JMC was founded in 1902, and in the years to come what was a small shop in Chicago became one of the largest corporations in the United States serving some of the most particular markets of the utility industry. During the 20th century most of the customers JMC served were large government contractors, electrical and phone companies. This industry was highly regulated by the US government making it almost impossible for an outsider to enter. This enabled JMC to maintain a 30% market share and operate almost free from competition. Products JMC made were mostly custom/one time use products made without any cost or lead-time awareness on JMC's customers part. As 1990's came around so did government deregulations, which changed the way JMC did business. New competitors entered the market, different services were required and existing customers were now becoming both cost and lead- time conscious.
Prior to deregulation, JMC was a process -oriented shop, where most of the products were custom made for particular operation their customers were running.
JMC's motto "we can make anything for anyone" is a great example of their competitive priority, which was flexibility. However, JMC's customers demanded that products were galvanized, which was the basis for JMC's commitment to providing high quality products. However, even though the government regulated these utilities companies, the whole market had a low degree of standardization. Custom-made parts were a great way to assure repeat business, and JMC was known as a 'one-stop shopping' supplier.
Even before deregulation, some of the problems were starting to surface. "The never ending expansion of the product line had begun to stress the capacity of the machines, which needed to put out higher volumes of parts while losing more time to machine changeovers." DEREGULATION Even before the actual deregulation took place, there was...