Chapter 22. Other Industries

Every industry has its own unique features. This chapter looks for a few of them. Main targets are the biggest among the 33 sectors in the leanness database, not counting electronics, which has its own chapter. The three other largest are liquids/gases/powders/grains, metal-working/machining, and plastic/rubber/glass/ceramic.


Three hundred sixteen companies are included in the liquids/gases/powders/grains category (LGP, for short), which is the natural home of the "process industries." Most of the 316 get counted in one or more additional industry groups. For example, most of the food/beverage/tobacco producers are co-members of LGP. So are companies in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, and most of personal-care products. (Basic metal processing and paper making are not counted within the LGP category, although their manufacturing does involve early stages as fluids.)

Exhibit 18.1 quickly shows why LGP ranks low, in 21 st place. The 43 producers of petroleum, first-ranked, are not nearly enough to offset the downward pull of 135 in 24th-ranked food/beverage/tobacco, 106 in 30th-ranked chemicals, and 66 in 33rd-ranked pharmaceuticals. Petroleum, lonely at the top, turns out to be an industry that may portend much for the manufacturing industry in general.


Soaring inventory turnovers characterize the petroleum group: 19 A's, only 2 D's, and 1 F.

Larry Goldstein, president of the Petroleum ...

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