Connecticut is nobody’s idea of a great place to run an industrial enterprise, but United Technologies’ engine unit Pratt & Whitney is managing to leverage the state’s virtues without being dragged down by its high taxes and burdensome regulations. One key advantage is that the Nutmeg State has been a hotbed of industrial innovation for two centuries, and as a result it has an articulated manufacturing “ecosystem” that few other states can match. But tapping that ecosystem required Pratt to rely much more heavily on its supply chain than it ever would have a generation ago, and that in turn meant thinking creatively about how to assure quality and timeliness across an extended enterprise. The transformation of Pratt processes and culture has succeeded, putting the company at the forefront of both commercial and military propulsion markets for the foreseeable future. Amazingly, Pratt & Whitney has managed to turn what seemed to be the liability of a Connecticut address into a source of strength. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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