Tag Archives: Boeing Dreamliner

South Carolina Huskies

Not only are LaJuan Davis and her brothers Dwayne and Ricardo Ellison the next generation of leaders JBE Incorporated, they are also proud graduates of the University of Washington’s Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) – which is saying something considering that they hadn’t really heard about the UW or this program 18 months ago. Following their graduation from MBEP last June, they each took back lessons they learned and they saw an immediate impact.

LaJuan, the company’s treasurer, took back three key lessons: That for small businesses “sometimes it’s important to sacrifice growth to insure liquidity,” empowering employees to make decisions is key to enabling the executive team to focus on the future, and that while you can’t always measure the impact of marketing expenditures these investments are key to long-term growth.

LaJuan Davis and her brothers Dwayne and Ricardo Ellison, graduates of the University of Washington’s Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) .Ricardo, one of the company’s Vice Presidents, reflects on how he’s become a better leader because of what he learned at MBEP: “senior executives don’t need to be a part of every decision,” he says. He also noted that rather than focusing most of the company’s top talent on solving today’s problems, they are now “spreading talent around so they can focus on today and the future.”

Dwayne, another Vice President, says the program changed how he views the entire company. He’s become more acutely aware of the power of branding the company in moving the company forward. He’s learned that as a senior leader of the company he needs to “work on the business rather than work in the business,” and through this he’s able to empower others to make decisions.

These three siblings are confident that what they learned at MBEP will have a long-lasting impact on their company, but they’re also proud that, in part because of how they’ve changed their leadership of the business, JBE set a record last year by crossing the $40 million revenue threshold for the first time. They’ve also begun to directly manufacture products in addition to the assembly and supply chain management services they’d previously offered.

LaJuan, Ricardo, and Dwayne had the opportunity to attend MBEP because of their relationship with The Boeing Company. JBEP was founded to provide services to the automotive, paper, and textile industries. They began to court Boeing as a customer in 2008, and when Boeing selected Charleston as the site for final assembly of the 787 Dreamliner, the relationship took off. Last year Boeing invited JBE to be in their mentor-protégé program, which led to the offer to attend MBEP. While JBE was looking at similar programs offered on the east coast, when they learned about the Foster School’s year-around work to grow minority-owned businesses through the BEDC, they decided to accept Boeing’s offer.

To learn more about the 2013 MBEP, please join us at a Sampler and Information Session on Thursday, May 16 from 7:45 to 9:00 a.m.

Boeing’s Dreamliner – friend or foe of US business?

UW Foster School of Business Professor Dick Nolan guest blogged for the Harvard Business Review about the dark side of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner engineering and manufacturing feat – outsourcing of intellectual capital to Asia. Here is an excerpt from his recent post:

On Dec. 15, after two-and-a-half years of teeth-gnashing problems and delays that cost Boeing more than $10 billion in contractual penalties, the 787 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight, making aviation history in more ways than one.

With its new composite skin and sculptured structure, it is the most technologically advanced commercial airplane ever. Offering a lighter but stronger and more aerodynamic structure, the 787 is designed to be quieter and more fuel-efficient than other commercial jets, allowing carriers to bypass hubs and whisk many more passengers point to point cheaper, faster, and with new levels of in-flight comfort. After announcing the Dreamliner, Boeing booked a huge number of advanced orders for the plane (nearly 1,000), curtailing to a slow crawl new orders for rival Airbus’s giant 380 plane.

But there’s a dark side to this story. In trying to keep down Airbus, Boeing may be creating a much more dangerous competitor, one that likely will come from Japan, China, or India — countries that will own the markets for new airplanes in the near future and are in various stages of building their own commercial-airplane-manufacturing industries.

Read Professor Nolan’s full blog article at Harvard Business Review: “Is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner a Triumph or Folly?” Professor Nolan argues that the extensive outsourcing by Boeing to build the Dreamliner airplane could lead to increased competition in Asia. What do you think?