Chapter 11
Wrap-Up: How about
“Intelligent Manufacturing
for Real Change in Which
We Can Believe
Hopefully, by now you should have a good idea of some of the things that
will be highlighted in this wrap-up. Im sure many of you with on-the-floor
manufacturing plant experience feel as I do. We have been overwhelmed
with Lean Manufacturing concepts that have been misunderstood and/or
misapplied within our respective companies and have created anything but
lean” conditions.
My proposal is that companies implement the concepts of “Intelligent
Manufacturing” that, in a nut shell, is learning from the mistakes and
successes of others and doing things that just make good common sense and
which can be justified by real savings and not by imagined improvements.
Below is a summary list of Intelligent Manufacturing conceptsthat can
unquestionably help any company, especially a manufacturing company,
become more successful:
Quit doing dumb stuff. Most of the really dumb things that were
done by Packard, some of which I wrote about in this book, were
inexcusable. They should have never been done, at least not on the
scale they were.Many of these mistakes were made because someone
read a book or listed to an “expert” who knew a lot less about what
274 ◾  Intelligent Manufacturing: Reviving U.S. Manufacturing
Packard needed to do to be a successful manufacturer than virtually
anyone working within the Packard operations. Others were forced
on the company bysomeone trying to make a name for himself by
implementing an “innovation” that would surely be noticed by upper
management. “Change for change sake” can be a very dangerous propo-
sition, especially when the ulterior motives are for personal gain and not
necessarily for what is in the best interests of the company. Companies
can help protect against this type of problem by putting a little less
emphasis on innovation and a little more emphasis on excellence,
especially obtaining the highest levels of productivity and quality
possible with best current technology before exploring uncharted waters.
Be careful who you listen to. This goes along with the prior point.
My experience is that most consultants and so-called experts hang
their hats on one or two concepts, which they attempt to “sell” to a
company with a promise that these concepts will convert the company
into an overnight success. Most so-called experts seem to be long on
theory, but short on tangible successes (or any real experience in a
manufacturing environment, for that matter). There are some good con-
sultants and some potentially beneficial ideas and benefits out there, but
if some advice doesnt seem to make sense, itprobably doesn’t. Peter
Drucker said that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing
the right things.” Packard had way too many managers and not nearly
enough leaders. Unfortunately, a lot of other companies do as well.
No company will have long-term success without good
leadership, so if you don’t have it you had better encourage and
develop it. Drucker said that effective leadership is not about making
speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes
(which is bad news for the “empty suits” of the business world, who
are so rife in many companies, including Packard). Leaders are not easy
to come by, especially due to the shabby way they are treated in many
companies. Two of my favorite sayings fit well here: (1) don’t confuse
efforts with results, and (2) it’s not how much you know, but how much
you accomplish with what you know that is important.
Now is probably a very good time to talk in a little more depth about
leaders, at least the type of leaders who will make a positive impact on
any company lucky enough to have them. I recently read an outstand-
ing book by Jim Collins entitled Good to Great (Harper Business, 2001),
and his extraordinarily well-researched work really helped clarify for
me many things which I had observed throughout my working career

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