6.12.2009

FPS - Fighter Production System

Lockheed says it will emulate the Toyota Production System because of its inherent advantages in "eliminating waste and integrating just-in-time logistics." This makes sense at many levels, given the ramp up details provided in this article at FlightGlobal.com


In fact, Lockheed's goal is to have "branded its own manufacturing style the 'Fighter Production System', to be emulated by other producers", within the next ten years.

This all sounds good, but once again, management-speak is taking over and unfortunately at our [taxpayers] expense. It seems two things are in play here:

1) Given the current tax-pillaging-climate we live in today, may I humbly suggest to our government and all contractors that we utilize said production system to focus on reducing cost and worrying about OUR money THEY are spending, not whether or not they can leverage OUR money to brand "their" production system - no doubt for consulting opportunities.

2) Is this the right goal: "emulating the Toyota Production System" so that the Lockheed system can be branded and emulated (i.e., sold)?? I wonder if a better goal should be along the lines of one fighter produced per day with zero defects, for example. Instead, this article reads like Lockheed has fallen for the old trap of managing to an ill-conceived end goal while hoping the solution will fix their actual problem.

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