Transforming a Plant to Lean in a Large, Traditional Company: Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems, GM
In the early 1990s, Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems (DSSS) Plant 6 was a captive supplier facing poor product quality, high costs, and an adversarial union relationship. These problems made the plant's product line an excellent candidate to be outsourced by General Motors (GM). To combat this situation, management and labor mutually decided they needed to get together to make some major changes if they hoped to keep the business alive. The change came in the form of the Quality Network Manufacturing System (QNMS), which was incorporated into the 1993 UAW Local 699 contract. The QNMS agreement paved the way for the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques, including work teams, pull system, and manufacturing cells into a traditional mass-production environment.