Management Today

Articles from November

AT&T Global Information Solutions
Hole-in-the-wall cash dispensers - more correctly known as automated teller machines, or ATMs - are among the more anonymous devices in common use. No one seems to know who makes them. For the record, some 40% of the worldwide installed base is produced...
Battle for the Global Network
Alfred Mockett, managing director of global communications at BT, is riding high. It is almost 18 months since he launched Concert, BT's bid for the international telecoms network services market, a joint venture, with MCI, the US telecoms operator....
Better Going at Ladbrokes?
For some time now, buying shares in the controversial Ladbroke Group has been a gamble that even daring punters have thought twice about taking. And lately, the odd against the betting-based conglomerate might seem to have grown even longer than ever....
Businessman's Guide through the Money Maze
The Department of Trade and Industry official who chose the businessmen and bankers who produced the department's best-practice guide on capital investment, Money & Machines, did too good a job. According to one account the early meetings of the...
Companies That Carry a Can for Charity
It all seems so simple and worthy too - a product climbs on the back of another and the revenue raised from selling the space on the `carrier' brand goes to a good cause. By Fiona Plant Companies hunting for an innovative method of pitching their products...
Courtaulds Films: Sponsored by KPMG
Manufacturing the polypropylene film that gets wrapped around packaged foods such as biscuits and snacks is no picnic. Courtaulds' polypropylene factory at Swindon operates in a particularly tough market and has had to work hard in order to survive....
David Jones
After all those years of being dismissed as the grey man of British retailing, perhaps David Jones of Next should stand and take a bow. At the end of the 80s this quiet, affable accountant walked to the brink with his company, looked over, contemplated...
Excellence in the Round
Competition for the title of Britain's Best Factory has once again provided some revealing insights into the management methods and styles that lie behind success in manufacturing. Which are the characteristics that really help a plant to succeed? Which...
Factory of the Year and Electronics Industry Best Factory: Bonas Machine Company
In 1994 the contest for the title Factory of the Year was a close run thing. This year, by contrast, one plant emerged head and shoulders above the rest as the judges went on their round of summer visits: the Gateshead factory of Bonas Machine Company....
Honeywell
Mass production is the name of the game at Honeywell's Motherwell factory. A manufacturing unit serving several different sales and marketing businesses, the plant produces many of the thermostats, controllers and switches for which the Minneapolis-based...
How Taxmen Track the Dodgers
Last year the Inland Revenue recovered more than 4.7[pounds] billion from moonlighters and artful dodgers. Its tactics owe more to Sherlock Holmes than the traditional taxman. By Lorna Bourke It's the letter everybody dreads.`I have reason to believe...
In Pursuit of Pirates
Ever since blank audio and video tapes became available, most of us have happily used them to make recordings of our favourite music and films. Despite the protestations of artists' unions and publishers, few live in fear of being prosecuted for breach...
It's Time to Learn to Help Yourself
Much of what I was brought up to believe in my formative years - the concept of the job for life and the notion that one key qualification would stand you in good stead for future employment - has been consigned to the history books. As organisations...
Kimberly-Clark Coleshill Mill
Two units on Kimberly-Clark's 80-acre estate in Clwyd, North Wales, have already won Best Factory awards, in 1992 and 1993. The third plant on the site, Coleshill Mill, is `highly commended' in this year's Process category. Whatever it takes to achieve...
Less War but More Time-Bombs
In the past the level of public spending was determined by a monarch's extravagance and wars. Now it is set to be influenced by the `demographic time bomb'. By Rhymer Rigby Faced with the byzantine complexity of today's budgets, modem chancellors must...
MBAs Are Put to the Test
A Michelin-type business schools guide could be on the cards The US magazine Business Week publishes a well known annual ranking of American business schools. Does Britain need a similarly high profile assessment to help prospective students and employers...
Merck Sharp & Dohme
Merck Sharp & Dohme's Cramlington factory is one of its four plants in the UK. It is also one of the US pharmaceutical giant's lowest-cost manufacturing units, reports Brian Lumsden senior director of UK operations. Here 200 staff produce almost...
Missing Measures
What gets measured gets done. It's the maxim managers have taken to heart so completely that now, what gets done, is measurement. The marketers among them, however, appear to have lost their way in the measurement maze. Many measures of marketing effectiveness...
NSK Bearing Europe
NSK, the world's second largest manufacturer of bearings, opened its Peterlee plant in 1976 when Japanese factories were still comparatively rare even in the North-East. As a result of dedication to quality and cost control, this has grown into a complex...
On the Tax Borderline: Pricing Policies Have Failed to Solve Cross-Border Tax Problems
Pricing policies have failed to solve cross-boarder tax problems In the past, a question that every multinational manufacturing or trading company had to settle for itself was: where, in what proportion, shall we take the profits? Its decision was never...
Reshaping a Profession
When the accountancy firm KPMG announced earlier in the year its intention to become the UK's leading firm, though not necessarily the largest, it at least raised a level of expectation. Now it has moved in a way that leads its profession into the 21st...
Rich Pickings
When Robert Bischof first walked into the Leighton-Buzzard Buzzard plant of the fork-lift truck manufacturer Lancer Boss he was dismayed by what he saw around him. Antiquated machinery, a demoralised workforce, poor quality and incompetent management...
Seriously German
The world's third largest economy is peopled by humourless pedants. Richard D Lewis looks behind the stereotype to examine how the Germans behave in business The German character is often cited as pedantic, overly serious and generally lacking a sense...
Several Heads Are Better Than One
Collective top management will be necessary in the future, says Robert Heller. But it doesn't remove the need for central direction or the difficulty in regulating the role of the CEO Shareholders have seldom had it so good. Profits are rising, stock...
Shell Lubricants Centre
Vehicles don't consume as much oil as they once did, and neither does manufacturing industry. Lubricant manufacturers still lament the demise of major customers such as the Ravenscraig steelworks, which reportedly bought 1,000 tonnes of lubricating oil...
The Minimum Chance of Success
New Labour's stance on the minimum wage has softened but, says David Smith, commitment to it could be misguided and lead to a rise in unemployment - as the American experience shows Ask people in business what their reservations are about the Labour's...
The New Avengers - Years of Corporate Lip Service to the Importance of People Is Finally Catching Up: Payment Is Now Due in Full
Meet Don M, Linda G and James S, shock troops of corporate revolution. They don't look scary. They are respectively a 42-year-old senior operations manager at a transport company, a high-achieving systems analyst aged 35, and a 50-something middle manager...
The Sorry Saga of Share Options
Looking back on it now it was a crazy period. Fat cat frenzy in the press was at its height; Cedric Brown, the quiet, technocrat chief executive of British Gas had, incredibly, become the most hated man in Britain; one of the highest paid executives...
Toshiba Consumer Products (UK)
Toshiba's air-conditioning factory in Plymouth has been operational for just over four years. This is a `greenfield site' with a difference. Most of the factory's buildings and approximately half its staff were previously employed in the production of...
When Company Board Members Meet
There's no consensus on how often the ritual should take place For most company directors the board meeting comes around once a month with awful regularity. A survey by 3i in 1992 found that, in two-thirds of the companies canvassed - both public and...
WH Smith & Sons
WH Smith & Sons has no connection with a better known company of the same name, purveyors of newspapers and ballpoint pens on the high street. The business referred to here was founded by one William Henry Smith in 1933 to make tools and Bakelite...
Young's Tales of the Riverbank
In sport, as in business, there are passive watchers and active doers. Lord Young of Graffham, executive chairman of Cable & Wireless, has been a life-long doer, so I was not surprised to learn that he was an angler. Our rods, however, had never...
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