When Lean Enterprises Collide: Competing Through Confrontation

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Harvard Business Press, 1995 - Business & Economics - 379 pages
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When Lean Enterprises Collide reveals a new theory of competition in which lean manufacturers become locked in a head-to-head race to create the most innovative product at the lowest price. These firms engage in a game of constant and lightning-fast leapfrogging in pursuit of transitory gains. This is the confrontation strategy, and it will shape the competitive landscape for lean enterprises.
Cooper shows that the key to success in such an environment is the careful balance of cost, quality, and functionality - the survival triplet - in which cost is the critical element. He describes eight innovative cost management techniques - including target costing and value engineering - that have emerged in Japanese firms to manage costs across the value chain. Leading manufacturers must use aggressive cost management along with TQM and time-to-market to develop products with the appropriate mix of quality, cost, and functionality to satisfy the customer.
Evidence of this relentless confrontation strategy and the hidden role of cost management within it emerged during Cooper's five-year study of the management systems inside twenty Japanese companies, including Olympus, Nissan, Citizen, and Komatsu.
 

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Contents

COMPETING UNDER CONFRONTATION
2
CONFRONTATION STRATEGY
9
WHY JAPANESE FIRMS ADOPTED CONFRONTATION STRATEGY
35
PRODUCT PLANNING AND STRATEGY UNDER CONFRONTATION
49
CONFRONTATIONAL COMPETITION
69
SETTING THE STAGE
86
THE ROLE OF COST MANAGEMENT
89
CREATING THE RIGHT ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT
111
PRODUCT COSTING
209
KAIZEN COSTING
239
OPERATIONAL CONTROL
255
HARNESSING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT THROUGH MICROPROFIT CENTERS
278
PSEUDOMICROPROFIT CENTERS
283
REAL MICROPROFIT CENTERS
303
IMPLICATIONS FOR WESTERN MANAGERS
329
COMPANY DESCRIPTIONS
341

MANAGING THE COSTS OF FUTURE PRODUCTS
130
TARGET COSTING
135
VALUE ENGINEERING
165
INTERORGANIZATIONAL COST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
185
MANAGING THE COSTS OF EXISTING PRODUCTS
206
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
347
BIBLIOGRAPHY
355
INDEX
365
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
381
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Since 1984, Harvard Business School Press has been dedicated to publishing the most contemporary management thinking, written by authors and practitioners who are leading the way. Whether readers are seeking big-picture strategic thinking or tactical problem solving, advice in managing global corporations or for developing personal careers, HBS Press helps fuel the fire of innovative thought. HBS Press has earned a reputation as the springboard of thought for both established and emerging business leaders.

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