esigned for the second-year elective opted by a third of the student body at the Harvard Business School, Hayes, Pisano and Upton break new ground in this text/casebook by emphasizing the manufacturing process itself as a competitive weapon. Today, companies typically adopt one or more of a growing number of improvement programs, such as TQM (Total Quality Management), JIT (Just-in-Time) production, and DFM (Design for Manufacturability). The majority of these improvement efforts, according to recent surveys, have not been successful. By pinning their hopes on a few best-practice approaches, managers implicitly abandon the central concept of a strategy in favor of a generic approach to competitive success. In clear, accessible prose, the authors propose a new explanation for the problems companies face by specifying the kind of competitive advantage each company is seeking in its marketplace and articulates how that advantage is to be achieved.