Henry Jones Ford


Ilya Fetisovhas quoted2 years ago
Our big changes have been in methods of manufacturing. They never stand still. I believe that there is hardly a single operation in the making of our car that is the same as when we made our first car of the present model. That is why we make them so cheaply. The few changes that have been made in the car have been in the direction of convenience in use or where we found that a change in design might give added strength. The materials in the car change as we learn more and more about materials. Also we do not want to be held up in production or have the expense of production increased by any possible shortage in a particular material, so we have for most parts worked out substitute materials. Vanadium steel, for instance, is our principal steel. With it we can get the greatest strength with the least weight, but it would not be good business to let our whole future depend upon being able to get vanadium steel. We have worked out a substitute. All our steels are special, but for every one of them we have at least one, and sometimes several, fully proved and tested substitutes. And so on through all of our materials and likewise with our parts. In the beginning we made very few of our parts and none of our motors. Now we make all our motors and most of our parts because we find it cheaper to do so. But also we aim to make some of every part so that we cannot be caught in any market emergency or be crippled by some outside manufacturer being unable to fill his orders. The prices on glass were run up outrageously high during the war; we are among the largest users of glass in the country. Now we are putting up our own glass factory. If we had devoted all of this energy to making changes in the product we should be nowhere; but by not changing the product we are able to give our energy to the improvement of the making.
Ilya Fetisovhas quoted2 years ago
the basis of all our work:
(1) An absence of fear of the future or of veneration for the past. One who fears the future, who fears failure, limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again. There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail. What is past is useful only as it suggests ways and means for progress.
(2) A disregard of competition. Whoever does a thing best ought to be the one to do it. It is criminal to try to get business away from another man—criminal because one is then trying to lower for personal gain the condition of one's fellow-men, to rule by force instead of by intelligence.
(3) The putting of service before profit. Without a profit, business cannot extend. There is nothing inherently wrong about making a profit. Well-conducted business enterprises cannot fail to return a profit but profit must and inevitably will come as a reward for good service. It cannot be the basis—it must be the result of service.
(4) Manufacturing is not buying low and selling high. It is the process of buying materials fairly and, with the smallest possible addition of cost, transforming those materials into a consumable product and distributing it to the consumer. Gambling, speculating, and sharp dealing tend only to clog this progression.
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