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2015-11-20 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

福特汽车的创新案例分析 美国MBA论文

乔蒂德从4大营销组合策略中(蒂德,等,2009年) 描述了福特汽车的创新过程和新定位,福特改变了从工艺生产到大规模生产的方法,并转移了从精英到大众的关注。他的书中写道,福特汽车宣布,每个人都有足够的钱能够买得起一辆舒适的车。
In this case, we see that the innovation that brought the motor vehicle was a transformational but not radical. It didn’t affect the current market and served only a handful of people. Also, in its earliest days, the motor vehicle was bogus and wasn’t tested and standardized. By the time it was around for a few years, the technique had spread to some other parts of Europe and America and still served the niche rich market. (Womack, et al., 1990)
As a boy of twelve (12) (Ford, 1991), Henry ford saw his first motorized vehicle and was fascinated by it. Fuelled by his innate desire to get out of his family farm and the repetitive and strenuous work done all day, Henry Ford became interested in Mechanization. By the time he built his first cars, the vehicle was already in circulation as a luxury item. He produced some other models of cars before he arrived at the ‘Model T’ and decided to commercialize for the masses.
Joe Tidd from the 4P’s of innovation (Tidd, et al., 2009) described this as both process and position innovations as Ford changed the method from craftsmanship to mass production and moved his positional focus from the elite to the masses. In his book on management, ford announced that everyone who is comfortable enough will be able to afford the comfort of a car. Of course, the major players in the industry thought Ford motors was going to have lower sales and turn bankrupt but when he launched, he sold over 500,000 cars in a month (Ford, 1991). A new era (mass production) was born and it totally changed the way the automobile was made. According to Schumpeter (Heertje, 2006), creative destruction is eminent in the capitalist world and is evident in this case. This was a great turn around for the automobile industry that had a few thousand customers to a few million. From then on, there was a total shift and by the mid 1930s, there were three major players in the industry (Ford, Gm and etc) who focused on mass production and accounted for over 90% of the world’s automobiles (Womack, et al., 1990). From a different perspective, we see that even though Ford announced to the world that he was going to do the unthinkable, the major players like Damien Chrysler did nothing about it because they thought that it was not going to affect the way the business of the day was run, they actually thought that that single idea was going to be the ruin of Ford Motors (Ford, 1991). This is exactly what Clayton was talking about in the innovator’s dilemma (Christensen, 1997) and at the end of the day, companies like P&L were kicked out of the industry entirely as Ford kept pushing them up the market till they were eventually kicked out entirely.(51Due编辑:BUG)
On the other hand, Chan Kim (Kim, et al., 2005) would point out the fact that the strategy Ford used was a blue ocean strategy as he found a market that the current niche was not serving, developed a way to solve the problem and developed an empire around the solution using the ‘Model T’ design. Other competition followed suit as Ford did not hide his technology and diffusion of the method of mass production was almost complete by the mid 1930s.
However, Ford did not stop there as he talks on how he structured his company to manage innovastion aand the rise in the market for mass produced automoniles. He spent time training staff while others were learning the technology and by 19…. He was the largest mass producer of automobiles in europe and America.
The ford story follows the search----for a new way to do things, select -----one idea and develop the idea into a business, implement----- the mass production way and capture----learn from the processes involved and keep improving on what you’ve done so far.
Looking through toyota’s history (Womack, et al., 1990), we find that toyota’s TPS system (or lean production) is what brought them to the forefront of the automobile business. The cost advantage of producing each of the cars brought them into the U.S. market and since they had first mover advantage (for small cars production), they slowly ate into the American Big car automobile industry. From clayton (Christensen, 1997) we know that this was the point that the U.S. companies made their mistake. First they under estimated the power of the Japanese cars and started a propaganda of inferiority of the Japanese small car which followed tests of road worthiness as barriers to the use of Toyota cars in the U.S.
But Toyota kept researching and in 1965 (Bodevin, et al.), the small Corona was the first American fit car by Toyota to make it officially into the U.S. economy. While American cars were made with pride and class, heavy and for all weather, Toyota cars were made to serve the low income and few middle income earners, thus serving a smaller market at that time while positioning for the impending larger market of rich luxury cars that they currently have in their portfolio.
Another bad move by the U.S. companies was to try and beat Toyota in their own game. They eventually tried to rush into the small car industry and lunched a few without research and appropriate skills to match Toyota. At this point, the consumers found out that the Japanese cars performed better and lasted longer than the American small cars. This made them to appear unreliable and they lost some of the market to Toyota again.
The business strategy of Toyota made employees part of the process. Toyota made use of the organic mode of organising proposed by burns and stalker (Conway, et al., 2009) where knowledge is dispersed throughout the entire organisation. The production line was coordinated by team leaders involved in the process and because of that, millions of improvement suggestions have been made to improve the overall efficiency of the production line. Communication was both from management down and from team member to team member. The workforce was highly motivated as they were promised jobs for life (Womack, et al., 1990) and they were given incentives as they moved along the company ladder.(51Due编辑:BUG)
By forming and removing organisational boundaries where necessary, Toyota was able to create cross functional teams and employees with many skill sets required for the plant. Everyone had the ability to fill in for any other employee in any capacity, hence, down time from employee absence or breaks was unheard of in contrast to the mass production lines. Thus Toyota formed the ambidextrous organisation (Conway, et al., 2009)while trying to build a customized system for Japan.
Also, the production line was not a continuous flow of repetitive processes that produced parts in large quantities for future production. Toyota implemented the Just In Time (JIT) flow production method that reduced inventories and hence reduced cost of storage and kept innovation levels of the workers on a constant high. When parts were needed, they were ordered or produced and then used, not stocked up for eventualities. Sales followed production and because of they had perfected the time it took to produce cars, they could deliver cars Just In Time without wasting other resources they had and if any technology or system became obsolete, they were not stuck with liablilities like the U.S. competitors were facing.
In summary, Toyota worked their way from the top using a highly motivated workforce, multi-skilled workers and a very refined production system. In building a customized plant fit for the Japanese economy, they essentially built an innovative organisation that has all the characteristics mentioned by Steve Conway (Conway, et al., 2009) which overthrew world automobile manufacturers 50 years after Ford started the mass production plant.
In the early future, we envision that problems will arise in the automobile industry and various companies, in a bid to solve them and reap the gains therein, will spend money on Research but the solution might elude most of these companies. The solution then will lie in the concept introduced by Chesbrough; Open Innovation (Chesbrough, 2006). Major problems will come from major players in the Automobile industry.
The first player is the Customer. They would always want more options, more gadgets and more comfort, more fuel economies while demanding pocket friendly prices which are almost impossible to give in the current economic downturn. There will be a shift from production processes to innovation processes. Who will be the first to produce cars that can fit into the lifestyle of the user; for example the advent of trailer homes was a big success in the American economy because of the cost of living in certain parts of America. Most players will want to be the first to solve problem like this as it will bring in a huge amount of profit into the company while destroying competition. The philosophy currently being used in the industry is that of closed innovation because there is a race to gain back investments running into billions of dollars on Research and Development (Ili, et al., 2010).(51Due编辑:BUG)
The second major players are the suppliers and competition. These in effect are in a web of their own as major dealers work with two or more of the automobile companies at once. Therefore, if the price of one competitor goes down, it will force the other to drive down price at any expense since the dealers will prefer cars that can be sold at maximum profit and minimum expense. The supply chain will be grossly affected by any competition that wades through and brings about a whole new method for supply. This can be seen in cases where late production methods have been promoted and the customer is contacted directly by the manufacturers thereby eliminating the total dependence on the dealers for customer feedback.
Further along the line, we see that there is a clarion call by the governments of the nations and environmental activists for a reduction in greenhouse emissions caused by cars and other transport systems that produce CO2 emissions. This cannot be over looked by any automobile company as most have taken to producing hybrid cars that produce water or clean gases as emissions rather than CO2. We see governments increasing tax on high-emission cars across the United Kingdom to dissuade users from buying them and encourage companies to produce more. Still, we see that that is not enough to call a breakthrough as only a minor percentage of cars currently produce green wastes. If the companies overlook the threat of greenhouse emissions, other manufacturers from other industries like power and energy will overtake them in building methods of transportation like hydrogen powered cars and electric powered cars (Automotive, 2010) which are already in an advance phase of testing in many developed countries around the world.
In this light, we can shift our attention to the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP), which involves the academia, governments and major players in various continents in the world (see http://global.mit.edu/projects/project/international-motor-vehicle-program-imvp/ for further reading). This can be said to be one of the largest cooperative efforts ever made in the automobile industry and the results of its research led to the term ‘lean production’ used by the Toyota Company. This shows that if Open Innovation is advocated in the automobile industry, the results will be outstanding and more and more ways for producing innovative solutions to global problems will be found.


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