Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strained Credibility 

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.


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