DETROIT - Ford's new Total Cost Management Center has given a new home to the 'Rescue Rangers' and 'The Blitz.'
In a blitz, specialists from Ford's purchasing and manufacturing operations spend between three and four weeks at a Ford assembly plant. They observe every aspect of the plant. They measure the distances workers walk. They pore over shipping costs.
At a recent blitz at the Econoline and Club Wagon assembly plant in Lorain, Ohio, the team focused on the bar codes used on cases of headlights. Bar codes were on the shipping crates that delivered the headlights. The codes were on each cardboard box inside the crate. And they were on the individual light itself, distinguishing left from right. A line worker said the codes on the lights themselves were unnecessary.
By targeting such waste, the team identified $110 worth of potential cost savings on each vehicle, said Andy Benedict, director of the Total Cost Management Center. Those ideas are brought back to the center in Dearborn, Mich., and analyzed. The best are adopted back at the plant and shared throughout the Ford system.
Rescue Rangers are sent out to help suppliers become lean manufacturers. Typically, two or three Ford people are dispatched for up to a month. Suppliers do not pay for the service.