TQM Concept in Ford Motors CompanyResearch Paper

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Ford Motor Company Implementing TQM

Ford Motor Company: Implementing Total Quality Management / TQM Concept in Ford Motors Company

Goals for Ford Motor Company

Implementation of TQM Principles


Gaining "buy-in" by the employees

Leadership/Employee Involvement in Implementation of TQM

Goals Met

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Detroit Michigan over a hundred years ago in 1903. With barely thirty thousand dollars in cash, Henry started a small operation that later turned out to be one of the biggest automobile companies in the world. When the operation started Ford had just 10 employees working for him and about a decade later the Ford Motor Company was producing over 50% of the vehicles produced in the United States. While Henry Ford did not actually invent the car, he is the one who came up with a way to produce them in mass. Since he wanted to produce vehicles that could be afforded by the 'common man' Ford thought that the only way his company could make money from producing such vehicles was through producing them in bulk. Ford is credited with introduction of the 'assembly line' concept which transformed the United States manufacturing industry. Apart from producing vehicles in mass, the Ford Motor Company also started introducing models for different functions which enabled the company to make a lot of money. For over four decades since its inception the company was the largest maker of commercial trucks in the United States. In the year 2012 the company reported a pretax profit of eight billion dollars. The Ford Motor Company has its headquarters in Dearborn Michigan. With over 171,000 employees working in its 65 manufacturing plants the company manufactures and sells millions of different models of vehicles globally (Carmona & Roura, 2013).

This essay seeks to discuss how TQM (Total Quality Management) can increase the productivity and performance of a company. Total Quality Management is defined as a strategy used by various firms as a way to enhance individual performance and effectiveness, streamlining and concentrating all individual efforts across an organization (Reid & Sanders, 2004). TQM provides a structure within which one may constantly improve current standards.. It is a manner of taking advantage of one's personal efforts and extending its impact throughout the company (Madan, 2006). Ford Company stands by the philosophy to continuously meet the needs of their clients by creating a framework that constantly motivates their workers to improve the quality and performance of the goods and services across the entire company, and its logistics operations. With this operations philosophy in mind this essay discusses how the implementation of Total Quality Management at Ford will help enhance product and service quality to enable the company to get an even better performance in the current highly competitive global motor vehicle market. Owing to the stringent environment-friendly laws passed by congress in the early 1970s, including the Clean Air Act, which called for the reduction of harmful emissions from motor vehicles, the company experienced losses in the seventies and eighties as it could not sufficiently keep up with the changing legislative environment. The early 1990s United States economic recession heavily affected the Ford Motor Company. Apart from that, the company in a bid to survive in the 21st century, decided to restructure its operations leading to retrenchments and closure of manufacturing plants and over nine billion dollars in cost-cutting measures (Carmona & Roura, 2013).

II. Goals for Ford Motor Company

The numerous difficulties that the firm faced led to its managers realizing the need to set targets for turning the company around. The following were identified as the goals that the company's stakeholders could set to enable the company to survive in the competitive automobile industry.

A. Needed Goals

Currently the corporation needs to downsize and it needs to have realistic economic goals. Downsizing would help the corporation to scale down its operations to a size that is more easily manageable so that it can serve its customers more efficiently and remain profitable. A decision to downsize will most likely emerge if the company were to reevaluate their business plan, since such a decision would be the only thing that would guarantee the company's competitiveness in the long-term (Root, 2015). A decision to downsize would also improve Ford's decision-making. Economic goals would play a significant role in ensuring that the company remains profitable and improve Ford Motor Company's position and performance. Fundamental economic goals such as stability, equity, efficiency, growth, and full employment are what the company needs to improve its results.

B. Goal Measurement

The objectives of the company can be assessed by using two measures. The first measure is if the goals are in line with government standards and timeframes and the second measure is if there is an increase in profits or revenues. By the first measure we would know if the Ford Motor Company is on the right track by evaluating if the goals are meeting set government standards/guidelines or timeframes. The corporation's board will have to ensure that the goals are being implemented within the set schedules. Apart from this, any increase in revenues and profits is a clear indication that the set goals are being met in the stipulated manner. By ensuring that every employee carries out the assigned responsibilities, a leader can easily meet the set objectives (Zeller et al., 2015).

III. Implementation of TQM Principles

After setting goals and formulating a plan to achieve them, the company could then start integrating total quality management principles. The overall reasons of creating these goals are to streamline operations and increase productivity. And there is no better way of achieving these goals than implementing total quality management in company operations.

Fourteen Management Principles

Edwards Deming in his work formulated fourteen basic management principles that can greatly improve a company's effectiveness. These principles are referred to as total management principles and can help the Ford Motor Company to improve its productivity and quality. The fourteen principles are to:

Establish a loyalty of purpose for enhancing goods/services

Implement a new operation philosophy

Stop relying on inspection to ensure quality

Cease awarding contracts on price alone, instead cut total costs by awarding business to a single supplier

Continuously enhance production, service and quality

Start 'on-job' training

Adopt and integrate best leadership practices

Eliminate fear

Remove employer-employee barriers

Remove slogans, targets and work pressures for employees

Remove number quotas for employees and also number goals for executives

Eliminate obstacles that do not allow appreciation for workmanship

Cease yearly rating or merit system and formulate a program to train and educate the entire workforce (Hashmi, 2015).

The Ford Motor Company learnt about quality control when introducing a car model that had transmissions manufactured in both Japan and the U.S. However, the company soon realized that its buyers only wanted the model with Japanese transmission. Upon closer investigation, Ford engineers realized that the Japanese attention to precision manufacturing resulted in better transmission and hence happier users. The tenets for Total Quality Management in the Ford Motor Company would be: more customer-oriented practices; total involvement where all employees are aiming towards a common objective; an integrated system where all employees understand the operational principles, mission and vision of the company in addition to its quality objectives and policies; and focus on communication and continuous improvement.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma has been defined as a collection of strategies and instruments based on statistics that can improve processes. Six Sigma has been proposed to help solve the process issues in Ford Motor Company. Six Sigma could help in process improvement in the Ford Motor Company by identifying, eliminating the causes of errors/defects, reducing variations in operations, and manufacturing. By incorporating quality management systems, particularly statistical approaches, Six Sigma can be used to establish a special workforce to achieve company objectives (Sorbo, 2015). Compared to TQM, Six Sigma is much more profit oriented and structured, creating a uniform approach to dealing with quality issues in the Ford Motor Company (Gabor, 2001).

IV. Obstacles

Despite the huge successes that can be achieved by incorporating Six Sigma and TQM quality improvement processes many organizations, the Ford Motor Corporation included, are likely to face a myriad of challenges in their path to success. Absence of a firm-wide definition of quality, absence of a transformation plan and a lack of good leadership, lack of staff motivation will likely prevent Ford Motor Company from achieving TQM goals.. The view about quality improvement as a short-term goal (a quick fix) and not something that should be done over the long-term will also likely be an obstacle in the implementation of this plan. Improving leadership can help overcome most of these challenges. Provision of resources and monitoring of progress can also help overcome obstacles (UmaMageswari et al., 2015).

V. Gaining "buy-in" by the employees

Employee reluctance to join in quality improvement projects is one of the most common obstacles faced by companies when implementing TQM. However, there are several different ways to gain buy-in of employees. Basically, utilizing effective leadership skills… [END OF PREVIEW]

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