Como Tool and Die A

Como Tool and Die was a second-tier component supplier to the auto industry. Their largest customer was Ford Motor Company. Como had a reputation for delivering a quality product. During the 1980s and the early 1990s, Como's business grew because of their commitment to quality. Emphasis was on manufacturing operations, and few attempts were made to use project management. All work was controlled by line managers who, more often than not, were overburdened with work.

The culture at Como underwent a rude awakening in 1996. In the summer of 1996, Ford Motor Company established four product development objectives for both tier one and tier two suppliers:

• Lead time: 25-35 percent reduction

• Internal resources: 30-40 percent reduction

• Prototypes: 30-35 percent reduction (time and cost)

• Continuous process improvement and cost reductions

The objectives were aimed at consolidation of the supply base with larger commitments to tier one suppliers, who would now have greater responsibility in vehicle development, launch, process improvement, and cost reduction. Ford had established a time frame of 24 months for achievement of the objectives. The ultimate goal for Ford would be the creation of one global, decentralized vehicle development system that would benefit from the efficiency and technical capabilities of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the subsupplier infrastructure.

*Fictitious case. Reprinted from H. Kerzner, Applied Project Management: Best Practices on Implementation. New York: John Wiley, 2000, pp. 420-423.

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