In early stages of industrialization, products were simpler, factories were smaller, most processes were manual, and process flows were shorter. Contact with customers was direct between production and customer.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the ASQ Automotive Division’s annual conference. There were excellent speakers throughout the day, but one who garnered a lot of attention was Ford Motor Co.’s Bennie Fowler, group vice president, global quality and new model launch. He gave an excellent presentation on the One Ford Program. One Ford is the mission set forth by Ford-One Team, One Plan, One Goal-to deliver profitable growth for all.
The manufacturing crisis began in the mid-80s with international competition in the automotive industry. Instead of being recognized as a technical supremacy, experts attributed the competition to cost. In reality, it was the competitor’s superior performance, rather than cost, that challenged the manufacturing capabilities of the 1950s and 1960s.