Saturday, April 4, 2009

Doing business in a down economy

It seems like you can't get away from the news about the state of our economy these days. It's amazing how everyone has a different opinion about how to get out of it. I do know one thing and it's happens to be true! Of all the companies suffering at the moment, the ones that are suffering the least are those companies that adopted lean manufacturing principles into their business model over the past several years. Just look at the severe state of GM and Chrysler compared to Toyota, Honda and Nissan to name a few. It's really a sad comparison when you base it on their ability to create a quality car at a fair market price. The American Automobile Industry has been heading over the cliff for several years with no one telling them to pull back or re-evaluate their business goals and objectives to re-calibrate their organization.
What ever happened to their strategic planning? Did they have one? I'm not really sure if anyone understands the words "Hoshin Kanri" in Detroit these days.
I continue to wonder if they understand the key reason for their failure, in that it was a lack of flexibility in their business model to meet the changing demands of the market. The ratio of big gas guzzling vehicles to small economical cars was totally out of whack. It's highlighted a major problem with getting their "products to market" timeline, starting from research and development to get a new design of vehicle off the drawing board onto the production lines and out to the dealerships.
I hope GM and Chrysler make it because so many peoples jobs and our economy are dependant upon a competitive and viable American Automotive Industry. Only time will tell and in the twilight of history I hope the lessons learned will echo in every business sector.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you here. People aere sufffereing because the leaders did not change course fast enough.