Reports on the 1991 International Conference on Strategic Manufacturing held by the Strathclyde Institute, whose theme was “Strategy, Quality and Change”. States that training and education have been the key to Japanese success, but that companies are now less willing to invest in a workforce that is not as committed to the job. Japan is also making faster improvements in product variety and new product development speed. Asserts that in order to compete, the West must make improvements in flexibility, not just in quality ‐ something which will be merely a basic manufacturing requirement. Notes the lack of speed shown by Western companies in managing change.
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