The recent announcement of GMC’s plants and work force in the U.S.A. is the culmination of its erroneous posture toward the recommendations of W.E. Deming as to manufacturing processes. In spite entrepreneurs refusing to accept the fact that uncorrected errors have a cumulative effect on business development, History shows time and again that advances in management techniques cannot be continuously ignored. Innovation is not only about machines, patents, IT & Biomedicine. It has even a more relevant implication when we refer to innovation in decision-making processes that enhance competitiveness by means of efficiency improvement based on talent management & transformation.
Deming set out the guidelines that today are known as TQM but this visionary had to travel far from his homeland in order to implement his theories. The arrogance of the Detroit magnates ignored Deming’s proposal in their obvious blindness at medium-long term effective executive management of U.S. automotive industry supremacy at the middle of the past century. Thus, Deming set up his Total Quality laboratory in far-away Japan where Japanese entrepreneurs listened and applied his teachings. From said relationship came into practice such techniques such as Kaizen and Just-In-Time. Today, no one doubts about Deming’s teachings and TQM techniques are widely extended worldwide. I had the opportunity to live said experience personally as an engineering student, recalling Deming’s sadness at not having convinced his own countrymen in the car manufacturing business.
It was not until the ‘80s that the U.S. automotive industry called Deming to aid them through what was their first crisis. By then, TOYOTA had taken on a head-start of two decades with other Asian car manufacturers following suit. Detroit had lost its automotive industry supremacy.
Therefore, it is not strange today that GMC has had to admit its irreversible entrepreneur deterioration announcing the closure of 16 plants and the laying-off of 21.000 workers. The disappearance shortly of one of its oldest trademarks – PONTIAC – must have been a hard decision to take. GMC, like its other American competitors, FORD & CHRYSLER, has had a continued exercise of arrogance since the days of Deming’s professional self-exile to Japan. Today, GMC has been forced to bow down in humiliating defeat due to its lack of vision and effective talent management.
Madrid, April 30, 2009