What Henry Ford learned from a slaughter house

We all credit Henry Ford with "inventing" the assembly line and for ultimately changing the way the world made things for the next several generations. 

The first Model T was the cheapest automobile on the market but it was still too expensive for most Americans to afford. History tells us that's when Ford came up with the idea of the assembly line. But where did he get the idea? 

He was visiting a Chicago packing plant. The saw the carcasses hung from the ceiling and progress through the plant to different work stations where the cow was "processed." Ford's idea for an assembly line began by viewing a "dis-assembly" line. He stood there watching the beef going from station to station and processed by specifically trained workers only doing one task.

At some point the light bulb went on and he figured he could put together a car the same way these guys were taking apart a cow. This concept helped him slash the cost of an automobile from about $950 to $280–low enough for many, many more Americans to afford.

I think we can all agree to the benefits of connecting with others within our industry to solve problems. However, rarely will that "out of the box" solution that really brings about the change you need come from within your industry. You need to find another industry to look for solutions. An industry that's dramatically different by sharing a defining characteristic.

What can your camp or conference center learn from:

  • cruise line industry
  • spas
  • amusement parks
  • restaurants
  • shopping mall developers
  • franchisers
  • colleges/universities
  • hotel industry
  • airlines

Are there others? Chances are the best solutions are out there waiting to be discovered. You just have to know where to look.

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