How Henry Ford Changed the World with Efficient Systems and Processes

This week the spotlight is on the 5th building block of culture: systems and processes.

PlanPlus Online prescribes 5 building blocks for building Culture:

  1. Shared Values
  2. Communication, Language and Symbols
  3. Rituals and Routines
  4. Habits of Effectiveness
  5. Systems and Processes
The right systems and processes streamline tasks and increase efficiency.

No one knew this better than Henry Ford.

Ford started with a goal. In 1908 he said “I will build a motor car for the great multitude.” He knew that in order to make a car for the masses, it needed to be affordable, and he knew that he would have to improve productivity to make a profit while keeping costs down.

To meet his goal he developed systems and processes that streamlined manufacturing. He had employees who worked on the Model N organize parts in order on the floor. Later, when building the Model T, he divided the system into 80+ separate tasks and trained workers to specialize in just one. He also built machines that could stamp out parts automatically.

In 1913, he took it to the next level. Inspired by processes in meat packing plants, industrial bakeries, flour mills, and canneries, Ford introduced a moving assembly line at an assembly plant in Michigan. This new system allowed the company to reduce chassis assembly speed from 12 hours and 8 minutes to 1 hour and 33 minutes. In order to streamline production even further, in 1914 the company limited the color options to just black.

The streamlined systems worked and Ford actually dropped the price of the vehicle which was introduced at $825. In October of 1924, the Model T hit its all time low price—an astounding $260.

The low price made it possible for Ford to achieve his initial goal; more than 15 million Model Ts were bought and sold.

While the Model T didn’t last forever, its legacy did. Ford forever changed the world by making personal vehicles affordable for regular people, and his revolutionary systems and processes have taught industry leaders how to increase efficiency and productivity ever since.

You can benefit from the right systems and processes.

While your company may not build cars, or even build physical objects, it can benefit from integrating the right systems and processes. Each company needs to tailor systems and processes to meet their own goals, just like Henry Ford did in the early 1900s.

What are your company’s goals, and what systems and processes are you using to make sure those goals are fulfilled? PlanPlus Online is a great “system” to help you manage many of your business processes. Check out this video on the PlanPlus Online Process Builder Feature.