When industrial visionaries create improvements in manufacturing technique far ahead of their time, reluctance to change is the common response of managers comfortable with traditional, production methods.
From Adam Smith’s eighteenth century “pin factory” to Frederick Taylor’s “scientific management” in the nineteenth century, and Henry Ford’s twentieth century “mass production” to Taichi Ohno’s contemporary “pull production” model, shop floor operation has been in constant evolution. In all of these periods of change, it has often been the early adopters of emerging manufacturing techniques who have enjoyed great benefits over their competitors.
Those benefits often result in increased market share, profit margins, or both, from enhanced efficiencies in the manufacturing process. In many job shops, make-to-order, or mixed mode manufacturers, these efficiencies in production are (more…)