Boeing Reprised!

There are many things that I love in life. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love my wife, children, and all my grand children. I am healthy, love to play golf, and I love my job. When it comes to jobs, I have been very fortunate. I have worked in large companies, small companies, corporations, and privately owned endeavors. I can’t think of one job that I did not like.

The school year is fast approaching, and I will be back at Warner Pacific teaching my students. It is going to be a great year. My classes are a little smaller, and I love every subject I will be facilitating. However, I can’t forget where I came from. I spent thirty years working at a company, and grew up with people who have helped to make me the teacher I am today. That company is back in the news today, and it is very good!

Delta Airlines will be purchasing new aircraft. They have an aging fleet, and it appears they will be spending around $8 billion on about one hundred airplanes. Both Airbus and Boeing have been fighting like cats and dogs for this order, and the preliminary indication is that Boeing has won. The 737s that Delta will be buying are Boeing’s longest range 737, which will carry one hundred and eighty passengers coast to coast. These are not the only airplanes Delta has on order, they also have eighteen 787s on order too.

This wonderful news comes on top of the completion of testing on both the new 747 and the 787. The 747 freighter won certification this month, which means the company will start delivering these airplanes to customers. The FAA has the testing information on the 787, and will hopefully approve the aircraft for delivery soon. This is exciting because the delivery of airplanes means revenue for the company.

There are currently eight hundred and thirty 787s on order. The production schedule is sold out until 2019. The Boeing Company is talking about increasing its delivery schedule from forty-two aircraft per month to sixty. That is incredible! However, before Boeing declares victory too soon, they need to look at the near future. There are two huge contract negotiations coming up with both the Machinist’s union and SPEEA, the Engineer’s union. Boeing has had some recent trouble with its employees resulting in a NLRB complaint about South Carolina.

The fact is Boeing is using an antiquated Human Resource model. Time clocks, treating employees like children, and the reducing of its workforce creativity to simple production steps is the exact opposite of what it needs to do to ensure continued success. Boeing needs to embrace its employees, and give them the ability to be creative and bring innovation back to the production line. Sixty airplanes per month will take everyone working together. Jim Albaugh better take a page out of Alan Mullay’s book. Somehow, the leaders of Boeing will need to lead its workforce into higher levels of productivity. Levels that haven’t been needed since World War II.

Boeing you better work out your relationship with the unions, because if you don’t you will lose more customers to Airbus. Oh, and don’t forget, China, Brazil, and Canada are all waiting in the wings with their products that will give the customers more choices. To win in this modern manufacturing environment will take everyone working together. It is not management abusing labor, it is associates working together to meet the customer’s needs. I hope you get it right.

And that is my thought for the day!


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