Essay about Operations Control
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This case study entails the Nissan Company. The company was located in Sunderland due to the availability of skilled labor, good communication networks and more importantly, the government support. Moreover, the skilled employees plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the company produces high quality vehicles that exceeds the expectations of the customer. In addition, the company embraces the lean manufacturing system in order to ensure quality vehicles are produced. The implementation of the lean production system is made possible through the implementation of numerous technologies including the Just-in-Time technology as well as the Kaizen technology (Business Case Studies, 2018). A continuous flow is used in order to ensure that vehicles are produced only when they are ordered by customers, and this helps in the reduction of wastes.
The importance of TQM to successful outcomes in general
Total quality management entails a system of management that operates under the principle that every employee must be committed to maintain high standards of work in every aspect of their operations. This system focuses on the notion that employees must continuously improve on their potential to provide high quality products or services that would not only meet the expectations of the customers but also exceed them. Total Quality Management is one of the principle that the Nissan Company implements in order to ensure customer satisfaction is achieved. The TQM enables this company to not only contemplate on the customer needs and requirements in the market, but also to focus its operations in order to meet the identified customer needs (Cherrafi et al., 2016). In addition, the TQM enables this company to educate and train employees based on the established goals as well as treating employees as valued assets of an organization. By so doing, most employees in the Nissan Company have great loyalty and dedication to the company, and this does not only result to improved productivity, but also the reduction of employee turnover rates. In addition, TQM helps the company to prioritize and standardize tasks in order to ensure high quality products are produced.
Comparison between TQM with mass production
TQM focuses on the production of different products at different stages while mass production focuses on the production of large quantities of products at the same production stage. It is worth noting that for the case of lean production method, different products are produced within different production lines. A good example is in a car manufacturer, where the engines, doors, wheels, bonnets are added to the chassis as it moves along the assembly line. On the other hand, mass production entails the large scale production of standardized products at the same production stage or point (Davies, 2017). Moreover, for mass production, the production is based on forecasts that customers will come and buy the produced products. In contrast, the lean production operates with demand especially due to the fact that products are produced based on the available customer orders. Lean production systems ensures that little goods that are produced will definitely be sold out. In contrast, for the case of mass production, the produced products are kept in the warehouse and chances for them staying in the warehouses for long periods are very high since this system operates on forecasts of demands. For this reason, chances that the produced products may become obsolete or lack market are very high in mass production system.
Methods that are being employed and implemented in the Nissan Case study
In the Nissan case study, there are numerous methods that are being employed and implemented and contribute to operating success in a myriad of ways. For example, specific vehicles together with their associated components are produced just-in-time in order to meet the demand for them. Vehicle components arrive in the production stage at the right time in order for the assemblers to work on them in terms of installing them in order for the finished vehicle to be produced at the required time. Through the use of the Just-in-Time technology, the company manage to not only keep the work in progress to a minimum, but also help in the reduction of the amount of cash that is tied to up in stocks as well as the save money of storage in various warehouses. The amount of money that could have been used in the costly storage warehouses is instead used in the revenue generating production process.
Consecutively, the Nissan Company also employs the Kaizen method in order to save on time, money, materials, labor effort, and more importantly, improving quality, productivity, and job satisfaction. The Kaizen method is also referred to as the continuous quality improvement method. This method helps the company to be flexible in terms of its ways of doing things, especially by not being limited or restricted to do things the same way (Belekoukias, Garza-Reyes & Kumar, 2014). Precisely, through the Kaizen method, the company motivates its employees to continuously seek quality improvement methods through their routine actions. Through this method, employees for this company are given the freedom or autonomy to be creative and innovative which in the long run enables the company to improve on its operations. Moreover, the company also focuses on training its workforce in order for them to not only contemplate on the effective production processes but also seek ways of improving their level of performance and innovativeness.
The importance of facility layout in general
The general layout of the facility is important in a number of ways. For example, the fact that the company has three main shops (body assembly, painting, and final assembly) which are located in close proximity with each other places makes it easier for the employees to access various vehicle components for assembling. Easier accessibility of vehicle components does not only lower the cost of accessing raw materials but also enhances the convenience of various operations as well as saving time, which is highly required in order to meet the demand of the ordered vehicles (Mohamed et al., 2015). In addition, the layout of the facility is organized in a well-established manner in such a way that the operations of one shop is important for the start of the operations of another shop. For example, the castings shop, which makes engine parts such as the cylinder heads is located next to the engine shop, which assembles engines, coolant fuel and installs fuel. This arrangement is important in that it helps in reducing confusion and errors from taking place since they can result to the production of faulty vehicles.
Effect that the plan location and layout have on the organizational success
The plan location and layout plays a fundamental role as far as the organizational success of the company is concerned. For example, the location of the company is in Sunderland, and this has a number of advantages which contributes to the organizational success. For example, in this location there is a high availability of skilled labor force, especially due to the fact that the locals have a culture, experience and skills in the manufacturing sector. This means that the location enables the company to access skilled labor force, which enables it to deliver high quality work that does not only meet the customer needs but also exceed their expectations. In addition, the company is located at a very convenient place in terms of road networks which ease the transportation of the raw materials as well as the finished products. Addition, the location of the company in Sunderland also enables it to receive government support in term of inceptives, and this helps it to attain high revenues. Moreover, the layout of the company enables it to embrace and implement technological measures such as the Just-in-Time technology which helps in the production of vehicles at the required time (Belekoukias, Garza-Reyes & Kumar, 2014). The incorporation of technology as well as the well organization of shops also helps in the reduction of production errors which may result to faulty vehicles.
Controls are aspects which influence the behavior of others or directs the course of events. In the Nissan case study, there are numerous controls that are put in place in order to ensure that the final product meets the minimum quality thresholds that have already been established by the company. For example, the company has embraced the ‘going for quality’ as one of the strategy of controlling quality. Precisely, this principle stipulates that each employee is responsible for maintaining quality during his or her own work as well as the standards of the co-workers (Business Case Studies, 2018). This strategy puts every employee on focus by ensuring that he or she produces a products that meets the established quality standards. In addition, this quality control strategy ensures that the emphasis is on building good quality in as opposed to inspecting poor quality out.
In addition, the employees control quality by ensuring that what they have produced either meets quality standards of the previous job done properly or exceeds them. Moreover, the Nissan Company controls quality by ensuring that employees are trained concerning the required performance standards (Nissan Motor Corporation Sustainability Report, 2014). Moreover, through the just-in-time technology, the company has also established a control measure. Precisely, though this technology facilitates the production of vehicles at the right time in order to meet the demand, the company do not heavily rely on it when it comes to quality. The company depends on machine precision rather than human frailty especially when it comes to establishing whether the produced vehicle meets the quality standards. Every vehicle that is produced is automatically monitored through each stage of production. For example, the system has a transponder that is attached to the chassis leg and this ensures that every vehicle has the required specifications during the production stage such as color, capacity, and trim. In case of a default, a sensor will automatically raise alarm to notify the controlling personnel.
There are numerous methods of quality assurance that the management of the Nissan Company has put in place. For example, the use of lean method of production guarantees the production of high quality vehicles. Through this method, the vehicles are inspected at every stage of production in order to prevent any error being carried forward to the consecutive production stages (Nissan Motor Corporation Sustainability Report, 2014). In addition, technology is used in precision of various aspects of the vehicles such as color, capacity, and performance rather than relying on humans since they are liable to make errors. In addition, in order to ensure that the vehicles produced at least meets the set quality standards, the company encourages employees to use the quality of the previous work done in the production process, and this ensures that they at least produce vehicles that are of the same quality standards as the previous ones.
It is, therefore, evident that the production of vehicles that do not only meet the needs of customers but also exceed their expectation in this case study is not by chance, but it is as a result of the company`s determination of ensuring that it offers the best to its customers. In addition, the continuous flow production system ensures that the company does not incur the high costs of storage and no wastage in terms of resources since vehicles are produced based on demand. In addition, training of employees as well as treating them as valued assets of an organization motivates them to improve in their performance, and this enables the organization to set the set goals and objectives within the set timeframe and budget.
This case study sensitizes me to always focus of the production control in order to be successful in my business. Implementing production control through the lean production system would help me to reduce operational costs as well as to reduce wastage. In addition, the location of a business also plays a fundamental role as far as its success is concerned. It is necessary to consider the source of raw materials, transportation networks, government support, and the availability of skilled workforce. Moreover, treating employees as vital assets of an organization also helps an organization to succeed, especially due to the motivation and determination of employees in ensuring that the set goals and objectives of the organization are achieved.
Davies J., (2017). Difference between Lean Manufacturing and Mass Production. Retrieved from, http://www.winman.com/blog/difference-between-lean-manufacturing-and-mass-production
Cherrafi, A., Elfezazi, S., Chiarini, A., Mokhlis, A., & Benhida, K. (2016). The integration of lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and sustainability: A literature review and future research directions for developing a specific model. Journal of Cleaner Production, 139, 828-846.
Mohamed, N. N., Ab Rashid, M. F. F., Rose, A. M., & Ting, W. Y. (2015). Production layout improvement for steel fabrication works. Journal of Industrial and Intelligent Information Vol, 3(2).
Nissan Motor Corporation Sustainability Report, (2014). Nissan Approach to Quality. Retrieved from, https://www.nissan-global.com/EN/DOCUMENT/PDF/SR/2014/SR14_E_P060.pdf
Business Case Studies, (2018). Planning for quality and productivity A Nissan case study. Retrieved from, https://businesscasestudies.co.uk/nissan/planning-for-quality-and-productivity/why-locate-in-sunderland.html#axzz2qa9p1R8Y
Belekoukias, I., Garza-Reyes, J. A., & Kumar, V. (2014). The impact of lean methods and tools on the operational performance of manufacturing organisations. International Journal of Production Research, 52(18), 5346-5366.