In the middle of the last century there was little question who was the most successful manufacturing nation. Fresh back from the second great war, American workers produced more of everything, and their works was the global standard. Had they employed Six Sigma lean training then, they might have stayed that way.
Immediately following the Great War, a huge labor force returned to the US, presenting the manufacturing with a bonanza of opportunity. At the time, if it said made in America, it was in tremendous demand all across the globe. The only problem was the conclusion that the cause was manufacturing and management acumen.
With the vast majority of the global manufacturing capability destroyed by the war, competition was almost nonexistent. This does not mean the products were bad, only that the necessity for rigorous pursuit of improvement was diminished. Without competition, the conclusion was that management and production processes must be right.
Beginning with the notion that every step of a process should be evaluated and measured with an eye for improvement was efficient. Tracking the number of defects and analyzing to eliminate them meant continuous improvement. Adding a near fanatical pursuit of customer feedback created a highly competitive system.
It was not until the beginning of the 70s that true competition began to face American productive might. Under American tutelage, Japanese manufacturing had embraced the idea of quality management and statistical process control. The result was a flood of cars, stereo and video equipment that threatened US companies.
It became rapidly apparent that something had to change. Companies began to analyze their production system, and found it wanting. The adoption of six sigma lean training re-established a global competitive balance, to the benefit of consumers everywhere.
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Author: Melody LyonsThis author has published 2 articles so far.