Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Operations Management/Supply Chain; Operations Management/Supply Chain; Strategy & Management
DESCRIPTION: This mini-case provides a concise description of Ford's early history, highlighting milestones like the debut of the Model T, the use of labor specialization, the first moving assembly line, the famous "$5 a day" plan for employee motivation, etc. The mini-case focuses on the challenges that Henry Ford faced (timing production activities, industrial shortages, price increases, etc.) and how vertical integration helped him to overcome many of these challenges. This case is included in Module 1 of the course Business Thought & Action.
TEACHING POINTS: This short note introduces Ford Motor Company and the firm's huge growth after it introduced the Model T. Introduces several hurdles to growth (supply shortages, organization and timing of production, regulations) and Henry Ford's response to these hurdles, which was to extend the firm's reach up and down the value chain. Offers a dramatic example of extensive vertical scope, and allows the instructor to ask, “why aren't firms organized this way today?”"
Secondary Tags: Consumer Products; Globalization; Innovation; Manufacturing
Sales Rank: #41