[Post by Chuck Krugh, July 29, 2022]
This week, I would like to discuss what I mean by “Meet your schedule commitments.” This is the third blog where I’m diving a little more deeply into the expectations I laid out in our all-hands meetings during my first week at BIW. The first two expectations were “Work Safe” and “Do it right the first time.”
At first glance, “Meet your schedule commitments” may seem that I am talking about delivering our ships on time to the Navy. That is certainly a large part of meeting our schedule commitments as a company. The Navy needs our ships and wants them as fast as we can deliver them.
The Navy is getting ready to send out the Request for Proposals, or RFP, for the next multi-year contract for DDG 51s. One part of submitting an attractive proposal to the Navy and to be awarded more ships to build―securing our future as BIW employees―is the price we bid. Another huge factor is our ability to deliver them on time. We have not been delivering ships on time. Our track record could very well hurt our proposal. That means fewer ships.
What we say we are going to do must match what we do. That is meeting our schedule commitments. Ships that are behind schedule are very likely to be over budget, which is also not what the Navy wants to see. Our inability to deliver recent ships on time is hurting our current ability to lock in more ships at a rate that will allow the company to provide job stability and competitive wages in the long term.
When I say “Meet your schedule commitments,” however, I’m talking about more than just our delivery schedule. Meeting your schedule commitments is also about your own professional commitments here in the shipyard, your commitments to your co-workers and to your job.
It means showing up on time. It means starting a job when you said you were going to. It also means finishing a job by the time you committed to finish it, or, if there is an unexpected delay, doing all you can do to solve the problem quickly to minimize the impact to the line. It’s using your can-do-attitude to find the best course of action to keep the line moving.
I know stuff happens. But it is a sign of respect to our co-workers to do what we said we were going to do when we said we were going to do it, whether it is ordering inventory, making parts, fixing equipment, processing a check or a form, running a test, delivering materials, getting back to someone with information, cleaning our station . . . the small tasks and the large ones. Someone in the shipyard is waiting on you to finish your task so they can do theirs.
When we meet our schedule commitments, our actions show that we care for our fellow shipbuilders and for our customer. Our actions speak louder than words.
President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
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