Page 4: Customer service
As consumers become more demanding they look for more sophisticated features, quality build and value for money. Quality is Dagenhams first priority. As a result Nova C was implemented. This is a quality measurement, which is driven not by Ford, but by the customer. It has been successfully developed through customer focus groups. Ford have introduced many Metrics to measure this quality and also act on the intelligence received. Quality has also been improved by confining quality defects to Zones. This enables problems to be contained as they occur, without them being passed further down-stream to other processes in the Plant.
The Fiesta is the top selling small car in Europe. Its excellence has been continually enhanced with more sophisticated features, such as air conditioning and engine management systems, all of which have been added in order to satisfy customer requirements. The net result is an even better motor car, but due to the added features a more complex car to build. This was evidenced at Dagenham, where until recently, no experience existed in the manufacture and installation of an air conditioning unit. Inevitably, more parts leads to more sequencing and if quality is not fully sustained lead to poorer quality. This is an area of constant attention to ensure that worldwide production excellence is achieved at all times.
Ultimately Ford’s major long-term sustainable competitive advantage lays in the empowerment of its people. Achieving this has involved the formation of a partnership of management, staff and unions to create a high performing organisation, which values learning and knowledge. The key at Dagenham has been to train, develop and skills enhance at all levels. To enhance this:
- Ford has approached work in an integrated way and on a team basis
- layers of management have been removed
- principles of empowerment combined with improvements in technology have enhanced the flow of effective information through the organisation
- group working has created synergistic benefits which has led to the solving of problems and improved productivity.
Lead in corporate citizenship
Ford plays a key role in corporate Citizenship across a range of important areas. The key business driver is health and safety. The Dagenham plant is the largest employer in the community it serves and the Company is active in recognising its social responsibilities. Ford are amongst the world leaders in recyclable cars and due to customer focus, which ensures they meet exacting customer requirements and legislative demands on emissions, the Company has determined to take a lead in corporate citizenship.