quote: The GeoSpring in particular, Nolan says, has “a lot of copper tubing in the top.” Assembly-line workers “have to route the tubes, and they have to braze them—weld them—to seal the joints. How that tubing is designed really affects how hard or easy it is to solder the joints. And how hard or easy it is to do the soldering affects the quality, of course. And the quality of those welds is literally the quality of the hot-water heater.” Although the GeoSpring had been conceived, designed, marketed, and managed from Louisville, it was made in China, and, Nolan says, “We really had zero communications into the assembly line there.”To get ready to make the GeoSpring at Appliance Park, in January 2010 GE set up a space on the factory floor of Building 2 to design the new assembly line. No products had been manufactured in Building 2 since 1998. An old GE range assembly line still stood there; after a feud with union workers, that line had been shut down so abruptly that the GeoSpring team found finished oven doors still hanging from conveyors 30 feet overhead. The GeoSpring project had a more collegial tone. The “big room” had design engineers assigned to it, but also manufacturing engineers, line workers, staff from marketing and sales—no management-labor friction, just a group of people with different perspectives, tackling a crucial problem.“We got the water heater into the room, and the first thing [the group] said to us was ‘This is just a mess,’?” Nolan recalls. Not the product, but the design. “In terms of manufacturability, it was terrible.”The GeoSpring suffered from an advanced-technology version of “IKEA Syndrome.” It was so hard to assemble that no one in the big room wanted to make it. Instead they redesigned it. The team eliminated 1 out of every 5 parts. It cut the cost of the materials by 25 percent. It eliminated the tangle of tubing that couldn’t be easily welded. By considering the workers who would have to put the water heater together—in fact, by having those workers right at the table, looking at the design as it was drawn—the team cut the work hours necessary to assemble the water heater from 10 hours in China to two hours in Louisville .In the end, says Nolan, not one part was the same . So a funny thing happened to the GeoSpring on the way from the cheap Chinese factory to the expensive Kentucky factory: The material cost went down. The labor required to make it went down. The quality went up. Even the energy efficiency went up. GE wasn’t just able to hold the retail sticker to the “China price.” It beat that price by nearly 20 percent. The China-made GeoSpring retailed for $1,599. The Louisville-made GeoSpring retails for $1,299.
quote: Oh Oh. The market must be telling cook something. If you can't continue to make people buy your products, lets do a 'Make You Feel Good" media blitz and tell the people apple is listening, that should be good for more sales since its obvious apple market penetration has peaked. Lots of Americans have said if apple were to build in the US they would buy, buy buy. The rest of the world isn't buying into the apple tripe and apples glamor has stalled, from competing products. No more OHHH and AHHH for the foreseeable future. So its back to the gullible Americans. Hopefully the Americans can see through this. I mean how often can you be lied to from Corporations and politicians before you stand back and go, Uh Uh not this time. As the saying goes" Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me".
quote: Eighty percent of our revenues are from products that didn’t exist 60 days ago. Is there any other company that would do that?