Strategies for leadership
A Ford case study

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Page 3: Leadership

Ford 2 Image 3The Dagenham 2000 project mirrors Ford’s corporate strategy but at an operational level. Within the seven global strategies for leadership Dagenham has:

Achieved worldwide growth
Growth has been achieved through entry into rapidly developing emerging markets. Dagenham’s stamping plant also produces panels for the Fiesta for final assembly in the San Paulo plant in Brazil. In the European market Dagenham is continuing to produce for Mazda. Dagenham has also exploited the Fiesta’s successful market position of being the number one selling European car in the small car sector, in the developing world via the small car segment. Become nimble through process leadership. The key principle of Ford 2000 was to improve processes on an ongoing basis. At Dagenham this has meant:

  • improving the interaction between computer systems and manufacturing;
  • the computer sequencing of parts and components;
  • developing proposals for effective logistical delivery;
  • continually exploiting processes which are designed to improve production.

A good example has been Inline Vehicle Sequencing (IVLS), which has become an essential ingredient for delivering excellence in customer quality and service at Dagenham. IVLS ensures the stability of processes and is the first step in securing fully sequenced delivery of components. Conveyors bring sequenced components to the production line to match operational work on the line. This allows stable allocation of work content, which feeds into quality as the operator becomes more in control of his or her processes on the line. Additionally it helps to sequence each order to delivery thereby shortening the time the dealer (and therefore the customer) has to wait for the delivery of a chosen model.

Become a low cost producer
The focus has been on improving processes. Low cost manufacture at Dagenham has been developed in a way which has greatly improved site competitiveness. In 1995, a specialist unit was introduced in the Dagenham plant called the Plant Vehicle Team (PVT). Its function was to concentrate on two key areas:

  • to examine all processes, evaluating the total cost of design, plant manufacturing processes and activities with a view to eliminating waste and reducing cost;
  • to establish processes which focus on customer, address their concerns and implement permanent solutions, within 90 days.

Ford 2 Image 6In its short life, the PVT has been effective in the elimination of waste and improving customer values of around $100 for every Fiesta built in 1995. This is expected to double in 1996. The PVT has also contributed to significant quality improvements which had led to improved customer satisfaction.

The savings opportunities have been generated from many sources. As an example, engineers evaluated a plant process involving the receipt of completed doors from Ford’s Cologne Plant, due to damage in transit. It transpired that the completed doors were difficult to transport from Germany to Dagenham. The solution to improve the process was to ship in the components and weld at Dagenham. This resulted in improved pack density when transporting, reduced scrap and improved quality, which reduced the total cost of door manufacture. The PVT has proved to be so successful in improving value and improving quality, that it has been adopted by all Ford plants.

Ford | Strategies for leadership