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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 83, Issue 3, 11 March 2003, Pages 279–298
This paper presents findings of an extensive survey of Indian manufacturing companies. The survey encompassed four sectors: automobile, electronics, machinery, and process industry. Various manufacturing strategy issues (such as competitive priorities, order winners, and activities of improvement) have been identified and assessed in Indian context. Sector wise comparison of competitive priorities, order winners, and activities of improvement (advanced manufacturing technology, integrated information systems, and advanced management systems) is provided. Our results showed that most of the Indian companies are still emphasizing on quality; however, automobile sector has set to compete globally with high innovation rate, faster new product development, and continuous improvement. Manufacturing competence index is also computed for each sector.
Manufacturing companies are under increasingly diverse and mounting pressures due to more sophisticated markets, changing customer choice and global competition. The market for products is becoming increasingly international. In this international marketplace, companies find themselves having to adopt international standards. Community groups and environmentalists are bringing increased pressure to bear on manufacturers to improve the reliability and safety of their products and manufacturing processes. In such a competitive scenario companies have to search for new processes, new materials, new vendors, new shop floor design, and new channels to deliver their products and services at competitive price. Indian companies have quite often followed an opportunistic approach to growth as opposed to a capability driven approach, and paid very little strategic attention to their shop floors in the last few decades (Chandra and Sastry, 1998). This was reflected in poor quality of products, little awareness about competitiveness, little integration of various functions such as marketing, sales, production, etc. A comparative analysis of selected economic indicators of major Asian countries (Table 1) reveals that manufacturing value in India is about 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India has comparatively low per capita Gross National Product (GNP) and exports, i.e. US $387 and US $35 billion, respectively (Statistical outline of India, 1999–2000).Between the 1950s and the 1990s, India's industrial development policy was characterized by excessive regulation. Initially set up to avoid over capacity in a capital scarce economy, it spawned a maze of regulations governing product, capacity, technology and foreign exchange availability. In the late 1980s, inflows of foreign technology and equity were permitted and manufacturing capacity constraints lifted. The gradual opening of the Indian economy resulted in the entry of foreign competitors and expanded production by domestic manufacturers. By the 1990s, the Indian economy was undergoing structural change and imports were largely unregulated (Upadhyay and Kanavi, 1999). Since the introduction of reforms in 1991, Indian firms are facing a very different competitive scenario compared to the past. The abolition of the license regime meant the end of protection and control measures. Manufacturing in India is at a critical juncture. The Indian perspective on manufacturing is characterized as a support activity for marketing and finance and invited little top management attention. Most of firms are still very far from world class practices. Meanwhile international competitors are continuously working on improving manufacturing, bringing in new products and making manufacturing more proactive and responsive (Chandra and Sastry, 1998). As a result of this, Indian industry is facing competition both from imports and from multinational companies in the domestic markets. The new competition is in terms of reduced cost; improved quality, products with higher performance, a wider range of products and better service, all delivered simultaneously. Mohanty (1995) has elaborated on the corporate–manufacturing relationship in the contemporary context of global competition. He has also outlined a need for improvements in corporate learning and development of effective methods for managing manufacturing function from a strategic perspective. In this light manufacturing strategy is urgently needed for Indian firms to: • respond to business strategy or corporate objectives; • correct present weaknesses or to exploit strengths; • cope with anticipated environmental changes; • get distinctive competence which is currently not available; • make manufacturing function strong; • achieve internationally competitive performance objectives.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Economic reforms and global competition have given Indian manufacturing companies an opportunity to look at the strategic role of manufacturing. This has motivated Indian companies to give high priority to quality management. The study depicts that manufacturing strategy of most companies is focused on improving product and process quality and delivering products on time; however, competitive advantage can be obtained through fundamental changes in the way manufacturing is organized. Indian companies are giving less importance to flexibility, whereas firms of other countries (USA, Japan Korea, Singapore, etc.) are giving priority to flexibility. Swedish companies are introducing FMS, robotics and CAM as a part of strategic direction (Horte et al., 1991). Similarly, competitive priorities for Brazilian companies are cost, delivery and flexibility (Rohr and Correa, 1998). These companies have already qualified on the quality dimension. According to Chikan and Demeter (1995) Hungarian companies are now pursuing quality as the top competitive priority after transition from planned economy to market economy. Quality is the most important competitive priority for Indian companies since most of the companies are engaged in ISO certification process. For them ISO 9000 is synonym for quality. Today about 5000 companies in India have obtained ISO 9000 certification. The competition from multinationals has made Indian companies quality conscious. Traditional quality control is now moving to preventive measures reflected in wide adoption of TQM practices, e.g., Sundaram Clayton (a medium scale company) has won a Deming award for quality. Indian companies perceive that survival of manufacturing is dependent on quality of design, quality of manufacturing and time of delivery. The study also highlights that most Indian companies are in stage II (i.e. externally neutral) of Hayes and Wheelwright's model, which shows that they are still following old practice of inward looking and protective environment. To compete globally they should invest more in research and development and other infrastructural issues like organization culture, information technology, etc. A few Indian companies are moving slowly towards internally supportive to externally supportive stage, since second highest score for stages III and IV (mean 3.2). These companies have started investment in improvement activities such as advanced manufacturing technology (CAD, CAM, etc.) and advanced management systems (TQM, BPR, etc.). Although India has excellent scientific and technological development infrastructure it has neglected the development of technological capabilities to exploit the emerging global opportunities (Chandra and Sastry, 1998). Indian companies have to innovate and commercialize their innovation through timely and cost effective systems and through building up of systems for managing global technological changes. Indian automobile sector has set to compete globally due to high innovation rate, faster new product development and continuous improvement. It is reflected with the highest competitive index value (2.69), whereas the other sectors electronics (2.11), machine tool (1.04), and process sector (0.26) lag behind. Companies of the process sector seem to have neglected the development activities, due to constant and continuous demand of products. The process industry sector seems to be low on competence. This could be because of high investment required coupled with captive market for industries such as cement, fertilizers, steel, etc., hence not many multinationals are willing to come to India. In this sector local market strategy seems to be stronger than global strategy, e.g. a cement company of Northern India concentrate only on the consumers situated around in periphery of 500 km. Its product is well known in this zone but not recognized in other parts of the country. In our study we have tried to map the companies under study in various manufacturing strategy-related issues based on the following frameworks: • competitive priorities, • order qualifiers/order winners, • relative position of the firms in H & W's framework, • investment in improvement activities, • manufacturing competence index, The study has highlighted a number of interesting aspects of manufacturing function and strategy. Companies selected in the study were different in nature and product range. The overall results are encouraging with 29% response rate, in Indian scenario and underline the need for more such studies of Indian firms. Viewing the challenges to Indian companies, in an integrated framework, one needs to put the strategic issues in proper perspective. The manufacturing competence index is pointer in this direction.