Karim, M. A.;
Islam, M. M.
Presently, the manufacturing sector faces unprecedented levels of competition in both the domestic and international markets. This competition is mainly as a result of rapidly expanding international trade, gradual removal of protection, substantial reforms in labour markets and industrial relations, rapid technological changes and discerning customers. Intense global competition requires manufacturers to deliver products with higher quality in a shorter time. Simultaneously, owing to new technological innovations, the complexity of the products is increasing. In Australia, the impact of this intense competition and structural changes appear to be having negative effects on the manufacturing sector. This paper discusses the quality and reliability (Q & R) practices and associated drawbacks of Australian manufacturers and presents the findings of an investigation of the challenges Australian manufacturers are currently facing. The results reported in the paper are based on the data collected from a survey using the standard questionnaire. The study was driven by a conceptual model, which relates advanced quality practices to manufacturing performance and manufacturing difficulties.Evidence indicates that Q & R is the main competitive factor for Australian manufacturers. Design capability and on time delivery (OTD) came second. Results show that Australian manufacturers in general are facing some manufacturing difficulties. The relationship between advanced quality practices and company performance and manufacturing difficulties are explored. It is found that the companies who have more emphasis on advanced quality practices have fewer problems in manufacturing practices. Moreover, companies who have actively implemented the advanced quality practices have managed to improve the quality of the product continuously. The results validate the proposed hypothesis and lend credence to current thinking that improvement in Q & R is a vital tool for competitive advantage.
International Review of Business Research Papers, Vol. 3, no. 5 (Nov 2007), pp. 209-225
World Business Institute
Copyright © 2007.