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View Diary: Boeing's outsourcing strategy in the spotlight as FAA grounds the Dreamliner (196 comments)

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  •  Nope (13+ / 0-)

    It's true Boeing has always outsourced jet engines. They also have always had an engine R&D group (I know one of the managers) that has worked with engine manufacturers and done extensive testing and modeling on engine designs.

    What Boeing has done over the last 10 years though (and I know retired Boeing managers involved there also) is outsource their core competencies - things like wings, airframe, and the sub-assemblies and piece parts that go into them.

    And what it seems to me they've done is both reduce in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise at the same they've drastically increased manufacturing problems in all areas (that's been documented), so that they have less time, fewer personnel, and loss of in-house expertise to deal with problems that might have been caught otherwise.

    It's equally nonsensical to believe that a high-tech company can take years of acquired institutional knowledge about complex products and throw it all out the door by outsourcing it to companies and workforces that lack not only the necessary experience, but in some cases the basic education to be able to produce the products or subassemblies they're supplying.

    The 787 seems to be just the latest example of the Yugo, which was based on a functional Fiat design that Fiat could build successfully and became possibly the most dysfunctional car ever built.

    It's only in MBA-land where people and companies are perfectly interchangeable - in the real world, not so much.

    In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

    by badger on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:39:42 PM PST

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    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      This is a management issue. And particularly in the case where:

      (a) a decision was made to radically alter the manufacturing strategy, and;
      (b) Do so for a product design where a high content of new technology not previously used on the scale required.

      IOW, they did a lousy job of managing the change and bit off more than they could chew.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:57:51 AM PST

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      •  Then the diary clearly isn't nonsense (0+ / 0-)

        as you claimed in the post I responded to.

        In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

        by badger on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:02:08 PM PST

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        •  Blaming the battery failure with "outsourcing" (0+ / 0-)

          Is nonsense. That is what I said.

          To my knowledge, Boeing does not produce Li ion batteries so regardless of how little or how much they would outsource in general, that item is likely to be a "buy" not a "make" in any case.

          And I would add, that regardless of whether Boeing might have some problems related to outsourcing (I'm sure they do with all of their suppliers regardless of commodity or location) not every problem is automatically an "outsourcing" problem, and that is the conclusion the diary and a fair number of commentators here seem to be doing.

          We really don't know the cause of the problems so jumping to any conclusion at this point is a bit premature.

          I think it's a bad idea to automatically equate any problem that occurs with products of multinational supply chains (which would include the majority of complex high tech products produced by just about any company) with "outsourcing" is a bad idea because (a) it totally irrelevant in many cases (b) when it precedes an actual definition of the the problem it speculative, and (c) when proven not to be the case it makes the person advancing such argument look ridiculous.

          And there is no contradiction for me to say this on one hand, and address the problems Boeing made for itself on the other.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:00:45 AM PST

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