1. Cutting edge designs is one of the reasons for Crown's success:
The "Crown Equipment Corporation" develops and produces fork-lift trucks in the most diverse variations and is one of the top 10 manufacturers in the world. The company achieved this competitive edge contrary to its competition, as special attention to the industrial design of its products blended with superior engineering ideas. Their designs were ergonomically and qualitatively superior with minute attention to detail for design of each and every part. This was mainly a result of Tom Bidwell's passion for creating good designs which look aesthetically pleasing and also lower production costs AND their long relationship with RichardsonSmith (RS), as a design consulting firm. The relationship between the two was built on trust and hence RS thought of each Crown project as its own and were intimately involved (almost as if they were employees) in every project.
Crown received many honors for its products, which kept them ahead of their competition. The second reason for Crown's success was its tight-knit culture with sense of ownership which its employees had which resulted in high motivation levels, good communication between departments and stability of the workforce. The third reason was its flexible production process which made it possible to alter the sequence of products being assembled and made it possible to roll out a diverse portfolio of products from the same plant.
2. Biggest threat to Crown's continued success is staying on top of its competition
Crown's innovative designs, which took 2-3 years to develop, were emulated by the competition in about 6 months, as it was difficult to protect them with patents. Hence the design advantage was no longer sustainable on new launches. The costs of innovation and design could not be recovered and the competition rode on...