By : Eric, Industrial Engineer, RTM
Activity: 6 comments 875 views last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
This is a 'short' summarize of the work of GERPISSA (R&D permanent study group of car's industries and workers) studies I was studying a couple of years ago.
I will write it in a couple of times, because it is quite long. I red some posts in this site I disagree, so this my answer to some incredible stuff I can not leave alone.^^
A False History
There is a common picture for the 20th century industrial history which got stronger in the 90s. To be short: ''Industrial production grew up in three steps''.
An almost handcraft step, with numerous products made by specialized workers, working in self organized jobs groups. They were providing a high social class, who was the only one who can afford the cost of those industrialized products.
A mass production step, allowed by the technical progress and the begin of norms. Unqualified workers were producing huge quantity of normalized products, thanks to a precised and limited work competency area. The scale profit is supposed to allow popular classes to entering the consumption market.
A lean production step, in which we still are, really appearing in the 90's, but with a real birth after the WW2 in Japan. This production way is supposed to allow the production of diversify, high-quality, competitive prices products; thanks to the association with workers and suppliers to the continuous improvement of the process in a competitve and worldwide market
A Miracle Theory
MIT researchers have made in 90s a theory of this last step, after they working with car companies (IMVP International Motor Vehicle Program): the lean manufacturing.
Lean manufacturing, according to these studies, will put an end to the current organization of the executiv and the prospectiv field, very quickly perceived as the territory of the old fashion taylor organization. Lean manufacturing was presented as a imperativ condition to be a leader of a changing industrialized world.
By the way, the same arguments have been used to present the short-term profit strategy, based on hedge funds and others financial products. So, be careful for the next one. ^^
Back to basics
According to international trading laws, they can't be any barrier for trading. In exchange, everybody can trade, with no trading privileges. Companies and peoples are now in competition also.
This leads to two obligations: Stock/capitals must be profitable on a medium term period. Workers must have a high geographical mobility.
These obligations (work and market) are creating two uncertainties. Is it (product) profitable? Is he (worker) competitiv?
Is it profitable?
To reduce the risks of the uncertainty of the market, we can
_know with precision the needs and evolution of the market, in the purpose of offering a durable advantage to the product. This take in account price, quality, salaries, organisation, production, etc or also taxes and national financial helps..., proportionnal to the consumers priorities.
_have a direct influence on the source and the distribution of the national income, the growth rate, to get a predictible evolution of the need and limited the competition. The sentence ''respect the present equilibrium'' is often used in this case.
As you can see, the choice is not entirely in our tiny hands, as there are some parameters we can not control, so the risk still exist, even if the goal is to reduce it.
Is he competitiv?
To reduce the risks of the uncertainty of the question, we can:
_sign a durable contract with the workers, allowing them to develop their knowledge and cooperation, in exchange of an improving of the products, the technics and the competitiv side of the company. Salaries are supposed to be discussed to counterbalance the obligations.
_limit, by a preliminary work, the appreciation part of the worker. This allow the company to keep power or rights in the hand of the capital's owners. This is call the division of the work intelligency.
In reality, these two ways are extrem cases between which the companies are oscillating with time and culture.
The growth form is generally characterized by the main growth source and the distribution of this growth. They are also very political.
_competitiv distribution: typically the industrialised nations in the first half of the century.
_shortage distribution: tpically war economy.
_nationally coordinated distribution: typically the western nations, except UK.
_unequality distribution: typically old colonies, with dependant social classes under the pressure of rich capital owners.
_competitiv and in competition: UK almost by definition.
_competitiv and consumption: for example, US between the two world wars.
_competitiv and price exportation: generally, it is the emerging countries.
_nationally coordinated and consumption: for example, US and Europe during the 50s and 60s at least.
_coordinated and specialized exportation: for instance, Germany or Sweden in the 80s.
_coordinated and price exportation: Japan case.
_unequal and private means: Politic, military and economic are working together.
_shortage and investissement: The growth comes from raw materials or agriculture. Minorities are owning the majority of the wealth. The growth is very linked to the world prices, so it is very chaotic.
market and work are different with the growth forms, so are the profit strategy.
_scale economy: the fixed costs are applied on the more volume we can get, so the price of the single product is reduced.
_cost reduction( including recycling/environment or mutualism)
there are limited profit strategies, due to the fact that some are not yet possibly mixed (volume and diversity for instance...). An ideal is of course to sum up all these strategies. In reality, every profit strategy are used but with differents priorities.
To be continue...
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