The World Class Manufacturing programme at Chrysler, Fiat & Co. |Torbjørn Netland

“The company-specific production system (XPS) of Chrysler is the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) concept, developed by the Fiat Group in 2006. But, what exactly is the WCM? And, what does Chrysler see as keys to success in WCM?

A few answers are given these days at the 4th annual Lean Management Journal Conference in Birmingham, UK: in his morning keynote, Mauro Pino—Vice President for vehicle assembly operations and the Head of World Class Manufacturing in the Chrysler Group—explains how Chrysler “achieves manufacturing excellence across the globe”. Pino stresses that “WCM is how we do our business. Period.” The presentation reminds me of the WCM factories I visited in Brazil, Spain and Sweden last year, all of which confirmed that WCM can be a powerful improvement system—if implemented seriously. Let’s take a closer look at the concept of WCM.”


Michel Baudin‘s comments:

An update from Torbjørn Netland about what “World Class Manufacturing” means to FIat. As European or American lists have ten elements, rather than the seven in Japanese lists, WCM has 10 technical pillars and 10 managerial pillars, the logic of which puzzles me.

“People development,” for example, is a technical pillar that I would have put under “Management.” Among the technical pillars, on the other hand, I can’t find anything about organizing production for flow or designing operator jobs. The technical pillars seem to be about support departments like maintenance, quality, or materials management rather than production itself.

In both lists, the wording is generic, and they read like a table of contents, letting you wonder what specifics are behind each label.

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