Ever wonder why so many ugly, boring cars make it to the market? Working with General Motors, PhD student Ted Hanawalt studied the ten best and ten worst cars in the last 50 years, all defined relative to the market objectives for these offerings. The oldest success was the 1955 Chevy and the newest the 2003 Cadillac CTS, but he also included the Edsel, Pinto, and Pontiac Aztec. Success or failure depends on how decisions are made, how quickly they can be executed, and a bit of luck.
Build to Order
The idea of your computer not being built until you order it does not seem that unusual, thanks to Dell. How about your car? In this case study, we compared seven computer companies to six automobile companies. The computer companies dramatically decreased inventories, a benefit not realized by the car companies. Why not? They could not “lean” their distribution network like computer companies. Good news though. They could sell more expensive and more profitable cars when they could provide them quickly.