Originally Posted by pagosajoe
I believe that's "Six Sigma". And yes, you're correct - that would help. A lot.
Over the last 10-15 years, both Six Sigma and Toyota Production Systems (Lean Manufacturing - Both were built upon the principals that Deming used to help rebuild the Japanese manufacturing post WWII, evolved for sure, but where it started.) Have moved heavily into the Aerospace industry. Coupled this by Corporate Leadership working closely with Union Leadership instead of battling with each other. (Not in all areas, but I've seen it time and time again, where using mutual trust and respect vs grievances - the transition has really helped. Mechanics, technicians, etc. - know the most on how to do things both the easiest (a human trait) as well as the best from a quality stand point. As more and more work was sent to other countries, the eyes opened and most Unions agreed to work with Corporations on 'How do we improve the product, lower the costs, and become the ideal place to source the work content?'. My first major Aerospace company, an early adopter of Lean Manufacturing, went from over 300 'Union Job Classifications' - down to just over 30. Amazing what the risk of losing your job will do to make you a believer that your company must make money, or their will be know jobs. (Sorry for the sidebar, but something I've repeatedly seen, and IMO, a sing of a better future of the US middle class.))
Having companies invest in robotics, good quality components, and training, training, training of their work forces. (We taught basic math, english to several hundred per year. So they could then be trained in more detail areas, old Blue Print reading, Tooling Jig & Die, etc.) Again IMO, this is what will set up the next large wave of improvement for 'Mass Produced' RV's. Costs should lower overall, demand should go up for their products, and ownership satisfaction thus should improve too. This takes leadership and vision beyond the next bonus or perk for the executives. Oh, one other thing I saw work well, was Gain Sharing (Bonus) based upon performance. When what you get at the end of the year is based upon how well your company, and your department within the company, and you within the department all perform together. Well, the $$ makes many skeptic 'rank & file' believers. And 'rank & file' are what make a company. Setting and building upon a proud culture, are mandatory for long term success of any company.
I also see shift of more 'modular' manufacturing of components, like the chassis/front cab, of some of the newer smaller Class A's, providing a future of what I hope will be 'Buyer Modular Option Choices' of differing sub components.
If you go back to what many of us here consider the glory days of RV's, we also had many companies that were privately owned. Were the pride of leadership was top down and became the culture of that company. Doing things the right way, with good quality components, will cost more then 'Slapping the lowest priced source components together. And then letting Warranty Repair at the Dealer take care of quality problems...).
Not too many privately owned RV builders still among us...
And yes, us consumer's want more for less - but then lean towards price more then the 'more'.
I've again become long winded. As one person pointed out. "We keep buying...". Stop buying crap, they'll stop building it...
Best to all, have fun, be safe,