You know how the old saying goes: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
In an ideal “lean” world, smooth production lines with locked-in takt times, and equally smooth communication across all internal and external teams, results in seamless, continual, predictable work environments.
And as companies become disciplined in lean, they do indeed move in that direction.
But sometimes, something intervenes. The unexpected. The unpredictable. Just look at the magnesium plant that was providing just-in-time deliveries to Ford and other automobile power players. Were they TS16949 and ISO14001 certified? Yup. Did they have a quality system that was robust? You bet. Did they know how to account for, and plan for, risks and opportunities? Duh. Don’t be insulting. You don’t get where they are at in Ford’s supply chain without that. And yet…the whole thing – literally – blew up.
On a much smaller scale (thankfully), “life” happens to us at RAM, too. What do we do when a customer decides they need to expedite parts? What do we do when material has to be sourced yesterday? What do we do when there’s a port strike? What do we do when a *crack team of Soviet commandos parachutes into Colorado, setting off World War 3?
It is in those circumstantial crucibles that you will see NECESSITY becoming the mother of INVENTION at RAM. While it’s true that we only build and ship to customer spec, everything outside of those parameters is a vista of opportunities for us to use our creativity, resources, grit and determination to wow our customers with awesome parts, awesome service, and awesome teamwork.
Necessity can be a demanding mom, for sure. But the inventions she’s birthed at RAM have helped make us the sharp and responsive team we are.
*Less of a concern now than it was in 1984.