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Yet another Setback at Boeing

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Well it has happened again at Boeing, another setback.  The company announced this week that the long awaited maiden test flight of the 787 Dreamliner jet will be delayed, which is certain to be disappointment to all of Boeings supply network partners. Here is a link to both the Business Week and Wall Street Journal articles.

This blog has provided many specific commentaries regarding Boeing setbacks, the latest being in February, Time to Move On at Boeing.  In that post, my observation was that while Boeing was in a highly enviable position to have over 800 planes on order backlog, recent setbacks reflected in a 10 week labor disruption, along with other incidents of supply chain outsourcing snafus, had placed the company in a negative light.  Essentially, it was time to move on, learn from the past, and get these planes delivered.

This latest delay brought on by what was reported as a need to reinforce certain sections of the aircraft is yet another disappointment for all involved.  Boeing’s supply chain partners will continue to be hurt with increasing production delays, and this is unfortunate for the entire industry.

Bob Ferrari

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  1. Bob Ferrari says:

    The fallout from Boeing’s announcement of yet another delay in the Dreamliner program is falling squarely on Boeing’s senior management.

    An article by Peter Sanders in today’s Wall Street Journal questions Boeing’s lines of communication internally and with business partners, investors, and the public. It acknowledges that Boeing engineers and senior management had known since May, and perhaps for months, of the structural problem. It was until late last Friday that the delay decision was made. This article concludes that this latest delay creates a pressing need to regain the trust of customers and investors.

    But on the other hand, this article further quotes an aerospace analyst at Bernstein Research who feels that management was operating without adequate visibility from program managers and suppliers into the detials of program performance.

    Here is the link to the WSJ article:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124588675783850567.html

    A separate blog posting appearing on the Seattle Post Intelligencer takes a more direct assault on Boeing’s management. It quotes two JP Morgan analysts as being totally blindsided by the delay announcement, being assured by private conversations with Boeing senior management on the week prior, that the test flight would occur. A subsequent JP Morgan note concluded that information dissemination is a “major problem” at Boeing. They also mention that “Boeing’s need to cancel first flight so close to the deadline also raises questions about what other issues might crop up, particularly since static testing is not complete.”

    Here is the web link to the PEI posting:
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/172258.asp

    So what do you think? Are there more shoes to drop in the Dreamliner program? Will suppliers be the scapegoat?

    This is a story that may go on for months to come.

    Bob Ferrari