Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Boeing has pushed back delivery of its Dreamliner again. The plane is three years overdue and billions are riding on its successful production. The program has been a disaster for the company. Everything that could go wrong did. Its new methods of construction, its use of widely distributed suppliers and its employment of different materials all combined for a failure of historic proportions. Perhaps the worst outcome is to Boeing's credibility as a plane developer and builder. It is unlikely that the world's airlines will trust Boeing for a long time to come, and Boeing needs their support to develop new airframes in order to compete. The Dreamliner program is a case study in damaging customer relationships and chewing up managers one after another who have been sent to rescue it. It is a public relations nightmare.