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Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets
     

Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets

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by George Stalk, Thomas M. Hout (With)
 

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Today, time is 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. In this path-breaking book based upon ten years of research, the authors argue that the ways leading companies manage time—in production, in new product development, and in

Overview

Today, time is 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. In this path-breaking book based upon ten years of research, the authors argue that 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.

With many detailed examples from companies that have put time-based strategies in place, such as Federal Express, Ford, Milliken, Honda, Deere, Toyota, Sun Microsystems, Wal-Mart, Citicorp, Harley-Davidson, and Mitsubishi, the authors describe exactly how reducing elapsed time can make the critical difference between success and failure. Give customers what they want when they want it, or the competition will. Time-based companies are offering greater varieties of products and services, at lower costs, and with quicker delivery times than their more pedestrian competitors. Moreover, the authors show that by refocusing their organizations on responsiveness, companies are discovering that long-held assumptions about the behavior of costs and customers are not true: Costs do not increase when lead times are reduced; they decline. Costs do not increase with greater investment in quality; they decrease. Costs do not go up when product variety is increased and response time is decreased; they go down. And contrary to a commonly held belief that customer demand would be only marginally improved by expanded product choice and better responsiveness, the authors show that the actual results have been an explosion in the demand for the product or service of a time-sensitive competitor, in most cases catapulting it into the most profitable segments of its markets.

With persuasive evidence, Stalk and Hout document that time consumption, like cost, is quantifiable and therefore manageable. Today's new-generation companies recognize time as the fourth dimension of competitiveness and, as a result, operate with flexible manufacturing and rapid-response systems, and place extraordinary emphasis on R&D and innovation. Factories are close to the customers they serve. Organizations are structured to produce fast responses rather than low costs and control. Companies concentrate on reducing if not eliminating delays and using their response advantage to attract the most profitable customers.

Stalk and Hout conclude that virtually all businesses can use time as a competitive weapon. In industry after industry, they illustrate the processes involved in becoming a time-based competitor and the ways managers can open and sustain a significant advantage over the competition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743253413
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
02/27/2003
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
267,406
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
This classic by consultants George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout is at once blunt and subtle, dated and timely. It is blunt in its direct focus on its core topic: why time is central to business. It is subtle in the way it approaches the subject from many angles, documenting and illustrating its thesis in large and small ways. Stalk and Hout understand elements of business that many people do not grasp, such as the role of self-awareness and vision even in apparently concrete processes, such as a factory production cycle. Because the book first came out in 1990, its discussions of things like the fax machine as cutting-edge technology will seem dated. Look past such examples, because its core insights about time’s role in business are timeless, as are its lessons about how time relates to customer service, innovation, finance and organizational structure. getAbstract recommends this highly useful classic to those interested in workflows or innovation, to business history students and to executives who want to make their businesses more effective.