To the editor of APICS The Performance Advantage.

Dear sir, 

         The articles by Allen en Plenert in the June issue of APICS The Performance Advantage made me curious about business process re-engineering. So I bought and read the 1994 paperback edition of "Reengineering the Corporation" by Hammer & Champy 'The monumental New York Times bestseller'.

         "Why is this book so popular in the US-businessworld and what's the matter with the companies these praising CEO's on and inside the cover are leading?" I wondered after finishing the book. I found two possible reasons myself which I will give below. I would like my APICS-fellow-members to comment on these reasons and maybe give some more.

         The first reason comes from Mintzberg on Management: 'But American industry and other sectors today seem to me to be inundated with machine organizations, ...(page 261)'. This type definitely needs re-engineering.

         The second one comes from a speaker at a seminar in Holland who told his audience: 'The quality or health of a nation's economy and its companies is inversely proportional to the number of MBA-courses offered; compare the US an the UK with Japan and Western Germany. In the latter hardly any MBA can be found.' That may be the reason why the cover tells: 'Forget what you know about how business should work - most of it is wrong.' 

         When a company needs re-engineering I think the management made mistakes. If it worked with JIT/Kaizen/Lean production it would have left the machinelike Tayloristic functionally divided organization in a more stepwise way. This requires less effort than the turn around by re-engineering. 

Yours Sincerely,

ir. Leendert J. Lekkerkerk CIRM