April 22, 2008

Book Review - Today and Tomorrow

Today and Tomorrow
Henry Ford
HD 9710 .U54 F583 1988

This is a reprint of the Ford classic originally published in 1926. Surprisingly, Ford's ideas about how to succeed in business are just as relevant today as they were when he first wrote them. For example, he relied on high-quality, low-cost manufacturing techniques, using them to lower prices on the cars that he produced in order to dominate the market. Similarly, he organized the manufacturing process so that raw materials were turned into cars in a linear, ongoing process which we now think of as "just in time" production. These strategive have been used effectively by Toyota, who now commands an impressive share of the international automobile market. In addition, Ford thought about his business from the customer's point of view, making sure that his products were affordable by the "everyman," and being conscious that the Ford company was responsible to its community and to society as a whole. He also stressed quality in all phases of the production process and continually sought to improve not only his product but also the process through which it was manufactured. Many of these concepts are seen in business and management strategies such as TQM and Lean Six Sigma, further substantiating the claim that Ford was a revolutionary thinker for his time.