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Viewpoint Hitchhiking on the Information Superhighway

There is some uncertainty about who first coined the phrase, "the information superhighway." U.S. Vice President Al Gore takes credit for coming up with this felicitous phrasemaking as early as 1978. In the car–crazy U.S. culture, the metaphor quickly occasioned a deluge of clever wordplay. Miles...

Managing Technology on a Global/Local Basis for Optimal Synergy

Over the last decade, many large organizations have faced the challenge of intensifying international competition – within, their own domestic markets, across continents, and even worldwide. As their competition has become global, so too has their manufacturing, as they have tried to reap the twin...

Redesigning the Multinational to Compete Across Europe

One of the frustrations for European consumers is that they pay more than their U.S. counterparts across a whole range of goods and services. A computer that sells for $1,000 in New York may cost £1,000 in the United Kingdom. Compact discs, $12 or less in the United States, typically cost £12 or...

Integrated Product Definition: Using QFD for the Business of Product Development

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 Report

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 Productivity

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...