Everybody is a Job Shop – Mass Production is Dead!

Everybody is a Job Shop – Mass Production is Dead!

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) And so began the age of mass production.

In 2016, there were 226 different models of cars in the world with 37 of them introduced that year … and the age of mass production died.

Successful organizations understand the value proposition they offer their customers starts with options. The new age will be mass customization and those organizations that are able to respond will lead the way.

There are two keys to responding to this new age: flexible employees and quick changeover!

Flexible Employees

Today’s employee has to be skilled in several processes or services. The successful waitress at a restaurant can no longer limit herself to simply taking an order and remembering it without pen and paper. Now they must know wines from various regions and how they best pair with food. The successful salesman at an electronics store can no longer just be an expert in stereo components, but must also know big screen TVs, laptops, cell phones, and tablets.

Likewise, the people in your operations can no longer say “I run the press” or “I am an assembler.” The ever-changing demands of the market will require more press operators on some days and more assemblers on others. Resources will not allow organizations to hire to the capacity that they need to be flexible, so their employees will need to be more flexible.

Nature serves as great example of the need to be flexible. Our bodies adapt to swimming, jogging, walking or riding. We are able to adapt based on the environment. Imagine your work force with the same agility.

Quick Changeover

Every operation has the need to change from one product or service to another. Airlines change passengers on a plane, restaurants change the table between seatings, and manufacturers change products from one to the other. The pace of this change is critical to your organization’s flexibility. Just as the restaurant cannot hope to set the table once and serve one meal for the entire day and night, so too the production operation cannot hope to set up a machine and run one product for days on end.

The successful organization will unlock unlimited value as they continue to reduce the time between changes. The quick changeover allows them to adapt to the customer’s custom demand as it comes in. The ability to change from producing one quality product or service to the next is a real competitive advantage with ever increasing demand.

The next time you hear, “it is just not as easy for us because we are a job shop”, be sure to let them know the Model T now comes in 226 different models with countless options. Everyone is a job shop!!

Learn more in Patrick’s book, “Facilitating Effective Change,” available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Patrick Putorti

Patrick Putorti

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