In 2005, Goodyear’s research and development (R&D) engine was not performing up to its full potential. The R&D organization developed high-quality tires, but the projects were not always successful. Goodyear embarked on a major initiative to transform its innovation creation processes by learning, understanding, and applying lean product development principles. Within five years, Goodyear saw its product development cycle times slashed by 70 percent, on-time delivery performance rise close to 100 percent, and throughput improve three-fold – all achieved with no increase in the R&D budget.
Lean-Driven Innovation: Powering Product Development at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company describes in great detail how the Goodyear team was able to achieve such significant improvements. Revealing the ups and downs of this successful transformation, the book shares experiences of how this seismic change was managed, how people were engaged, and how Goodyear dramatically reinvigorated its product development and innovation processes—and, in the process, delivered substantial more value to customers and to the company.
The book also explains how lean product development helped Goodyear dramatically improve revenue by having every new product available when the market needed it. Presenting wide-ranging perspectives from all levels of leadership, this book is ideal for anyone in R&D daring to take on a lean initiative in R&D or who is struggling with a lean transformation that is not delivering to its full potential. Since the book focuses on universal lean principles, it is as insightful to other manufacturing and nonmanufacturing disciplines in any industry as well.
The book presents invaluable insights gained by the author during his 36 years within Goodyear, of which 10 have been directly involved in trying to develop, implement, and sustain lean to achieve the company’s business objectives. It distills ideas, practices, failures, and successes into key principles that lean product development practitioners can easily implement.
After reading this book, you will gain a practical path for applying lean to the innovation processes of your organization, including where to begin and what to do, regardless of the industry and the status of your transformation.
About the Author
Beginning in 2005, Norbert Majerus has implemented a principles-based lean product development process at the three global innovation centers of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, first in Akron, Ohio, and then in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, and Hanau, Germany. For nearly a decade, he has been Goodyear’s lean champion in research and development.
Mr. Majerus, born and raised in Luxembourg, began his career at Goodyear in 1979 with responsibility for materials development, aircraft tires, and competitor benchmarking. In 1983, he moved to Akron to start a “short assignment” in innovative products, which continues to this day. During that time, he was a recipient of discretionary funding for a revolutionary new product and manufacturing process, and he earned more than 60 patents and trade secrets (patentable ideas that the company chose not to patent).
Further assignments in Akron have included innovative processes; new tire development and project manager for North American, Asian, and European OEM customers; corporate benchmarking; design and test standards; activity-based R&D accounting; ISO/QS certification; and more.
Majerus acquired a six sigma master black belt in 2003 and a lean master black belt in 2005. He holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the Universitaet des Saarlandes, Saarbruecken, Germany.