It took 5 years to do, but he got it down to 84 steps.
He had the help of the creator of “scientific management” by his side doing dozens and dozens of time and motion studies.
In 1913, it all came together.
The 84 Steps To Franchising As We Know it Today
It came together in the first moving assembly line ever used for large-scale manufacturing.
84 distinct steps were involved in the manufacture of Ford Model T’s.
These steps were what enabled Henry Ford to produce his automobiles at a record rate.
Not only was ford able to build his Model T’s faster, he was able to build them cheaper.
Cheaper prices meant that more people could buy his cars.
More people would start travelling longer distances.
But, eventually, they would have to make stops….for gas. For food.
For an overnight stay here and there.
How 84 Steps Changed Everything
Henry Ford’s ability to pump out large quantities of cars helped create franchising as we know it today. Did Ford know how much of an impact his 84-step manufacturing process was going to have in the everyday lives of Americans? Did he envision all of the products, services, and new business types that would evolve because of the popularity of the automobile?
Was he like Steve Jobs? Did Ford have amazing vision. Could he see the future? Was he inventing it?
Franchising Gets Going
Journeys that used to take days now took hours thanks to the invention of and the availability of the Model T.
The byproducts of all of the automobiles that were cruising around. That’s what I want to focus on.
The businesses that were created.
• Gas stations
• Auto-repair shops
• General stores
The automobiles and the people inside of them needed all sorts of products and services as they travelled America’s roads.
They needed gas. They needed to take rest room breaks. They needed food and assorted sundries. The bravest travelers…the long-distance ones, needed places to rest…places to stay.
Smart entrepreneurs quickly opened up businesses that provided these things to America’s travelers.
Some of these businesses became franchise businesses.
And, in one form or another, they’re still around today….90+ years later.
The franchise names below are all here today because of an 84 step manufacturing process.
• BP Gas Stations
I find it amazing how the invention of a single product — and ultimately, its mass production and distribution changed everything.