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i) explain how you would introduce a companywide operations improvement strategy. This improvement strategy must include the tools and techniques that you have learned in this module UGB 165


Learning outcomes

Knowledge outcomes:

K1. Explain and interpret the practices and processes involved in Business Operations and Services.

K2. Describe and summarise a number of possible techniques which can inform decision making for Business Operations and Services.

Skills outcomes:

S1. Apply of a range of numerical decision-making models and techniques.

S2. Apply and explain the factors involved in the managing of Business Operations and Services


A Golden Opportunity for Ford and GM by Bill George

With Toyota caught in a downshift, competitors should make aggressive moves to capitalize, says HBS professor Bill George. For starters, they need to improve their auto lineups for the long term. He explains how Ford and GM can best navigate the industry landscape ahead. Key concepts include:

 For U.S. automakers to accelerate production while Toyota remains wounded is not a longterm strategy for success.

 Ford and GM could secure market share gains by investing windfall profits into making products more competitive for the next decade. In this regard, Ford has the jump on GM.

Toyota`s tragic automobile recalls offer a historic opportunity for Ford`s CEO Alan Mulally and General Motors` new CEO Ed Whitacre. After years of decline, they can re-establish the preeminence of American-made autos if they are wise at leading through this crisis. In the past month Toyota has recalled almost 9 million vehicles—more than the entire number it sold the past three years. The irony is that Toyota gained significant market share in the past decade at the expense of its American competitors by offering superior quality vehicles. Now quality has become Toyota`s Achilles` heel. No doubt, Toyota will regain some of its lost market share in the short term, if the automaker`s production systems can respond by increasing production rates without incurring problems of their own. The bigger question is, will Ford and GM be able to capitalize on this opportunity for the long term? I was with Whitacre when he initially learned that Toyota was suspending sales of 57 percent of its autos sold in the United States. He responded immediately by directing his executives to ramp-up production as quickly as possible. While Whitacre and Mulally maximize current sales, taking advantage of this opportunity in the near term is not a long-term strategy. All too often, both GM and Ford have squandered similar opportunities by simply raising prices and profits, as they did during the three-year import quotas in the mid-1980s. They must recognize that no matter how wounded Toyota is in the short term by its quality problems, this company is a very tough and able competitor that will move quickly to revamp its quality and its product offerings.

On The March

GM and Ford need to move aggressively to secure their market share gains by investing windfall profits to make their auto line-ups more competitive for the next decade. As the newly appointed Operations Manager for the Toyota, you have been asked by the Senior Management Team to prepare a 3000-word report to:

i) explain how you would introduce a companywide operations improvement strategy. This improvement strategy must include the tools and techniques that you have learned in this module UGB 165 (70 marks).

ii) advise on the operational strategies that Ford and GM can implement to gain market share from Toyota (30 marks).

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