Remember the movie Cast Away? It’s the one in which Tom Hanks is a FedEx executive who survives a plane crash and ends up stranded on a deserted island. You may not remember the movie’s opening minutes. Hanks’s character is on the job in an international FedEx facility during the busy holiday shipping rush. He and his fellow FedEx employees are obsessed with every possible second they can cut from the delivery timeline.
Your success likely depends on your ability to design and produce quality products for your customers. They have high standards and they expect your products to meet those standards every time. How do you ensure that your production process will always meet those high-quality benchmarks?
You put time, energy, money, and other resources into developing and producing a high-quality product. It’s well-designed and it serves a major need in your market. You’ve implemented an efficient manufacturing process, and your customers are ordering the product in large quantities. Everything is right in the world.
There’s a famous quote attributed to Henry Ford about how he knew that people would be interested in the automobile. According to legend, he said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
In aviation manufacturing, the little things can easily become the big things. Yes, you’re producing a massive plane that may take months, or even a year or more, to complete. In an isolated case, a few wasted minutes may not make much impact.
Remember when the very idea of selling your product in Asia or Europe seemed like a pipe dream? It actually wasn’t that long ago for many businesses. Even as recently as 10 or 20 years ago, global distribution was a fantasy for all but the biggest and best-funded businesses.
Summer is nearing its end, which means vacation season is coming to a close. Did you travel anywhere this summer? Perhaps to the beach or a favorite lake or state park? Did you travel by car? If so, how did you navigate your way from point A to point B?
You have parts coming from China and your own domestic vendors and production. You source materials from Africa and Central America. And you have a critical project component that is manufactured in Europe. To complete your industrial project, you need all of these parts, materials, and components to arrive on time and in good condition at your job sites around the world.
You have parts, products, and materials that need to get out the door in a hurry. Perhaps you’re an industrial company shipping to your customer. Or maybe you’re managing a large-scale industrial project that has tight deadlines. You need to ship your products and materials and you need to do it quickly.
Think about the last time you moved into a new house or apartment. Does it ever go as planned? Packing and loading the truck may take longer than expected. The movers may tell you that the cost is higher than estimated. Your stuff may not arrive on schedule. Or it could even arrive damaged.