Boeing breaks production record
- After some supply chain-related impediments early in the year, Boeing finished 2018 with a total of 806 jets delivered, according to a press release, surpassing its previous record of 763 aircraft from 2017 and just shy of the company's stated goal of 810-815.
- "In a dynamic year, our production discipline and our supplier partners helped us build and deliver more airplanes than ever before to satisfy the strong demand for air travel across the globe," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister in a statement.
- Boeing has already said it intends to produce 900 planes a year by 2020 and is starting 2019 with 893 orders in the book.
Delivering 806 jets is sure to have brought sigh of relief to both Boeing's executives and supply chain managers since at the midpoint of 2018, Being's goal of producing more than 800 planes was not looking good.
Supplier shortfalls stressed the company's supply chain and caused delays. Roxanne Shinn, supply chain senior director leading inventory management and ordering for Boeing described it as "a significant amount of disruptions in our productions systems" at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago in September.
At the conference, she outlined a detailed strategy for overhauling and digitizing the company's supply chain, and Boeing's record-breaking production announcement shows that work achieved the desired result.
Shinn likened the company's previous supply chain to "fire-fighting" and worked with consultants to bring about a transformation so dramatic, some employees left the company rather than change their ways.
In her presentation, Shinn pressed that one of the most important elements of her work is making sure improvements can be seen and felt throughout the organization. Breaking an all-time company record at the same time seems like a good start, but with unceasing demand, 2019 will serve as yet another test for Boeing's new and improved supply chain.
- Supply Chain Dive Inside Boeing's digital supply chain turnaround
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