Back to the Future at Ford

Article

Smith, Larry R.   (2005, ASQ)   Juran Institute, Southbury, CT

Quality Progress    Vol. 38    No. 3
QICID: 19778    March 2005    pp. 50-56
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Article Abstract

The U.S. automotive industry, and U.S. industry in general, have seen significant change over the past thirty years, and the results haven't always been positive. While specific details differ, Ford Motor Company's experience with the major system trends is typical. In August 2001 Ford's chief operating officer, Nick Scheele, announced the company would move forward by going back to basics. Going back to basics means building quality products on time and at the right price by incorporating the best practices found over the three-decade period. Ford is making progress. Engineers have been reorganized back into functional groups and process improvement is making a comeback with the return of quality operating systems and Six Sigma kaizen. As a result, Ford has seen major reductions in warranty spending and savings of more than $2 billion through Six Sigma. A sidebar article defines Ford's mission, values, and guiding principles.

Keywords

Case study,Automobile industry,Organizational improvement initiatives,Best practices,Core values,Quality philosophy,Quality improvement process (QIP),Change strategies


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