Have you ever driven down a freeway and realized, in all the cars around you, there are people living lives that are just as significant, and unique as your own? The realization that you are not alone can lead you to a great opportunity. An opportunity to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. From this new perspective, you are free to analyze your own existence. You can examine your flaws without the burden of judgment, and scrutinize your strengths deprived of the clouds of your ego. Just as we do this in our own lives, so to, must the companies that shape our world.
Boeing Outmaneuvers Airbus
The biggest of all passenger airplane in the world is the Airbus A380, built on the premise that bigger aircraft will make more money per passenger. But what if there was a different way to make more money per passenger? During the 1990s Alan Mulally, then senior vice president of Airplane Development, and his team came up with something out of the box. Instead of going bigger, they would go lighter. The largest cost of a flight is fuel, and lighter planes use less. Mulally’s team used self-examination of their own 767 to design an aircraft that was 20% more efficient. Suddenly the aircraft didn’t need 700 seats and a special airport to be profitable. Being a smaller plane also meant it could serve more routes. Meaning Boeing would sell more planes. With a cost of 36 billion, the failure of the 787 would have taken the company with it. Mulally’s internal assessments allowed Boeing to confidently “bet the farm” and win. The 787 has brought a revolution to the transport industry, selling 3 times better than the A380.
Ford KILLS the Sedan
The Ford Motor Company announced recently that it would stop the sale of all cars in North America except the Mustang and a “smart electric car”. While this is a shock, it came from the same self-diagnosis I described above. The new CEO Jim Hackett, like Alan Mulally before him, is bringing an outside perspective to Ford. This outside viewpoint will permit him to steer Ford in a new direction. Ford has lost about 100,000 car sales each year since Alan Mulally left Ford in 2014. This has led to the unprecedented low last year of 555,838 car sales. Comparing car sales to the combined pickup and SUV sales of 1,670,677, the decision was made to quickly stop the losses. Hackett’s thinking is if Ford continued unchanged, the eventual loss of revenue-producing cars that many people don’t want would bankrupt the company. The money Ford is saving from cutting the production of cars will be invested in electric and autonomous vehicles research. Two categories it is desperately behind on. Ford has recently poured 4.3 billion into Argo AI and Cruise Automation in what is expected to be just the start of massive spending to catch up. Like it or not, this shift in thinking should position Ford for greater success in the coming years.
WENZEL Moves Forward
Like Ford and Boeing, WENZEL must keep evolving to continue to succeed and expand. Throughout 2018, changes have been made based on innovative thoughts from old and new employees alike. By restructuring the company at many levels and striving to align employee strengths with their roles, each department has implemented an innovative philosophy to improve efficiency and streamline production. New personnel continue to challenge convention, enabling new solutions to permeate throughout the company. WENZEL’s management is allowing this culture of unique interpretations just as Alan Mulally and Jim Hackett have. While remaining the personable and flexible company that has made us successful, WENZEL will continue to advance, using self evaluation and fresh perspectives to navigate our rise to the third largest CMM manufacturer on the globe.