The Boeing Airplane Company was founded in 1916 by William Boeing. William Boeing, company founder, took interest in aviation after a short career in the timber industry. William was determined to make it in the airplane industry, and during WWI, Boeing Airplane Company made its first production order. After WWI ended in 1918, Boeing suffered, but the company fought to stay in business. The company began contracting with the military to design and build aircrafts, and moved to commercial aircrafts shortly after. The company went through ups and downs, but it spent decades building its enterprise and success to where it is today.
Boeing is a leader, competitor, and innovator. The company is a manufacturer and producer of military aircrafts, commercial aircrafts, defense systems, and is currently the world’s leading aerospace company (Boeing.com, 2008). As the world’s primary aerospace company, Boeing contracts with NASA, and operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (Boeing.com, 2008). Boeing prides itself on providing and servicing customer needs and requirements, and is continually looking to expand business and products. Boeing is headquartered in Chicago, and works with customers in about 90 countries, and employees about 160,000 people in 49 states and 70 countries (Boeing.com, 2008). Boeing works to maintain a wide and diversified team of employees who work to make Boeing a large supplier and well recognized company within the industry.
Boeing’s mission and vision states “people working together as one global company for Aerospace leadership” (Boeing.com, 2008). Boeing prides itself on leadership, integrity, quality, customer satisfaction, and people working together, a diverse and involved team, good corporate citizenship, and enhancing shareholder value. Moreover, Boeing maintains a steady position in the industry, but the company faces problems like any other.
Recently, the strike which began on September 6, and lasted for 57 days, ended. The strike caused production to be shut down, and orders to become backed up. Boeing was faced with many problems through the duration of the strike, which was headed by approximately 27,000 Machinist, but measures were taken to resolve the strike, continue productions, and pick up where the company left off (Lunsford, 2008, p.B3).
Currently, Boeing is dealing with problems that resulted from the strike, and are focusing on production and mechanical issues of their 787 Dreamliner. Boeing, while dealing with company issues, production problems, and new projects, strives to maintain the company’s reputation while living by the company’s mission for Aerospace leadership. Boeing ensures, “Our business must produce a profit, and we must generate superior returns on the assets entrusted to us by our shareholders. We will ensure our success by satisfying our customers and increasing shareholder value” (Boeing.com, 2008).
There is a clear and defined organizational design for Boeing. Since July 1, 2005, the company has been led by Chairman, President, and CEO, W. James McNerney, Jr. McNerney, Jr. is 58 years of age, and has executive experience with both 3M and GE, and worked at Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Co., Inc. prior. McNerney not only is the leader of Boeing, but he also serves as a director for Procter & Gamble, and as a trustee of Northwestern University. Other important players for Boeing include James F. Albaugh (VP, CEO of Integrated Defense Systems), James A. Bell (CFO), Scott E. Carson (VP, CEO of Commercial Airlines), Wanda K. Denson (VP, Office of Internal Governance), and Thomas J. Downey (VP, Communications). Company members previously listed are the head of the divisions that will be clearly outlined when continuing on to the structure of the Boeing Company.
The organizational structure of the Boeing Company revolves around four major business units. These units consist of commercial airplanes, integrated defense systems, Boeing Capital Corporation, and Phantom Works. The commercial airplane division works on the actual production of planes. The most common planes produced by Boeing are the 737, Boeing Business Jet, Twin-Aisle, 787, 747, 767, and 777. Within the division lies Boeing Fabrication. Boeing Fabrication is the largest supplier in the industry for manufacturing parts, tools, and assemblies for airplanes. Furthermore, the Integrated Defense System is a $32.1 billion dollar business with six areas of operations.
Advanced Systems is the research and development unit where new technologies and innovations are used in a way to break in or penetrate profitable markets. Boeing Military Aircraft includes airlifts, tankers, rotorcraft, weapons activities, and maritime and airborne surveillance programs. Network and Space systems includes combat systems, command and control systems, intelligence and security systems, missile defense systems, space and intelligence systems, and space exploration. There is a Tanker division and a Joint Venture division where partners work with Boeing. Boeing Capital Corporation is a division that provides global financial solutions, and is divided into two groups to better serve the company and its customers.
For example, Aircraft Financial Services and Space & Defense Financial Services provide customers financial expertise for arranging financing. Phantom Works is the engineering, operations, and technology unit of the company. This is where the organization creates innovated systems and sophisticated technologies to improve overall product quality, reduce prices, and improve performance.
Shared Services is the business unit that provides care for infrastructure services such as facilities services, employee benefits and services, staffing, recruitment, wellness programs, enterprise help desk, security, fire protection, site operations, disaster preparedness, construction, reclamation, conservation programs, virtual workplace, creative services, transportation, business continuity and the purchase of all non-production goods and services. Lastly, travel services by the Boeing Travel Management Company and Boeing Realty are programs set up to benefit employees.
Boeing’s company culture revolves around “three pronged strategies”: run healthy core businesses, leverage strengths into new products and services, and open new frontiers. Boeing continually works to maintain the company values (previously referred to in the introduction): leadership, integrity, quality, customer satisfaction, and people working together, a diverse and involved team, good corporate citizenship, and enhancing shareholder value. Lack of company culture, leadership, and moral value by former CEO’s, affected the company, but it has now moved into a better direction, under W. James McNerney. Currently, problems affecting the overall fast paced, productive, and innovative cultured environment created by the company, are a few human resource issues concerning labor unions.