Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2001


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Course Number

EMGT 550


Production engineering, Business cycles -- Case studies, Engineering -- Management


The purpose of this paper is to delve into businesses that are in inherently cyclic environments like semiconductor capital equipment, air conditioner manufacturers, etc. Businesses that have fairly steady or mature markets can behave much differently than those in high-tech and other sectors that must tolerate the down times well enough to maintain or gain market share, revenue, profit, etc. In the semiconductor capital equipment industry, for example, the annual revenue has went in a cyclic pattern since 1980 with about 5 years per cycle I How many cycles does it take for businesses involved in that environment to learn from it? What things can those businesses do to become more successful?

Being able to plan for and adjust to cyclic markets makes the difference between a company diving, thriving or merely surviving. The body of this paper explains some of the problems and solutions for a company to manage in a cyclical market. Several examples are given of companies which have used techniques discussed in the paper.


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