Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ford vs Toyota....

My friend Jim sent me this......

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, Toyota won by a mile.

Ford, discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management investigated and recommended "appropriate action."

Their conclusion: Toyota had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while Ford had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, Ford hired a consulting company, paying a large amount for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to use that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to Toyota, the Ford team's management was reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents, and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Program," with meetings, dinners, and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices, and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to "equal the competition," and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year, Toyota won by two miles.

Humiliated, Ford laid off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddle) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold, and next year's racing team was outscored to India.

Sadly, THE END.

Here's something to think about: Ford has spent the last 30 years moving its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

Toyota has spent the last 30 years building more than a dozen plants inside the US . Last quarter's results:

Toyota made 4 billion in profits and Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads and collecting bonuses.


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