When Ford Motor Company stopped making vehicles according to the "build it and customers
will come" method, it instituted a "demand pull" system where vehicles are made
according to customer demand. With so many models and options available, managing
the flow of $50 billion in supplies to the assembly lines is a significant task.
Every two years, Ford studies this flow of materials to look for opportunities to
improve efficiency. Before the last review, Ford had a proposal that contained numerous
ideas on how to improve its supplier-to-assembly-line processes. But it couldn't
renovate a factory—and disrupt production—to test the proposal. The company needed
decision support tools to help it evaluate the situation.