Describes the basic concept of lean production and the recent trend in Japanese manufacturing which has been towards a cycle comprising price competition, cost reduction, a proliferation of new products, higher fixed costs, increased break even points and lower profits. Explains how Japan’s recent recession has caused the cycle to be broken and considers how factors relating to the external and internal environment have influenced the viability of lean production within Japan’s emerging competitive climate. Uses case studies of four manufacturing plants to identify problems, solutions and the need for a new approach to production systems design where costs are more sensitive to changes in demand. Proposes the concept of adaptable production as an approach which can accommodate to greater changes in demand than lean production.
Katayama, H. and Bennett, D. (1996), "Lean production in a changing competitive world: a Japanese perspective", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 8-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579610109811Download as .RIS
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