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Boeing Changes The Nature Of Its Business With Global Collaboration

830 words - 4 pages

Boeing, the $55 billion Chicago-based aerospace company, has been a major player in the global economy for almost a century. But now the company is undertaking a far-reaching transformation as it uses cutting-edge materials and electronics and high-level technology for the design and assembly process of its new passenger plane –the Boeing 787. The new plane, nicknamed the “Dreamliner,” is Boeing’s bid for market leadership in competition with Airbus. The new midsize passenger jet will have an outer shell and about half of its parts made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which will make it lighter and give it better fuel economy. In January 2006, the company had 291 firm orders and 88 ...view middle of the document...

Boeing still takes the hit if the plane fail and deliveries are late, but the actual cost of development and manufacturing is spread across its network of collaborators. At the same time, building such global relationships may help the company sell its planes overseas. The biggest savings are the time saved through the online collaboration process (from 33 to 50 percent), creating a huge competitive advantages.
Collaboration is a necessity for Boeing for several reason. Airplanes are huge and enormously complex. Politically, sales of a “global product” are enhanced when people in other countries are building parts of the airplane. Companies in these countries may then buy from Boeing. Basic collaboration is done through information-flow tools such as Microsoft Office and SharePoint. Boeing and partners are using Dassault Systemes 3D and Product Lifecycle Management solutions.
Other IT tools used are a product suite from Exostar LLC, with which Boeing can share two-dimensional drawings, conduct forward and reverse auctions, and respond to RFPs, and an application called Catia. The plane is designed at Global Collaboration Environment, a special online site maintained by Boeing.
There levels of collaboration are facilitated between teams and companies. In the first level-design collaboration- all parties involved log in and make their changes electronically in the blueprints, and the team works together. Quality is improves because the computer finds the mistakes. The next level involves suppliers working with their supply chains. The third level is real-time collaboration involves a considerable amount of product lifecycle...

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