Beyond Quality: Agenda for Improving Manufacturing Capabilities in Developing Countries

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Global manufacturing has been altered by the emergence of a new approach to production which differs radically from the principles of mass production. This approach has been characterised by successful manufacturers in Asia and the West who have engaged in a continuous process to improve quality, process productivity and cost performance. The authors of Beyond Quality argue that many of the methods used by these new firms are equally suitable for manufacturers in developing countries and the transition economies of eastern and Central Europe. Using case study material from Latin America, Africa and Central Europe, the authors demonstrate that it is the skill and organization of people - rather than sophisticated equipment - which determines growth in productivity and product quality. These new forms of improvement are not dependent on economies of scale and so provide small producers with the flexibility to compete effectively against mass producers.