Competitiveness of Sustenance Lithographic Printing Case Study

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Both were right. The reasons are not far to seek. The swing of the pendulum for one, lithographs had been almost too popular.

This overreliance on lithography to the exclusion of other alternative printing methods such as the introduction of photography almost spelled the end of lithography in Europe. For example, according to Beaujon (1936, p. 60), "French lithographers, warned to be serious like the Germans, began to copy pictures which they did, though with distinction, at the sacrifice of original design."

There was also a sacrifice of quality involved when these early photographic processes were used instead of lithography but the preference for the new technology was clear. As Beaujon (1936, p. 60) points out, "Photography became a serious rival in all countries, bringing its disastrous gift of cheapness. Photographic processes replaced lithography, as well as wood-engraving, for the illustration of magazines and papers." Although lithographic printing technologies have improved the underlying processes in the intervening years, the fundamental processes that are involved have remained essentially the same (Cook 2008), resulting in a number of constraints to the technology's effectiveness and competitiveness in a world of changing technologies and these issues are discussed further in Chapter Three below.

Chapter Three:

Major Constraints Affecting the Lithographic Printing IndustryBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Case Study on Competitiveness of Sustenance Lithographic Printing Assignment

The history of printing in Nigeria dates to 1848 when European, especially British, missionaries established community newspapers to spread their religious messages (Nigeria: A big market for printing machines 2010). The first Nigerian-operated lithographic presses date to 1965 when a printing shop, Academy Press, was opened up in Lagos to compete with the European-operated print shops (Nigeria: A big market). Today, with a population of more than 140 million people, Nigeria represents an enormous market for the printing industry (Nigeria: A big market). In fact, in some parts of the capital, Lagos, such as Shomolu, there is a lithographic printing press on virtually every street, and a printing press in every other house on these streets, in some sections of the city (Nigeria: A big market). According to the editors of The African Courier (Nigeria: A big market 2010, p. 12), "While many of the lithographic shops are manned by ladies, it is a man's affair at the presses which comprise mainly Kord 64 with a small number of Sord Z. And Gestetner 201 printing machines."

Although Nigeria represents a major consumer of printed products and the lithographic industry is ready and willing to respond, there are some problems that are routinely encountered that prevent the industry from realizing its maximum potential today. For example, among the major constraints facing the lithographic printing industry in Nigeria today are a lack of reliable electricity, the high costs of energy and a government that, until relatively recently, has been unresponsive to its needs (Nigeria: A big market). In this regard, the editors of The African Courier (Nigeria: A big market 2010, p. 12) report that, "After decades of seeming indifference, the Nigerian government seems to have come to terms with the huge potential of the industry and the need to reposition it to meet the challenges of the 21st century." To this end, the Nigerian government established the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers (CIPPON) to regulate and certify professional Nigerian printers and the equipment they use (Nigeria: A big market).

To date, though, fewer than 1,000 printers and printing houses have been certified (in the case of individuals) or provided with licenses (in the case of printing houses) in this fashion; however, this number represents a very small fraction of the lithographic printing industry in Nigeria today (Nigeria: A big market). Membership in the professional organization requires being a trained printer with five years of experience (Nigeria: A big market). In addition, the country is faced with a dearth of usable paper mills and is forced to import almost all of the paper it requires from Europe and Asia (Nigeria: A big market).

These constraints have translated into even more problems for the people of Nigeria. For instance, a study by Ogunrombi and Adio (1999) concerning book sufficiency and press efficiency in Nigeria found that there is book scarcity at all levels of the educational system throughout the country as the result of the non-encouragement of local publishers and authors. Although the western region of Nigeria has the majority of the available textbooks for English and math (printed in English), followed by the eastern region of Nigeria (but book piracy averages about 50-70% in this region), and then eastern region of the country where textbook availability of grossly inadequate (Ogunrombi and Adio 1999). According to Ogunrombi and Adio (1999, p. 84), "Uneven distribution of the few available books in the country results in non-functional libraries in primary schools and few functional ones in secondary schools. The heavy dependency on foreign textbooks and journals at the tertiary level of the educational system should be discouraged, so that indigenous technology is encouraged" (p. 84).

The results of a follow-up study by Ogunrombi and Adio (2011) determined that little or no progress had been made in addressing these constraints, and in some cases, the situation had become even worse. In this regard, Ogunrombi and Adio (2011, p. 37) emphasize that, "There is a great shortage of books at all levels of education [in Nigeria], but the most acute being at the tertiary level due to an overwhelming dependence on imported books." The study of the lithographic printing industry conducted by Ogunrombi and Adio also determined that Nigerian libraries tasked with promoting scholarship are largely restricted to elite and private schools; however, these models are not able to be replicated on the national level. These authorities emphasize that the implications of the paucity of books for an informed Nigerian citizenry as well as for national development and suggests some solutions to improve the availability and accessibility of books in Nigeria (Ogunrombi and Adio 2011).

Another constraint to a vibrant lithography industry in Nigeria is a lack of government support for the gum Arabic industry. For instance, Nigeria is a major gum arabic producer, a key ingredient in lithographic printing (Mokwunye and Aghughu 2010). Gum Arabic production in Nigeria, though, has declined in recent years, dropping Nigeria from the second world producer of this substance to third position as a result of sustained neglect of agriculture by successive Nigerian governments at all levels (Mokwunye and Aghughu 2010).

Chapter Four: The Effect of the Total Quality Management System on the Lithographic Industry and Compliance with a Changing World

The introduction of total quality management principles to improve business practices is credited to Frederick W. Taylor (Evans and Lindsay 2000). From Deming's perspective, it was not the workers themselves who created quality but it was rather the system of work that controls how the work is actually accomplished and what type of outcome is achieved (Evans and Lindsay 2000). Deming maintained that business processes should be carefully analyzed, quantified and measured in order to identify sources of variations that result in products deviating from customer requirements and suggested business processes should be contained within a continuous feedback loop so that managers can identify and change the parts of the process that need improvements or changes (Evans and Lindsay 2000). In an effort to depict these continuous and iterative processes, Deming developed a simple diagram, commonly termed the "PDCA cycle," standing for Plan, Do, Check, Act, as shown below:

1. PLAN: This step involves designing or revising business process components to improve results.

2. DO: This step involves implementing the plan and measuring its performance.

3. CHECK: The check step involves assessing the measurements and reporting the results to decision makers.

4. ACT: The final step involves making a decision concerning what changes are required in order to improve the process (Evans & Dean 2000, p. 37).

In addition, Deming promulgated his now-famous "14 points" to illustrate how total quality management can assist companies in achieving improved results and these are set forth in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Deming's Fourteen Points to Total Quality Management



Point 1

"Create constancy of purpose towards improvement"; replace short-term reaction with long-term planning.

Point 2

"Adopt the new philosophy"; the implication is that management should actually adopt his philosophy, rather than merely expect the workforce to do so.

Point 3

"Cease dependence on inspection"; if variation is reduced, there is no need to inspect manufactured items for defects, because there will not be any.

Point 4

"Move towards a single supplier for any one item"; multiple suppliers mean variation between feedstocks.

Point 5

"Improve constantly and forever"; constantly strive to reduce variation.

Point 6

"Institute training on the job"; if workers are inadequately trained, they will not all work the same way, and this will introduce variation.

Point 7

"Institute leadership"; in this regard, Deming distinguishes between leadership and mere supervision. "The latter is quota- and target-based."

Point 8

"Drive out fear"; Deming viewed management by fear as counter- productive in the long-term, because it prevents… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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