have developed product and retailing strategies that build on environmental strengths. Loblaw, for example, has developed a full line of environmentally sound products under the Nature's Choice brand name. [...]

Issue 3, 1991

European Environmental Trends in the 1990s

Bernhard H. Metzger

Companies worldwide would do well to take note of environmental trends now developing in Europe. For a number of reasons, including high population densities, scarce natural resources, and early environmental degradation caused by the industrial revolution, Europeans are highly sensitized to environmental issues. Recent polls show that they consider the environment more important than either national security or public welfare. And environmental policies now being developed by the European Community (EC) as it moves toward a single market will likely set the standard for non-European countries as well. [...]

Issue 3, 1991

Environmental Excellence: Meeting the Challenge

J. Ladd Greeno

Environmental, health, and safety management is one of the most pressing challenges facing corporations today. However, except for a handful of progressive companies, most organizations are not yet devoting to this critical area the full attention and resources it needs. The "wait-and-see" management posture prevalent among some corporations is not only ineffective but dangerous. It can quickly threaten a company's competitive position - and even its viability. [...]

Issue 3, 1991

Safeguarding the Environment: Critical Issues for Today and Tomorrow

S. Noble Robinson

Underlying all environmental issues is the tension between stewardship of the environment and the goals of business, namely growth and profitability. Today, the message of the scientists is being heard. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

Viewpoint New Tools, New Rules: Playing to Win in the New Economic Game

Lester C. Thurow

At temperatures near absolute zero, and now at much higher temperatures for some ceramic materials, superconductivity occurs. The rules that govern the propagation of electricity suddenly change. Resistance disappears and electrical devices become much more efficient. Devices that previously could not be built, now can be built - but the powerful currents that are unleashed are difficult to control. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

Technology Intelligence: A Powerful Tool for Competitive Advantage

Stephen E. Rudolph, Ernest R. Gilmont, Andrew S. Magee, and Nancy F. Smith

Among the many management and planning tools that are available to help companies identify, develop, and implement technology, one is often overlooked or underutilized: technology intelligence. Technology intelligence - a special form of competitive intelligence - can significantly reduce risk and open new opportunities. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

Managing Interfaces: A Key to Rapid Product and Service Development

Peter B. Scott-Morgan

Today, innovation contributes as much to protecting profits as cost containment. Indeed, many companies risk corporate failure unless they produce the right products or services at the right time. To keep up with their innovative competitors, both manufacturing and service industries recognize the need to encourage ever-closer interaction between groups with different skills. For example, rapid product development requires manufacturing and marketing tradeoffs as early as possible. Unfortunately, the necessary skills are typically found in different functions of the organization - and managing efficient and effective cross-functional cooperation is notoriously difficult. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

The Vision of the Integrated Enterprise

Norman Weizer, George 0. Gardner, III, Stuart J. Lipoff, Martyn F. Roetter, and Frederick G. Withington

The time is the mid-1990s. After a long business dinner with your field service managers, you are crawling down the interstate highway (traffic hasn't improved over the past five years!). Your car phone rings and its display shows that one of your company's most important customers in Japan is on the line. Your office communications system has prescreened the call, found it to be one you are willing to accept at any time, and automatically forwarded it to your car phone. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

Managing Rapid Technological Development

P. Ranganath Nayak

The introduction of new technology into products is accelerating in industry after industry. Today, the pace at which companies introduce new technology has become a principal determinant of competitive success - or failure. Arthur D. Little has had extensive experience assisting organizations worldwide with this very issue. In these pages, we offer specific approaches that can help to ensure the rapid introduction - and effective management - of technological change. [...]

Issue 2, 1991

Third-Generation R&D Management

Philip A. Roussel, Kamal N. Saad, and Tamara J. Erickson

In the decades ahead, competition will grow increasingly international and will focus increasingly on technological strengths. Financial and physical resources, work skills, and technology are highly mobile. The firms that succeed in global competition will be those that employ technology to maintain an edge in product quality and innovation, an advantage in production and marketing productivity, and responsiveness to market interests. This success in turn depends on each firm's skill in managing its research and development effort. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Viewpoint Arthur D. Little's Experience with TQM

Charles R. LaMantia

Arthur D. Little's experience with Total Quality Management (TQM) has both emerged from and helped to shape our corporate strategy, which, in turn, is designed to meet a number of goals. Although Arthur D. Little's goals predate our commitment to the specific techniques of TQM, in a sense they have always embodied its essential principles. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Viewpoint Evolving the Strategy at Ford

Robert J. Marshall

Of the more than 40 years I have spent with Ford Motor Company all over the world, the last 10 have been the most exciting. The decade of the 1980s brought a massive cultural change at Ford. Our quality strategy steadily evolved from an early emphasis on reducing "things gone wrong" to the objective of achieving total customer satisfaction. At the same time, we moved from "finding and fixing" problems to devising processes that prevent problems. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Viewpoint Continuous Renewal at Motorola

Robert W. Galvin

Few of the challenges of leadership are as pressing as the task of addressing ourselves to the renewal of the dynamic high-technology industries. This paper contains a potpourri of thoughts on this subject. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Measuring the Payoff From Improved Customer Service

Harvey N. Shycon

In recent years, we have often been approached by senior executives with questions along the following lines: "I hear all this hype about providing better customer service as part of my Total Quality Management program, and it sounds intriguing, but the thing is, how do I justify investing in it? I know that improved service is supposed to generate higher revenues, but can anyone prove that it does - and by how much? What's the payoff?" [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Consumer-Driven Innovative Product Development

Christine J. Jantz and David A. Kendall

To achieve Total Quality Management (TQM), companies must be customer-driven. In other words, they must translate what their customers want and need into products and services that fit those customers' criteria for purchase and repurchase decisions. To do so, companies must be able to measure the product characteristics that affect customer perceptions and deliver them consistently. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Soft Measurement: A Vital Ingredient in Quality Improvement

Diane H. Schmalensee

During the early days of the quality revolution, when quality improvement efforts were focused primarily on manufacturing, managers measured hard facts - errors, rejects, and production time - as a way to document tangible improvements in the production process. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Product Quality in Transition

Alan D. Martin and Alfred E. Wechsler

In the 1980s, many Western companies discovered Total Quality Management. They implemented quality programs, formed teams, thought about customer-supplier relationships, trained staff in Quality Function Deployment and Ishikawa techniques, and appointed quality vice presidents and quality planning departments. For companies such as Motorola and Ford Motor Company, these efforts have paid off. Others have still to reap the benefits. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Implementing Total Quality Management

Donald L. Weintraub

The key to a successful Total Quality Management (TQM) program is not in understanding it - TQM is, after all, largely common sense - but in actually doing it. At ODI we've observed, in our work with almost 300 companies, that world-class implementations of TQM tend to have certain common elements, which we call the five pillars of successful quality processes. They are customer satisfaction, total involvement, measurement, systematic support, and continuous improvement. [...]

Issue 1, 1991

Beyond the Quality Revolution: Linking Quality to Corporate Strategy

Tamara J. Erickson

Victor Hugo once wrote that "there is nothing like dream to create the future," and history supports his claim. Hugo's own countryman and contemporary, Jules Verne, imagined a time when rockets might carry passengers bound for the moon. Centuries earlier, Leonardo da Vinci sketched a helicopter that would prove remarkably similar to the first flying machines built more than 400 years later and a bicycle nearly identical to those in use today. But despite the brilliance of their vision, both Verne and da Vinci were unable to realize their dreams because many essential tools and technologies were unavailable during their lifetimes. [...]

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About Prism

Twice a year, Arthur D. Little covers the latest cutting-edge thinking on strategy, technology and innovation in its corporate magazine Prism. For over 20 years Prism has continually set the standards in innovative thinking and groundbreaking concepts in the world of business and management.

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