Here’s an example of why you can never be satisfied. A key to Toyota’s success is the mindset that you’re always shooting for perfection (an article with some examples). Here’s a story about Ford:
Ford acknowledges it rested on its laurels as the profits from its popular sport-utility vehicles and pickups masked underlying problems in its manufacturing systems. By 2000, GM and Chrysler began to gain on Ford. Last year, the Harbour Report estimated that Ford was two hours slower than GM and Chrysler, and also had slipped to six or seven hours behind the Japanese companies.
“No question, we let others pass us on these things. We took our eye off the ball and got intoxicated with just making trucks,” said Chris Bolen, a Ford director of manufacturing who started out as a Lima line worker. “Internally we ignored a lot of waste….We let manufacturing get in trouble, and now we’ve painted ourselves into a corner where without radical changes we could go out of business.”
Ouch, that’s a very candid assessment, coming from Ford. Let’s hope the company can pull out of it’s downward spiral.
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