The suburban Detroit manufacturing consultancy Harbour Results has been working with auto suppliers and automakers on efficiency and operations since 2009. CEO Laurie Harbour, 53, is an expert on business conditions and trends for North American automotive tool-and-die companies. She spoke with News Editor Lindsay Chappell about that segment's push for speed. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: Many players in the auto industry are attempting to speed up the way they do business or how they perform the tasks they face. Is this also true among tooling companies?
A: It absolutely is. One of the big pushes in tool-and-die is for greater speed. The actual lead time to produce and deliver a tool is almost as important as cost right now.