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美国留学生市场营销论文定制-关于丰田汽车与美国汽车企业大规模定制市场工作的比较研究-Toyota Motor Compa

美国留学生市场营销论文定制Not just an extension of continuous improvement,mass customization calls for a transformed company.
Making Mass Customization work

by B. Joseph Pine II, Bart Victor, and Andrew C. Boynton
Continuous improvement at Toyota Motor Companyis now a business legend. For three decades,Toyota enlisted its employees in a relentless driveto find faster, more efficient metbods to developand make low-cost, defect-free cars. The resultswere stupendous. Toyota hecame tbe benchmark inthe automobile industry for quality and low cost.
The same, however, cannot be said for mass customization,
Toyota's latest pioneering effort. With U.S. companies finally catching up, Toyota's topmanagers set out in the late 1980s to use their highly skilled, flexihle work force to make varied andoften individually customized products at the lowcost of standardized, mass-produced goods. Theysaw this approach as a more advanced stage of continuous improvement.
As recently as early 1992, Toyota seemed to bewell on its way to achieving its goals of lowering itsnew-product-development time to 18 months, offeringcustomers a wide range of options for eachmodel, and manufacturing and delivering a madcto-order car within tbree days.
In the last 18 months, bowever, Toyota has runinto trouble and has bad to retreat, at least temporarily,from its goal of becoming a mass customizer.
As production costs soared, top managerswidened product-development and model life cyclesand asked dealers to carry more inventory. After
Toyota's investigations revealed tbat 20% of tbeproduct varieties accounted for 80% of the sales, itreduced its range of offerings by one-fifth.What happened? Was Toyota's new goal off-basein tbe first place, or was the mass-customization program a victim of troublesome economic times-Many analysts believe that Japan's recession and
the devaluation of the dollar against the yen werethe culprits that forced Toyota's puUback. Tbesefactors had undermined the company's competitiveposition and were causing its profits to slide. But,according to Toyota top managers, these weren'tthe only reasons for tbe company's retrenchment.
They acknowledged tbat tbey had learned tbe bardway that mass customization is not simply continuousimprovement plus.
All too often, executives at manufacturing aswell as service companies tbat have been pursuingcontinuous improvement do not realize that masscustomization is a distinct and, generally, a veryunfamiliarway of doing business. This mistake isunderstandable. The frequent process enhance-
B. foseph Pine II, president of Strategic Horizons, Inc., aconsulting firm based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is theauthor of Mass Customization: The New Frontier inBusiness Competition (Harvard BusinessSchool Press,1993). Bart Victor, a specialist in organizational designand process management, is associate professor of managementat the Kenan-Flagler Business School at theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andrew C.Boynton, a specialist in information technology andstrategic management, is professor at the InternationalInstitute for Management Development in Lausanne,

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