French Democratic Company Excels at Satisfying CustomersPosted: August 10, 2009
Matthew E. May wrote an article called “How to Design a Flat Organization” for the IDEA HUB at Amex OPEN Forum. May profiles FAVI, a French autoparts manufacturer with sales of more than $100 million and over 400 employees. In the early 1980’s, FAVI replaced its hierarchical, bureaucratic structure with a flat, team-based model that focused their efforts on customer satisfaction and innovation.
“Accountability is to the customer and to the team, not a boss, so FAVI people are free to experiment, innovate, and solve problems for customers. They’re known for working off-shift to serve customers or to test out new procedures. Equipment, tooling, workspace, and process redesign all rest in the hands of those doing the work. FAVI people are encouraged to make decisions and take quick action to improve their daily work and respond to the needs of their customers. Control rests with the front lines, where it adds the most value.”
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