Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Lean Production and Manufacturing Performance Improvement in Japan, the UK and US 1994-2001

Contents:

Author Info

  • Nick Oliver
  • Rick Delbridge
  • Harry Barton
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper reports the findings of a longitudinal study into manufacturing performance, lean production principles and buyer supplier relations in the Japanese, US and UK automotive industries. A total of 26 first tier component makers in the three countries were subject to detailed benchmarking exercises in 1994 and in 1999-2001. In each exercise data on labour productivity and quality performance were obtained, along with a series of quantitative measures indicating the extent to which each plant conformed to 'lean production' principles. The results show that the Japanese plants improved their labour productivity by around 20 per cent between 1994 and 2001, whilst productivity in the US plants remained flat over the same period. All plants improved their quality performance during the period, but the Japanese plants retained their lead with an average external defect rate of 81 parts per million (ppm), compared to 111 ppm for the US plants and 416 ppm in the case of the UK plants. Measures of leanness in the supply chain (inventory levels, delivery frequencies and so on) should be sensitive to any weakening of the inter-firm relationships that have historically characterized the Japanese auto industry. These measures showed no evidence of such weakening, although qualitative evidence suggested that a polarization of the Japanese auto industry may be occurring under the influence of foreign capital, with independent firms such as Toyota and Honda (and their suppliers) retaining a stronger 'Japanese' character than their counterparts who have entered into equity relationships with non-Japanese companies.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/WP232.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp232.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Jun 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp232

    Note: PRO-1
    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

    Related research

    Keywords: Lean production; suppliers; auto industry; Japan;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp232. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Howard Cobb).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.