Time-Based Competition: The Next Battle Ground in American Manufacturing
by Joseph D. Blackburn
Homewood, Illinois: Business One Irwin, 1991
Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing, the revolutionary system introduced by the Japanese to reduce space and inventory, compress time and improve quality, is becoming firmly entrenched in U.S. manufacturing. But because manufacturing is only one part of the business function, it cannot transform a poorly operating company by itself. Time-Based Competitiontakes the basic, timeless principles underlying JIT and applies them to the other crucial business functions so you can take nonvalue-added time out of your entire product delivery cycle.
Less than 5 percent of the total time required to manufacture and deliver a product to a customer is spent on the actual process. The remaining 95 percent is nonvalue-addedtime. This wasted time represents a gaping window of opportunity for the time-based competitor. Blackburn shows you how to compress the length of time it takes to develop, manufacture, and deliver a product or service. This time compression means faster asset turnover, increased output and flexibility, and satisfied customers.
The essence of time-based competition is this: eliminate idle or dead time wherever it exists, make sure that work can be processed in small batches, and maximize value-added time. As each business function is streamlined and wasted time eliminated, your company will:
- Use fewer clerical hours to process orders, thus shortening your customer response time.
- Move finished products out the door more quickly and reduce your inventory.
- Slice idle time out of your distribution chain.
Time compression, like quality, is free. It provides the edge you need to overcome competition both here and abroad. Using a mix of guidelines, step-by-step instructions, and case histories from industry leaders, such as Hewlett-Packard, Federal Express, Xerox, and Honeywell, Blackburn shows you how to implement a time-based competitive strategy in your company to become a true global competitor.
Joseph D. Blackburn is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and professor of Operations Management in the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University. He also serves as director of the Operations Roundtable– an industry-academic partnership that supports research on operations strategy issues.
Professor Blackburn is an associate of the market research firm Yankelovich Clancy Shulman, where his LITMUS model, developed with Kevin Clancy, is used in the firm’s new-product consulting service. He also serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Operations Managementand is an area editor of Production and Operations Management.
His consulting and research work covers operations strategy, time-compression activities, and new-product forecasting models. He has published numerous articles inManagement Science,Marketing Science,Journal of Operations Management,and other journals.
He received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University, his M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.S. degree from Vanderbilt University. He has taught at Boston University, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University.