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Management News

Management News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest management news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
Title  Brief Summary 
Looking to Toyota for Guidance: A Rural Hospital Uses Industrial Time Management Techniques to Address its ER Woes
Full Summary

When daily life in the ER at a rural Georgia hospital became slow, unmanageable, and, inefficient, administrators found an answer, of all places, in the auto industry—specifically, the lean manufacturing philosophies of Toyota. How can such operations procedures in industry transfer to the handling and care of patients in an ER ward?
(Updated January 2008)

The House that Lean Saved
Full Summary
Hoffman Enclosures Inc. was in trouble in the late 1990s. Productivity was down, and the company faced layoffs and the threat of business moving overseas. A new business strategy called lean manufacturing helped it to turn its business around and improve productivity.
(Updated January 2008)
Color-coded Boards Enable One-Glance Inventory Management
Full Summary
Inventory management and efficient workflow are vitally important in lean manufacturing environments. The Kanban system is a visual method that can help keep a facility organized and running on schedule.
(Updated June 2007)
Truce in Sight for Coke, Bottlers
Full Summary
Coca-Cola is about to reach a truce in a fight with its bottlers. The compromise could allow for some deliveries to big-box warehouses, rather than the current method of direct store delivery exclusively by local bottler franchises.
(Updated April 2007)
Putting Stakeholders First in Satisfying Quality, Safety, and Other Requirements
Full Summary
A popular definition of ISO 9000 reads “document what you do and do what you document.” However, David Hoyle, author of “ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook, 5th Edition” says there is more to this program than that definition would suggest. He recommends emphasizing a process approach that puts stakeholders first.
(Updated October 2006)
Talk to Our Customers? Are You Crazy?
Full Summary
David McQuillens’ “immersion experience” is helping executives at Credit Suisse to experience their bank branches as real customers. The end result is making the banks better and more truly customer-focused.
(Updated September 2006)
Can Process Management Programs Actually Discourage Innovation
Full Summary
Process management programs like Six Sigma, TQM, and ISO 9000 have gained popularity in manufacturing and have helped to bring about improvements and efficiencies. However, new research shows that while the programs might be effective in some parts of the plants, they need to be relaxed or abandoned in areas where innovation is important.
(Updated March 2006)
Big Changes in Benefits Innovation
Full Summary
As the skilled workforce becomes more diverse, manufacturers are adding more training, flexibility, and advancement opportunities to their benefit plans. The "employee-for-life" model is gone, and outsourcing is having a great impact on plant relations. Companies are seeing the benefit of rehiring retired and other former employees on a part-time basis as the need arises.
(Updated May 2005)
Toll-Free Tips: Nestlé Hotlines Yield Big Ideas
Full Summary
Nestlé SA and Proctor and Gamble are using information gathered from calls to their toll free number to supplement focus group marketing and to gain insight from consumers who use their products and have strong opinions about them. The information gained is influencing their product decisions.
(Updated November 2004)
99 Bottles of Beer: The Beer Store Returns 99% of all Bottles Back Through Its Supply Chain
Full Summary
In Ontario, Canada, The Beer Store sells 91% of beer consumed in the province. The company utilizes a closed-loop, environment-friendly bottle-return system that results in almost all of the bottles sold being recycled. Its inventory management system handles seasonal spikes in demand so that it can have fresh product chilled and on the shelf all the time.
(Updated April 2004)
The Goal: 'Sweatshop Free.' The Problem: Defining It
Full Summary
The apparel and textile industry has not defined what "sweatshop free" means, so companies have begun using the term "transparent production." They want to make it clear to the consumer where the clothing is made, and how, and they are using the union label as their key strategy.
(Updated January 2004)
Automation Increases Productivity, Leads to More White-Collar Job Cuts
Full Summary
Rising productivity in the U.S. is generating economic growth, but few jobs. As more companies use technology to make workers more efficient, jobs can be done more quickly by fewer people. Even so, few would argue that increased productivity is a bad thing.
(Updated December 2003)
Baldrige Methods Boost Bottom Lines
Full Summary
A distributor of fasteners and related mechanical and electrical-assembly components used a self-analysis process taken from the Malcom Baldrige Award program to improve its performance.
(Updated September 2003)
Jacksonville, Fla.-Based Construction Firm Likes Total Quality Management
Full Summary
Total quality management is a way to improve a company's performance from the bottom up. A Florida company realized substantial gains after implementing a TQM initiative.
(Updated June 2003)
A New Hazard for Recovery: Last-Minute Pace of Orders
Full Summary
Historically, an economic recovery was marked by the return of a steady stream of big purchase orders from businesses. Businesses are changing their ordering patterns; placing last-minute orders has become more standard. Manufacturers are being forced to change the way they do business as a result.
(Updated August 2002)
Management Styles Influence Service Tone
Full Summary
Employees with managers who set the right service tone are more likely to have a customer service mentality. This article shows the relationship between a manager's attitudes and performance and his/her employees'.
(Updated October 2002)
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