Today, time is on the cutting edge. In fact, as a strategic weapon, contend George Stalk, Jr., and Thomas M. Hout, time is the equivalent of money, productivity, quality, even innovation. The ways leading companies manage time - in production, in new product development, and in sales and distribution - represent the most powerful new sources of competitive advantage. Time consumption, like cost, is quantifiable and therefore manageable. Today's new generation companies recognize time as the fourth dimension of competiveness and, as a result, operate with flexible manufacturing and rapid-resource systems, expanding variety and increasing innovation. Factories are close to the customers they serve. Organization structures enable fast responses rather than low costs and control. Companies concentrate on reducing if not eliminating delays and using their response advantages to attract the most profitable customers. As Stalk and Hout explain, virtually all businesses can use time as a competitive weapon. Using examples of leading Japanese and American companies they illustrate the processes involved in becoming a time-based competitor and how managers can open and sustain a significant advantage over the competition.
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George Stalk, Jr., is vice-president and director of The Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, Illinois, coauthor of Kaisha, The Japanese Corporation, and author of "Time—The Next Source of Competitive Advantage," which won the 1989 McKinsey Award for the best Harvard Business Review article of the year.Review:
John Sculley Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Apple Computer, Inc. The best opportunities always come from changing the ground rules. "Competing Against Time "is a provocative and well-researched book with some insightful ideas for competing in the 1990s.
Robert A. Hanson Chairman, Deere & Company Today, timely response means competitive advantage; it can even mean survival. Stalk and Flout provide a clear view of present realities and offer sound counsel to business for acting upon the opportunities before us.
Frederick W Smith Chief Executive Officer, Federal Express Corporation There are few profound business books. "Competing Against Time "is one of them. Stalk and Flout demonstrate conclusively that organizations must adopt fast cycle methodologies or succumb to those that do.
R. Donald Fullerton Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce "Competing Against Time" should be in every CEO's library, but I sincerely hope that very few of my competitors get their hands on this book at an early date.
Donald E. Petersen Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company In "Competing Against Time" George Stalk and Tom Hout make a compelling case, supported by extensive research, that a new, time-driven paradigm differentiates successful companies from the "also rans." Through the use of numerous examples, the authors demonstrate that customers seek "the most value for the least cost in the least elapsed time," and that customers are willing to pay a premium for less elapsed time. This book is essential reading for businessmen who want to set, rather than follow, the pace in their industries.
Roger Milliken Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Milliken & Company Quick Response is clearly an innovation that will provide outstanding results for those companies that embrace its principles. Stalk and Flout give the rationale for change and a wonderful road map for implementation.
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