Case Study

Case study: Figgie International
(Part Four)
Written by Danting WU

“The few, the proud, the totally insane” & World Class? What’s that?

Abstract of these two parts:
Dr. Figgie wanted to make Clark Reliance be a world-class project. Although the project was failed, Harry didn’t blame the doctor for the problems. He thought the trouble was in the difficulty of what the company wanted to do. No company had ever implemented world-class manufacturing in a production environment like Clark Reliance. Problems were constantly surfaced. Nevertheless, Figgie let his son try the same thing with the big company’s money. To change Clark Reliance to a word-class manufacturer in 10 to 12 weeks seemed a difficult and impossible task for the whole team. Although Dr. Figgie and Schwartz approved everything, Deloitte consultants controlled the information and by doing so made key decisions and they wanted to operate with “minimal human effort”. Actually, they did make some strides. In order to get approval from other directors of Figgie divisions, they gave benefit to them. With all those perks it was a good bet they would go along with the “world class” plan. Therefore, the plan got the approval to get started.
Lawson and Giffi became the consultant of Figgie because Lawson had a good relationship with Dr. Figgie and he had a good inside source at the company. There was no way the rest of the conglomerate could swallow the Valdez initiatives as quickly as Dr. Figgie had suggested to the board. Moreover, Deloitte & Touche hadn’t done any studies to determine if the Valdez program made economic sense for Figgie. The consultants had no data backing up their claims that the savings from Valdez would more than pay for the consulting fees and add more money to the market value of Figgie International.   Indeed, both Lawson and Giffi could give a simple definition for “world class manufacturing”. As things got more complex, though, a mini- rebellion stirred within the...