Quality processes Ford uses for its products, processes, and management
The year 1999 marked a dramatic change in Ford’s history in terms of quality improvement (Levinson, 2002). The company was joined by Terry Chenault. Along with Phong Vu, this risk management expert advanced the previously applied Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology (originally implemented by Henry Ford) across the organization (Bucci, 1993). The progress was mainly due to a Consumer Driven Six Sigma Process. Ford’s TQM inspired Toyota to implement their 5S Best Practices in vehicle production.

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Since 2008, the Six Sigma Model has enabled Ford to decrease its warranty repair rate by 60%. The Six Sigma also generated the enhanced analysis process for vehicles design and engineering based on the DMAIC process that enables virtual revisions and improvements if needed. Within a decade, the DMAIC process at Ford (enabling determination, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control of all organizational processes) has turned into a strategic approach for making Ford’s teams more consistent. The Six Sigma also inspired new product in 2010 owing to Ford’s successfully managed Quality Operating System (QOS). QOS is vital to detect and correct defects in manufacturing facilities. Overall, Six Sigma is closely interconnected with QOS in each Ford’s plant. Multi-functional plant managers, teams of engineers, and production experts all act as cross-functional problem solvers as a result of mastering the Six Sigma methodology.

New quality endeavors pursued by Ford
The Six Sigma is equally present on both internal and external organizational level at Ford. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Ford associates its future strategic endeavors with Six Sigma. “Ford Has a Better Idea” is today’s inspirational motto encouraging Ford to achieve maximum customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. At that, Ford’s management does it best to make smooth shifts from TQM to Six Sigma considering the harsh competitive challenges imposed by the tough economy (Scheid, 2011).

The effectiveness of Ford’s quality processes is apparent while the company permanently internationalizes by penetrating new global markets. Seeing Six Sigma as its future strategy, Ford will definitely continue to benefit from TQM and QOS.

  • Bucci, F. (1993) Albert Kahn: Architect of Ford, Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Levinson, W. (2002) Henry Ford’s Lean Vision: Enduring Principles from the First Ford Motor Plant, Productivity Press
  • Scheid, J. (2011) “TQM and Ford Motor Company,” retrieved September 30 from https://www.brighthubpm.com/methods-strategies/72279-tqm-and-ford-motor-company/