Nissan motor company has been around since the 1930’s originally
started by military sponsored initiatives. Nissan has not been without its road
bumps throughput the years. In 1999 they almost went bankrupt, in 2007-2008 Nissan
hit the global liquidity crisis, and the great earthquake and floods in 2011
have all led to problems within the company. Operations management was not a
strong quality of Nissan before 1999, but after being “rescued” from bankruptcy
by Renault a new management team was put in place. The following paper
describes the use of the process management functions and how Nissan can
incorporate them into the operations management functions.
Theories and Techniques
The first step is identifying the
constraint, which is a process that limits how fast the goal is achieved.
Nissan had a major constraint when it came to transportation from Japan to
America. Normal ocean transportation consists of 15 days then another 5 days to
move on land to manufacturing plants.
Exploiting the constraint consists
of making improvements using existing resources to improve the system.
Management realized they had 20 days to identify other means of transportation
and have access to alternative supplies of components.
Next is to subordinate and
synchronize the constraint by reviewing all activities and make sure they
support the needs of the constraint. Travel restriction times were recognized
and Nissan’s executives looked into other suppliers in each country general
areas to speed up transportation times.
Once the constraints were edited,
the next step is to evaluate how the fixes are holding up and again reevaluate
if needed. There was very little that could be done to change shipping times
over the ocean so management secured air carrier transportation for critical
Finally, repeat the process
continuously and evaluate the process to ensure smooth production. The
executives need to monitor the transportation times and find solutions to any
other problems that could arise.
B. Describe how total quality management (TQM)
principles and tools can be used to improve quality in the latest line of
products in the context of the case study.
customer ultimately decides what level of quality they want. No matter what a
company does (training, new machines, better quality controls) the customer
decides if efforts were worth it. Nissan continuously surveys each market for
wants/needs in their vehicles, also focus on what vehicles were purchased with
employees should be striving towards a singular goal within the company. Nissan
expects and requires all its employees to become multi skilled decision makers,
this involves training, teams, and flexible work practices.
focus on process thinking would be the next step in this process. Steps are
defined and performance measures are monitored to detect abnormalities. Nissan
utilizes a plan-do-check-act process for all employees this becomes a part of
every employees thinking as it represents Nissans way of working.
integrated system is what connects business improvement elements in an attempt
to continually improve and exceed customer expectations. Nissan continuously
improves relationships with outside vendors to improve processes and improve
approach to achieving the organizations vision, mission, and goals is
systematic and strategic. This is accomplished by heavy training of Nissans
workforce. All employees go through many training steps to include technical
and people development, processes, computer skills and developmental classes.
collecting data and finding new ways to improve and be more competitive is a
very important step in this process. Nissan is commonly known for “Kaizen”, or
continuous quality improvement in which they continuously seek ways to improve
all their actions.
decision making is used in order to continuously improve and know how an
organization is performing data and when performance measures are necessary.
Using customer and dealership feedback Nissan is able to use actual evidence to
make improvements on their products and how their company operates.
plays a large part in maintaining morale by keeping all employees informed of
strategies, method, and timelines. If you cannot communicate efficiently then
more problems could arise. Nissan aligns communications horizontally so that
all employees can get information to do their job.
Draw a cause-and-effect diagram
that assesses why some of the company’s supply chain partners might have
struggled to implement some of the company’s newly developed materials.
Summarize your findings from the diagram.
been struggling with declining sales of its Frontier vehicle over the past
several years. Ever since Ford left the light truck segment that left only
Nissan and Toyota with light trucks. After some research from dealers, who get
customer feedback, it was determined that there was no need for a v6 engine any
found that consumers were more concerned about the environment and the cost of
the cars, and v6 engines could make the cost rise and be more costly towards
the environment. Also bigger engine use more gas in turn costing the consumer
Draw a hypothetical process (time-function) map for
producing a recently released (within the past two years) product manufactured
by the company. As an operations manager, how will you use the value map? Be
sure to include your process map within your case study analysis.
the process map as an operations manager, I would get a great overview of where
in the process we currently stand. By having an understanding of where in the
process we are and what is left I would be able to determine timelines for
completing the full process. Not only would it allow timelines to stay on track
or change but it will allow an operations manager the ability to plan ahead and
order parts to be ready for each particular step.
Considering the data and
options below, determine where the company should locate its new manufacturing plant.
Explain why this would be the favorable location.
would use a weighted average calculation to determine where the new production
facility would best fit once limited down to a few options. Based on the
calculations, Mexico City is the logical choice but not by a lot. The actual
decision should be made by considering each countries laws and other factors
that were not weighte