Boeing Case Study Essay

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Building the Boeing 787

Boeing's newest commercial jet aircraft, the wide-bodied 787 jet, is a bold bet on the future of both airline travel and plane making. Designed to fly long haul point-to-point routes, the 250-seat 787 is made largely out of composite materials such as carbon fibers, rather than traditional materials such as aluminum. Some 80 percent of the 787 by volume is composite materials, making the plane 20 percent lighter than a traditional aircraft of the same size, which translates into a big saving in let fuel consumption and costs. The 787 is also packed full of other design innovations including larger windows, greater headroom and state-of-the-art electronics on the flight deck and in the passenger
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Three Japanese companies Fuji, Kawasaki, and Mitsubishi, were to produce the plane’s wing. The nose section was to be made by Toronto-based Onex Corporation. All of these bulky pieces were to be shipped to Everett for final assembly aboard a fleet of three modified Boeing 747 freighters call Dreamlifters
Until late 2007 the strategy seemed to be working remarkably well. Boeing had booked orders for more than 770 aircraft, worth more than $100 billion, making the 787 the most successful aircraft launch in the history of commercial aviation. But behind the scenes, cracks were appearing in Boeing's globally dispersed supply chain. In mid 2007 Boeing admitted the 787 might be a few months late due to problems with the supply of special fasteners for the fuselage. As it turned out, the problems were much more serious. By early 2008 Boeing was admitting to a delay of up to 12 months in the delivery of the first 787, an additional $2 billion in development costs, and was facing the possibility of having to pay millions in penalty clause payments for late delivery to its leading customers
The core issue was that several key partners had not been able to meets Boeing’s delivery schedules. To make composite parts, for example, Italy's Alenia had to build a new factory, but the site that it chose was a 300-year-old olive grove and it faced months of

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