Case Study – SIGNODE Component Manufacturing SIGNODE Component Manufacturing (SIGNODE) was a second-tier component supplier to the auto industry. Their largest customer was General Motors (GM). SIGNODE had a reputation for delivering a quality product. During the 1980s and the early 1990s, SIGNODE’s business grew because of its 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 SIGNODE underwent a rude awakening in 1996. In the summer of 1996, GM 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. GM had established a time frame of twenty-four months for achievement of the objectives. The ultimate goal for GM would be creation of one global, decentralized vehicle development system that would benefit from the efficiency and technical capabilities of the original equipment manufacturing (OEMS) and the sub-suppliers. infrastructure. STRATAGIC CHANGE: 1996 SIGNODE realized that it could no longer compete on quality alone. The marketplace had changed. The strategic plan for SIGNODE was now based upon maintaining an industry leadership position well into the twenty-first century. The four basic elements of the strategic plan included: • First to market (faster development and tooling of the right products) Flexible processes (quickly adaptable to model changes) Flexible products (multiple niche products from shared platforms and a quick-to-change methodology) Lean manufacturing (low cost, high quality, speed, and global economies of scale) The implementation of the strategy mandated superior project management performances, but changing a sixty-year culture to support project management would not be an easy task. The president of the company established a task force to identify the cultural issues of converting over to an informal project management system. The president believed that project management would eventually become the culture and, therefore, that the cultural issues must be addressed first. The following list of cultural issues was identified by the task force:

Case Study – SIGNODE Component Manufacturing SIGNODE Component Manufacturing (SIGNODE) was a second-tier component supplier to the auto industry. Their largest customer was General Motors (GM). SIGNODE had a reputation for delivering a quality product. During the 1980s and the early 1990s, SIGNODE’s business grew because of its 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

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