Hmmmmmm, sounds familiar to me and Tomi
The Wall Street Journal reports that AutoNation wants General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler to work with it in analyzing its data on the best-selling vehicle configurations, so that they can align their manufacturing more directly with buyer tastes. Sounds like a no-brainer, yet the Big Three are so rooted in a mass-production model that they're paying little more than lip service so far to this demand-driven approach. "It's not like we have some crisis," the Journal quotes Mark LeNeve, head of North American sales and marketing for GM, which continues to lose market share, is awash in red ink, and whose unsold inventories dwarf those of Toyota and Honda, even relative to its size.
The main obstacle to this kind of "customer centricity" is culture, not practicality. No question, on-demand manufacturing and IT have plenty of pitfalls--for one thing, consumers and end users don't always know what they want and need. But a pitfall isn't an abyss. If your business and IT culture insulates departments from creative destruction, discourages risk-taking, rewards the status quo, and thus resists bringing customers and other "outsiders" into company decision-making, then your organization faces huge problems. This era of turbulence and ambiguity won't pass us by just because we keep our heads down.