Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1998

Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corporation (B)

by H. Kent Bowen, Massimo Russo and Steven J. Spear

Abstract

Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (CSSC), a 50-year-old spring manufacturing and metal stamping firm, is experiencing slow sales growth and feeling the impact of global competition. The company has over 800 customers but little understanding of those customers' needs. They must improve manufacturing efficiency and respond to customer demands for higher quality, lower cost, and shorter delivery lead times. The company has a rich history of trying many management fads and now is exploring different methods of achieving higher quality. Andy Youmans, executive vice president responsible for this quality initiative, is contacted by the Toyota Supplier Support Center (TSSC), a world leader in manufacturing methodology, who offers to educate the CSSC plant in the Toyota Production System (TPS). Although short-term improvements are made, quality and delivery times worsen. It seems employees do not understand the reasons behind the new production methods, and Youmans is concerned about how to transfer what he has learned. The TSSC consultants suggest that Youmans go to Japan to visit companies that are practicing TPS principles.

Keywords: Globalization; Competency and Skills; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Production; Customer Relationship Management; Quality; Training; Performance Efficiency; Cost Management; Sales; System;

Citation:

Bowen, H. Kent, Massimo Russo, and Steven J. Spear. "Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corporation (B)." Harvard Business School Case 698-038, January 1998.