Video 1: Supply Chain-3 key things to know
This is an educational video hosted by Rob O’Bryne, the Group Managing Director of Logistics Bureau. He opens by listing the three items a chief executive officer needs to know about the supply chain as: the efficiency of the supply chain, the real cost of the supply chain to the business and finally the improvements that can be made to the supply chain. Mr. O’Bryne says that if these things are not taken into consideration, the consequences include things such as shipping delays, production delays and stock-outs. In assessing the efficiency of the supply chain, O’Bryne advices company heads to make sure that they understand their customer service needs and ensure that they are met on time.
In terms of the cost of the supply chain, the speaker says that all costs incurred in the supply chain need to be accounted for from as far below as the cost per unit. Finally, in the areas of improvement of the supply chain insists on procurement and inventory management as the primary elements that will enable assess the weaknesses of a company’s supply chain, with the aim of rectifying them (O’Bryne 1).
Video 2: Supply chain humor
This is a clip taken from the movie Ace Ventura-The pet detective, starring Jim Carrey. It features a delivery man tasked with the delivery of a box containing a fragile glass item. Along the way, the delivery person mishandles the package, kicking it around, crushing it and throwing it about. When the item arrives at the owner, it is beaten up and out of shape. The recipient actually confirms that it appears broken and the delivery person agrees, adding that it must have been something very nice (Supply Chain 1).
At the end the delivery man hands the recipient insurance forms. In the context of supply chain management, the video actually shows the kind of damage that a company name can go through if adequate managerial frameworks are not instituted for the process. The various forms of mishandling that the package goes through are representative of the number of people on the supply chain and the potential destruction they can cause to a company’s products if senior management is not keen enough to maintain positive relations.
Video 3: Ford manufacturing supply chain
This is basically a promotional video of the Ford Motor Corporation supply chain. It features Jim Yost, the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Alice Miles, the President, Business-to-Business ConsumerConnect and Kevin Vasconi, Chief Technical Officer ConsumerConnect of the corporation. The first few seconds introduces the firm as a global brand with a presence in 200 countries and over 50,000 employees.
Mr. Yost then goes on to explain the goals, mission and vision of the company before bringing to the fore the issue of the manufacturing supply chain (Yost, Miles and Vasconi 1). He says that the company has come to the realization that in order to integrate the processes of the company, it is imperative that they create an online platform for doing so. For the company, this conduit is referred to as auto-xchange and according to Yost this will help drive the costs out of the supply chain by making it easier to communicate with the suppliers (Yost, Miles and Vasconi 1). Miles supports Yost saying that their main agenda was to create a central market place that serves the needs of everyone.
As the speakers delve into the idea that led to the birth of the Auto-xchange, it becomes clear that it is indeed an independent company formed as a collaboration of different players in the automotive industry for sharing of ideas. Mr. Vasconi says that the companies that will embrace the idea will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.
The Ford supply chain of operations management analysis
Ford Motor Corporation, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world is mainly involved in the manufacture of motor vehicles with its primary market being the United States. The company is based in Dearborn, Michigan. It also has manufacturing branches in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and China. The products are designed at the company engineering design centre, in Evanston, USA by a team of trained and experienced professionals under the guidance of J Mays the group vice president, Design, and chief creative officer.
As far as the management of quality is concerned, the company has an assessment team that evaluates the management and delivery teams in terms of market quality and delivery periods. It then provides relevant certification to deserving companies. The quality initiative was started in the 1980s after it was discovered that the company was facing serious competition from Japanese manufacturers. The objectives raised were structured to form the Total Quality Management (TQM) framework. Among the key leaders tasked with the responsibility of sustaining the TQM is Bennie Fowler the Group Vice President, Global Quality whose main responsibility is to ensure that besides making vehicles that are durable, the company’s responsibility to the environment is also met.
Like with any other car manufacturer, the processes at the Ford Motor Company require the use of heavy machinery. The company having its own part-manufacturing and assembly plant which is actually its core of operations. However, various administration centers are distributed in the areas where the company has a presence, and it is from here that all key decisions regarding production and marketing are made.
One section at the company’s headquarters in Michigan is dedicated to quality assurance and it is here where all checks are made starting from the supply of material all the way to distribution of vehicles and parts. This department is also in charge of responding to customer concerns regarding the quality of the company’s products.
The company’s selection of location was informed by a number of key concerns. First, being an independent manufacturing company, the founders had to ensure that they site selected was large enough, to cater for future expansion, and that it was far from residential areas. As such, it was not viable to put the headquarters in crowded cities like New York. Detroit, Michigan was identified because at the time the company was being set up, the population density at the area was low and the region was also easily accessible from any state in the country.
When it comes to human resource, the company has frameworks in place to ensure that all employees go through an intensive recruitment process where they are vetted for professionalism. This is in order to ensure that all staffs are well qualified as a measure of ascertaining the quality of product that leaves the company. The corporation also has provisions in place to meet the fundamental facets of the code of basic working conditions.
These include things such as the provision of equal opportunity employment and assurance of working environments that meet international health standards. The company’s employees are well remunerated and this effectively contributes to success of the company. The employees are expected to fully apply themselves to obtain the best results in their specific designations.
Because the company has its own manufacturing and distribution departments, a proper supply management team has been established to ensure that the quality of products leaving its production centers is in tandem with the company’s slogan, “Ford has a better idea”.
There are a number of things that the organization did in order to maintain a positive employment relationship even when they have to lay back some workers and reduce their spending allocations.
Top on the list, was to accord due respect and maintain cordial relations with retained employees and ensure that their morale does not deteriorate. It would have been natural for senior management to assume that the employees who keep their jobs will be excited over the opportunity, however, since the recession kicked in, the company discovered that such employees felt overworked and at time they regard their jobs as being in a precarious position drawing from the constant fear of being laid back. Some sense of vulnerability would have dampened their work spirit. In such a situation, the company was faced with double challenges since as an institution’s profitability goes down, a low worker morale would have made it even harder for the company to pick itself up. This is what is called recession fatigue.
Faced with numerous management challenges, the company did not assume that restructuring and pairing down the manpower were the only things that could help the company stay afloat. The company needed to employ a number of leadership principles to ensure that it was able to sustain itself through the recession with the employees left on board. First, when strict measures had to be taken, the management came out and clearly explained the challenges to the members of staff. It was understandable that at the time most institutions shied away from conflict, but employees definitely respected honesty. Secondly, the management ensured that the frequency of communication went up.
Proper communication helped keep down anxiety levels and also kept the staff morale stable. The senior managerial staff personally took this role as delegation to junior staff was seen to gives a negative impression regarding the commitment of the management towards employee well-being. Management also ensured that the morale of those individuals who were left behind became the number one company priority. The company utilized all the resources at their disposal to ensure that the retained staffs were as comfortable as possible.
Finally, the institution desisted from taking hard line stances on the retained members of staff. Personal humility and ethical behavior are some of the key characteristics of effective leaders. These traits were put into practice to help deal with the individuals who were caught in the middle of company struggle and post down-sizing syndrome. The senior management staffs at the company used all the strategies detailed above to ensure that the employees remained motivated and committed to the success of the enterprise.
O’Bryne, Rob. “Supply Chain-3 key things to know.” Presentation. 2008. Web.
“Supply chain humor.” Perf. Jim Carrey. Ace Ventura-The pet detective. 2008. Web.
Yost, Jim, Alice Miles, and Kevin Vasconi. “Ford manufacturing supply chain” Presentation. 2006. Web.