Seeking Best Business Journal? Look to Front Edge

Article excerpt

Subscribe to Business Week? Inc.? Forbes? Sure. Like me, you couldn't live without them.

The Harvard Business Review? Probably. The Economist? Maybe.

Gotcha time: I bet you don't subscribe to Target. CIO. Healthcare Forum Journal. If not, you're missing a bet.

I'll stick my neck out: Target, the quarterly publication of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), is the best business magazine going today.

Consider Vol. 6, No. 3, the Fall 1990 issue. Motorola's Matt Van Wallene, controller in one of the firm's Mexican operations, wrote about ``Accounting Cycle Time Improvement''; his group now closes the month's books in eight hours, down from 50 hours two years ago.

Van Wallene didn't challenge Octavio Paz for the 1990 literature Nobel - but if your game is profit, his practical, jargon-free analysis will warm the cockles of your wallet.

Xerox, a 1989 Baldrige award winner, details its approach to quality management in this issue, too. And Northern Telecom reports on the triumph of self-directed work teams at its North Carolina customer-service center; one important measure of errors fell to just 81 in 1989 from 1,737 in 1987!

(The previous issue is just as good. My favorite: A detailed, insider's look at Florida Power & Light, the American utility that won Japan's ultra-prestigious Deming prize for quality in 1989.)

Target's parent, AME, offers a service as valuable as the magazine: on-site, multiday workshops at member organizations. The fall issue announces workshops at General Motors-Buick in Flint, Mich., 3M in Hutchinson, Minn., and Ranco in Plain City, Ohio. AME member dues - the only way to get Target - are $100; write to 380 W. Palatine Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090.

And now for something completely different. (And just as good!) CIO: The Magazine for Information Executives. Make no mistake, CIO, as in chief information officer, is for you and me, and maybe for some info execs as well.

Any who don't believe that information technology (IT) is changing everything should get out of management. When it comes to applying information technology, some firms are 10 years ahead - and many are losing the race. If you're not an intuitive ``IT type,'' you need case studies, with a mRight? If so, welcome to CIO.

The October 1990 issue provides a nitty-gritty, very readable story about Hyatt Hotels' information technology revolution. Another feature examines the construction of global networks. Then there's a terrific piece on EDI (electronic data interchange - I trust I didn't need to spell it out.) There's all sorts of nifty ``stuff'' in the departments and columns, too - including an attack on the author of this column; but, hey, if you're not being attacked, why be in business? …