Esterline Technologies Case

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Factors Contributing to Esterline’s Performance
Esterline Technologies’ performance seems like nothing short of amazing, speaking to the true potential of the lean manufacturing concepts when adopted correctly. The factors contributing to Esterline’s performance varied greatly. The change in their approach to problems had a dramatic impact on their successful performance. Placing more recent initiatives to improve processes in the hands of employee teams gave employees the freedom to choose what they thought worked, ultimately giving them the responsibility in their unit’s success. Not giving employees the authority and ownership at the operating level was simply limiting their performance on the job. In addition to simply changing the way they dealt with problems, Esterline began training their employees not only in lean techniques and change management, but to think systematically, viewing the entire manufacturing process as a set of integrated activities instead of silos. This approach helped them to lower costs, in addition to improving quality in the long run. As the executive team set goals and also allowed the unit to set goals, this also fostered a sense of responsibility and coherence among teams letting them know that they truly did have a say in decisions made throughout the organization. The corporate culture was also another factor contributing to the organization’s performance. With executive management shying away from mandating that a location or team use a particular lean manufacturing tool set, it allowed for the optimization of processes across the company, as their work flows and processes were very different. Looking At Esterline’s Most Important Lean Elements

A strategic way of efficiently laying out and standardizing work, Esterline’s ability to reorganize the layout of equipment and processes according to what they thought was the best operational sequence was really important. Forming cells in this instance was very important to the...
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