Long before the harrowing Alaska Airlines blowout on Jan. 5, there were concerns within Boeing about the way the aerospace giant was building its planes. Boeing, like so many other American manufacturers, was outsourcing more and more of the components that went into its complex machines.
A Boeing aerospace engineer presented a controversial white paper in 2001 at an internal technical symposium. The engineer, John Hart-Smith, warned colleagues of the risks of the subcontracting strategy, especially if Boeing outsourced too much work and didn’t provide sufficient on-site quality and technical support to its suppliers.
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