Producibility Element Highlighted:
Perform a Complexity Analysis
Ford Motor Co. saved $11B and built better vehicles by simplifying and standardizing (Schwatz, 1996). Examples include:
- Offering three types of carpeting rather than nine saved an average of $1.25 per vehicle, or $8M to $9M per year;
- Standardizing to five kinds of air filters rather than 18 saved $0.45 per vehicle, or $3M per year;
- Standardizing on one type of cigarette lighter instead of 14 varieties saved $0.16 per car, or $1M per year;
- Using black screws instead of color-matched painted screws on Mustang side mirrors saved $5.40 per vehicle, or $740,000 per year; and
- Skipping the black paint inside Explorer ashtrays saved
$0.25 per vehicle, or $100,000 per year.
Schwatz also reported that Breyers ice cream had a manufacturing problem with the cellophane cover sheet inside the carton's top flap. Each rectangular sheet was stamped with "pledge of purity" that had to be centered over the ice cream. The centering process caused many manufacturing problems. Replacing the pledge with a repeating Breyers' leaf pattern that read "all natural" eliminated the process of centering the cellophane sheet and the need for precision cellophane trims on the assembly line, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars (Schwatz, 1996).