1913 was an exciting year to be alive in America! New inventions revolutionize the world and seemed to be hitting the market every day from the humble zipper to stainless steel. This was the year Arthur Wynne invented the crossword puzzle and Cracker Jacks added toys to their packaging, bringing widespread happiness to millions.
Meanwhile, in Highland Park, Michigan, a business model was about to take the world by storm.
By the early 1900’s it was obvious that the “horseless carriage” was here to stay. In 1909 the Ford Motor Company was producing tens of thousands of Model T’s per year. This may have been enough to meet demand at the time, but Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, wasn’t satisfied that his company was performing at optimum levels.
Inspired by practices at meat packaging companies in Chicago and driven by a hatred of waste, Ford set about finding a way of producing a car that the average American worker could afford.
He began by breaking the assembly of the Model T down into 84 distinct steps. Instead of each crew assembling an entire car from the beginning to the end, the new process meant that one step would be performed by the same worker on each car, before being passed down to the next worker.
Next, he placed the developing chassis onto a moving belt that moved from one end of the plant to the other, with every step in order from beginning to end. Workers became proficient in their specific tasks of assembly as they repeatedly performed the same steps on the car after car.
The net result of these tweaks to the assembly process was astounding. The Ford Motor Company was able to bring the total production time of one car from over 12 hours to 1 hour and 33 minutes. Production ramped up from tens of thousands of Model T’s per year to 2 million annually. Combining this efficiency with a number of unique labor practices eventually brought the price of the Model T from a high of $23,763.00 all the way down to $5,363.00 twenty years later. The assembly line was here to stay!
In addition to improving the bottom line, Ford also benefited from increased worker retention. Employee experience brings a lot of equity and value to the table and Ford was able to maximize his results.
Although the world at that time still had a lot to learn about the fair treatment of workers and safe manufacturing, the lesson here is clear: Great people without processes are frustrated! Bring a great process to the workforce, provide adequate training and mentoring to your people, and productivity will soar!
Even with all the progress of the last century, there is always room for improvement! Companies today, having built on the foundation of past experiences, are in a better position than ever to launch productivity and satisfaction to new levels. At epszone.com we will help you channel your momentum in a finely tuned and highly calibrated direction where you can benefit from the alignment of people and processes!
Interested in learning more? Check us out at www.epszone.com.
Download your ebook “From Orangutan to Rocket Scientist” here and learn all about the P5 Rocket and how it can launch your business to new levels!
Listen to the podcast on Spotify to align people & processes.
Subscribe to our Newsletter to get updated every Tuesday morning!