In today’s global economy it is important that companies focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty rather than profits. To do this quality must play a part in day-to-day operations. This paper will address the similarities between Ford and Toyota. In the 1980s Ford Motor Company used the total quality management approach and used the slogan “Quality is Job 1.” TQM is a process that has guidelines set by management. “TQM meant processes at all levels of production were strictly followed, constantly developed upon, and improved mostly through customer quality satisfaction surveys” (Scheid, 2011, p. 2).
In the late 1990s a risk management specialist joined the ranks of Ford Motor Company and improved the TQM system by including a Consumer Driven Six Sigma Process. Using the Six Sigma Process Fords warranty repairs decreased by 60%. Using the design and engineering analysis process workers can identify possible problems before a product is put into production and sold to consumers, thus increasing customer satisfaction.
Along with TQM and the Six Sigma Process Ford also uses the DMAIC process. This process has established consistency in the Ford team. Ford also cross-trains engineers, plant managers, and production specialists. As it looks to the future Ford is making strides to ensure that the consumer is satisfied and will remain a loyal customer.
Toyota uses the Quality Assurance System. This system dates back to the early 1900s when Sakichi Toyoda was building and improving looms. He was approached about doing performance testing for comparisons with other looms. He was less than satisfied with the results of the testing and this led him to the conclusion that he could not leave production of his product to others.
In the 1960s Toyota Motor Corporation decided to implement Total Quality Control. The premise behind TQC is to solve quality issues early and prevent any reoccurrences. A component of TQC was the “Toyota Customer Follow-Up System,” that recorded customers’ addresses, names, car histories, vehicle problems, and repair locations onto cards” (Toyota Quality, 2010, p. 1). This enables Toyota to address quality issues when they arose in a timely manner.
Through the TQC implementation Toyota improved their products as well as increasing their responsibility to their consumers. They also established their own recall system that enabled them to address any vehicle defects and make sure the defective vehicles were repaired. Toyota them returned to the Customer First principle and worked to regain the customers’ trust in Toyota and their products. The company also decided to gather market information, make quality checks at each station, and improve upon their process to eliminate defective products.
The jidoka and Just-in-Time methods allow TPS to “efficiently and quickly produce vehicles of sound quality, one at a time, that fully satisfy the customer requirements” (Toyota Production, 2011, p. 1). The jikoda system calls for equipment to stop working when a problem occurs so that defective products are not manufactured. The Just-in-Time concept is based on the premise of producing only what is needed from process to process to create a continual flow. This allows Toyota to manufacture quality vehicles that satisfy consumer needs and create loyal customers.
The methods used by Ford and Toyota produce competitive products because they are used to decrease defects, produce quality, and increase consumer confidence. The results for both Toyota and Ford are to gain customer loyalty by providing a quality product that the consumer will keep the consumer satisfied. Keeping quality and consumer satisfaction in the process makes Ford and Toyota front runners in the automotive industry.
Quality management affects the position of the Ford and Toyota in the domestic and global market because consumers are looking for the best product for their money. Consumers want to know that the company they are purchasing a vehicle from is making safety number one. The customer has to rely on a vehicle to get to work, transport his or her families and be reliable. By producing reliable vehicles Ford and Toyota are earning consumer confidence and increasing the company’s buyer rating in the automotive industry.
In closing, it is easy to see that Toyota and Ford are committed to making a quality product and keeping the consumer satisfied. Both company’s take precautions at every step of the process to make sure that quality control is used and that there is less chance of producing a defective product. They use consumer surveys to gauge how they are doing and adjust the company’s processes to meet consumer expectations.
References Scheid, J (2011). TQM and Ford Motor Company. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from: http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/72279.aspx Toyota Production (2010). Toyota Production System. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from: http://toyota-global.com/company/vision_philosophy/toyota_production_system/ Toyota Quality (2010). “The Evolution of Toyota’s Quality Assurance System”. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from: http://toyota-global.com/company/toyota_traditions/quality/oct_dec_2010.html