The Technology Machine : How Manufacturing Will Work in the Year 2020

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9780684837093: The Technology Machine : How Manufacturing Will Work in the Year 2020

How will autonomous agents, emergent systems, and chaos theory change the way we live and work in the twenty-first century? As today's manufacturing and production systems grow increasingly complex, tomorrow's science of complexity will produce paradoxically simple solutions, argue technology experts Patricia Moody and Richard Morley in this astonishing vision of the year 2020. Containing both cutting-edge insights and simple truths that provide a roadmap to the future of business -- and illustrated by case examples from such companies as Motorola, Honda, GM, Solectron, Intel, Silicon Graphics, Modicon, Flavors, NeXT, Japanese Railway, and Andover Controls -- The Technology Machine challenges readers to understand the spirit and core drivers of growth: technology, knowledge, and individual excellence. By combining rigorous research with their extensive experience with technology advances that have changed industry, Moody and Morley are able to supply simple guidelines for future growth and detail their keen vision of future systems, leaders, and workers. They isolate the three bad business habits at the root of manufacturing problems today -- shortsightedness, restrictive structures, and unbalanced improvement fads -- show how to break them, and supply four infallible predictors of the types of breakthrough technologies that will come to dominate the world of the future. In that world, customers and suppliers are linked by real-time, online systems; business is driven by customer-designed, point-of-consumption replication of product; and a wide gap grows between "The Island of Excellence" organization of the future -- with its holistic approach, including two-year apprenticeships, uniforms, and morning exercises -- and "The Others," the non-elite, sweatshop-like, breakeven companies of the past. The book is eloquent, original, and essential reading for managers in every area of business and industry.

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Review:

Manufacturing in the year 2020 will look very different from today's--in fact, in some innovative companies, it will be downright utopian. That's the thesis that Richard Morley, who invented the Programmable Logic Controller back in 1968 and now works for a techno-guru venture-capital firm called the Barn, and co-wonk Patricia Moody put forward in The Technology Machine. Much has changed in the past 30 years--technology, management theories, manufacturing processes--and anyone who hasn't been confused by these changes hasn't been paying attention. But Morley and Moody think the upheavals will have run their course four or five years into the new millennium, and after that there will be more easily graspable standards of excellence in business in general and manufacturing in particular.

The authors see 2020 manufacturing as producing products almost as quickly as a customer can imagine them, with money changing hands just as quickly. Masters of this universe--what the authors dub the Technology Machine--will be the knowledge worker, the man or woman who can perform many functions, who knows enough about multiple areas of the business to be able to cross back and forth between what used to be rigid interdepartmental barriers. Will everyone be a knowledge worker, and will every business run this smoothly? No, the authors don't see that at all. They still see a world with clear winners and losers, but one in which the former will spend less time enjoying the cozy confines of the winner's circle and more time figuring out ways to get in, or back in. It's an exciting world they lay out; and if all goes according to their vision, 2020 will be a fascinating year to be alive. --Lou Schuler

About the Author:

Patricia E. Moody is the former editor of AME's Target magazine, where she created breakthrough work on teams, Kaizen, new product development, and supply chain issues. She is a well-known manufacturing management consultant and writer with more than twenty-five years of industry and consulting experience. Her client list includes such industry leaders as Solectron, Motorola, Johnson & Johnson, and Mead Corporation.

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Patricia E. Moody, Richard E. Morley
Published by Free Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0684837099 ISBN 13: 9780684837093
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Moody, Patricia E., Morley, Richard E.
Published by Free Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0684837099 ISBN 13: 9780684837093
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