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Integrated Product Definition: Using QFD for the Business...

Quality function deployment (QFD) techniques have long been recognized as a potentially invaluable tool in successful product development. QFD techniques provide a systematic methodology for translating market opportunities and customer needs into clear product specifications that engineers and...

Doing Business in China: The Dragon Gathers Speed

The breakneck speed of China's development and growth since the introduction of its "open–door" policy in 1979 has set the stage for what many believe will be the emergence of China as the next economic superpower. Already, the Chinese economy, measured in terms of purchasing–power parity exchange...

Best Practices and Beyond

Last spring Arthur D. Little convened six colloquia – stretching from northern California to southern Florida – to which we invited executives from some of the world's most innovative companies. It was an experiment in collaborative learning. We asked the executive participants, working with a team...

Leaders' Perspectives on Business Ethics: An Interim...

We are engaged in a series of conversations with chief executives of large international companies about the ways they define, promulgate, and implement standards of ethical behavior in their firms. This progress statement is intended in part to prompt responses from Prism readers. We hope that...

Supply Chain Management

Chief procurement and logistics executives from 12 influential companies – representing combined revenues of some $360 billion – met at the Arthur D. Little Colloquium on Supply Chain Management. They rubbed shoulders, shared insights, and "pushed the envelope" of the state of the art in this field.

Manufacturing Management

Over the past decade, we have heard a lot about the perilous decline of manufacturing in the United States. Yet a review of key indices, adjusted for inflation, reveals an altogether different picture. For instance, hourly output has been rising at almost 5 percent a year for the past three years....

Doing More With Less: Improving Environmental Management...

In recent years many companies have made impressive gains in strengthening their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) management. But they have also seen their EHS costs increase dramatically – to as much as 4 percent of sales and even more. As a result, EHS budgets have joined other once–sacred...

Reengineering Revisited: Achieving Seamlessness

Some people assume that reported failures in business process redesign (BPR), also known as reengineering, sound its death knell. We see such predictions as grossly premature. BPR will be with us indefinitely, for the simple reason that BPR, done right, creates tremendous improvements in business...

Failing to Change: The Plight of the Japanese Computer...

Japanese companies are still suffering from low earnings and profits, legacies of the collapsed "bubble economy" of the late 1980s. Among the sufferers are the biggest electronics firms in the country: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and Toshiba. Some industry observers believe that the...

Measuring the Performance of the Innovation Process

When executives examine how smart their innovation processes are, the soul–searching involves questions of effectiveness, efficiency, and risk. How does the company's record of success in innovation stand up against competitors'? Does the company achieve an adequate return on its investments in...