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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Ford is an automobile company that engineers, produces, and distributes vehicles that are competitive economically and in improving the safety for its passengers. Founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Co. is famous for many production and operations improvements that swept the country by storm when Ford introduced a new assembly line. With the implementation of the moving assembly line, the production of his vehicles that were in high demand were produced at a higher rate than traditional ways. Not only did this cut down on the time it took to produce one car at 12 hours to 1.5 hours, and helped Ford lower his prices in order to sell his vehicles to lower income families. Currently the Ford Motor Co. CEO is James P. Hackett. As of April 9, 2018 their stock prices are set at $11.34 and is in the lower 52-week average.

Ford Strategy:
 Ford's strategy is as stated, “We're committed to having a positive impact on the world, while remaining a successful business. And we're trusted by investors and other stakeholders to operate responsibly and transparently, living our promise to Go Further, The Right Way.” (corporate.ford.com) Their statement of strategy goes on to explain how they are proving their business as an ethical company that is constantly transforming to be greener, and to give back to its communities as they operate their facilities.   

Ford Operation Strategy

Goods and services: This includes looking for ways to implement consistency in costs, quality, and resources across all business divisions. Quality Management: Be clear on the customer's demands and then meet those expectations. Use market research to determine customer needs and batch quality assurance testing on products and services in production. Process and Capacity Design: Design strategies which support all production goals including technology and resources. A value stream map can help determine what processes are necessary and how to keep them running efficiently. Location: In developing a location strategy consider supply chain and how the location will receive supplies, the movement of goods and services internally and to customers, and the role of marketing and public relations in the location choice. Layout Design and Strategy: Consider the placement of desks, workstations, and how materials are delivered and used. Human Resources and Job Design: Implement continuous improvement programs with regular reviews, provide continuous training for employees, and institute employee satisfaction programs to achieve success in this area. Supply Chain Management: Determine the best strategies to streamline, be cost effective, and to develop trusted partners. Inventory: Different markets mean different challenges when it comes to inventory but all need to strategize and plan their inventory control. Weather, supply shortages, and labor all influence how an organization maintains its inventory. Scheduling: Consider both production and people. Ask questions such as how much product is required to be produced for the customer in the required time? How many people and how many machines are required to do the job effectively and efficiently? This differs among industries and business departments. For example, emergency rooms need to maintain different schedules than a hospital's corporate office. Maintenance: This includes maintaining people and machines, as well as, process. What do you need to do to maintain quality and keep resources reliable and stable?


Ford's Mission Statement:

Ford's mission statement is “One Team. One Plan. One Goal.” This mission statement is also known as the “One Ford” mission, which is part of the “One Ford” plan that was unveiled in 2008 under CEO Alan Mulally's leadership. Ford explains that the expanded form of its mission statement is as follows: One Team: “People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by: Customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction.”, One Plan: “Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix; Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value; Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet; Work together effectively as one team.”, One Goal: “An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all.”

Ford SWOT:

As one of the top players in the global automotive industry, Ford has a strong brand image that contributes to product attractiveness and customer loyalty. Also, Ford has a global supply chain that supports its operations around the world. Another strength is the company's innovation processes that are now more effective following the launch of the One Ford plan in 2008. One of Ford Motor Company's weaknesses is the limitation of its network of production facilities, especially when compared to Toyota's expansive global network. Ford also closed down some of its production facilities in Europe in recent years, further worsening this weakness. In addition, compared to competitors like Toyota, Ford's costs and prices are relatively higher, and its innovation processes are relatively slower to respond to new or emerging trends even though the company has increased its innovation effectiveness. Thus, this part of Ford's SWOT analysis indicates that the company is relatively weak compared to other top players, especially Toyota. Ford Motor Company has the opportunity to grow and expand through market penetration (e.g. more dealerships and improved marketing) and product development (e.g. innovation to introduce new products to satisfy environmental concerns). Ford also has the opportunity to improve its financial standing by expanding its supply chain to achieve better economies of scale and reduce production costs. In this part of the SWOT analysis, Ford has opportunities for growth through operational expansion and innovation. Ford experiences the threat of competitors like General Motors and Toyota, which engage in aggressive marketing and innovation. There is also the threat of technology firms like Google and Apple in their efforts to make driverless cars that could compete against Ford's products. Moreover, oil price instability threatens the sales performance of Ford products, the majority of which have internal combustion engines. Thus, this part of the SWOT analysis shows that Ford must innovate to maintain competitive advantage.

Core Competencies:
 Core competencies are basically the prominent skills, functions, characteristics and assets possessed by a company which makes it prominent in the marketplace. Examples include excellent customer service, product development, information networking etc. The core competencies seen in the Ford Motor Company include their manufacturing and distribution network since it extends to over 100 countries across the globe which is excellent. Moreover, the automotive brands and lavish designs also add to their strengths and core competency. In addition to this, the company's quality assurance and customer service plus their excellent marketing campaign is a part of their core competency. In the financing segment of the business, diversity is a part of the company's

Order Winners and Order Qualifiers

The manufacture of motor cars involves a number of simultaneous processes. As an example, the same time as sheet metal is being stamped into body panels, seats are being trimmed, engine blocks cast, gearboxes built and instrument clusters assembled. The synchronisation of these operations and the subsequent distribution of sub-assemblies and components to various stages of the assembly line is highly complex and difficult to manage logistically. In its simplest terms car manufacture involves: molten metal, produced in cupolas being transferred to holding furnaces and then to ladles; rough castings are fettled before they are machined to accurate dimensions; starting with the cylinder block, engine assembly includes fitting cylinder heads, moving parts and ancillary components; giant presses stamp body panels from rolls of sheet steel; robots weld the body panels together to form a complete shell; the bodies are phosphate coated and immersed in a giant trough containing electrostatic primer; a body shell is mated to the engine and transmission; assembly includes the fitting of wheels, glass, trim, electric's and other equipment; final checks are made on a rolling road before the completed car leaves the factory.

Special Design Issues

Ford Recall Notices!!!!!

Quality Control

Cost reduction. Ford's old production process was surprisingly costly. By introducing Six Sigma, they were no longer using resources that were not necessary. Improving quality. Ford has always been known for their quality products, but event heir standards slip from time to time. While, for most companies, a mere 99% quality level is considered acceptable, this lets through a surprising amount of defect. As much as 20,000 instances of defect. Six Sigma espouses that only 99.99966% (and up) is ideal. This percentage limits the number of defects per million to just seven As such, Ford made some great astonishing strides in quality improvement using Six Sigma. Poor customer satisfaction rates. Satisfying customer demand is as critical to success as leveraging it. Many of these issues link to one another, as multiple instances of defect are likely to add up to a defective product. This will inevitably dissatisfy the customer which is why Ford chose to implement Six Sigma, to streamline their processes, and improve production issues. All of which adds up to a more productive company and happier customers. Lowering environmental impact by reducing solvent consumption. Six Sigma is an extremely green philosophy, and Ford uses it to make some great changes in their environmental awareness. Ford's consumption of vital resources proved very costly in the long-term. But by committing to a green work culture with Six Sigma, they reduced costs, increased quality, and improved customer satisfaction.

Ford Suppliers

Ford, one of the original auto manufacturers, incorporated in 1903 and is now a multinational auto manufacturer. The company remains headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., just outside of Detroit. In addition to the main Ford brand, Ford sells luxury vehicles under its Lincoln brand. From 1938 until 2011, Ford also produced the Mercury brand, which was a mid-level hybrid between Ford and Lincoln, producing slightly more upscale versions of some Ford models and slightly downscaled versions of Lincoln vehicles. Ford's main parts suppliers, along with the parts they supply, are as follows:Flex-N-Gate Seeburn, Ontario, Canada: door hinges and arms: NHK Spring, Shiga-ken, Japan: suspension stabilizer linkages: U-Shin Europe, Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary: steering columns: Valeo Electric and Electronic Systems, Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland: starter assemblies: Webasto Roof & Components, Schierling, Germany: sliding sunroofs: Summit Plastics, Nanjing, China: instrument panel components: Dee Zee, Des Moines, Iowa: running boards: Warn Industries, Milwaukie, Oregon: axle assemblies: Chaidneme, Carabobo, Venezuela: mufflers and exhaust systems: Autoliv, Valencia, Spain: airbags

Forecasting

The Ford Co. does not discuss their forecasting methods publicly but in a article written on their historical methods included basing their sales on the right selling actions by the right people and at the right time.

Layout Issues

Inventory

Ongoing analyses of both inventory management and manufacturing processes have led to innovative management systems, such as just-in-time inventory or the economic-order quantity decision model. Just-in-time inventory is a process developed by the Japanese based on a process invented by Henry Ford. Just-in-time inventory usually requires a dominant face (or a major partner that has the resources to start the process and keep it organized and controlled) that organizes the flow and communication so that all the parties in the supply process know exactly how many parts are needed to complete a production cycle and how much time is needed in between production cycles. By having and sharing this information, Ford Motor Company and its suppliers are able to deliver just the right amount of product or inventory at a given time. This requires a close working relationship between all the parties involved and greatly minimizes the amount of standing or idle inventory.  Ford Motor Company, like many companies today employ a mixture of both processes in order to maintain their independence but still have a close relationship with suppliers. Ford Dealerships, for example, work closely with Ford Motor Company to maintain the lowest possible inventories but still have enough cars to satisfy their customers demand. Ford Motor Company has access to information about each of its Ford Dealerships inventory levels, this allows management to further analyze inventories to ensure that each Ford store is carrying the correct amount of inventory in stock to satisfy that markets needs and maintain minimum levels.

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