Six Sigma and Ford’s Future
Perhaps the newest slogan, “Ford Has a Better Idea,” is on its way according to Louise Goeser, VP of Quality, “In fact, one and a half points of customer satisfaction drives about one point more in loyalty and our data shows that customers who are highly satisfied remain loyal.”
Upon obtaining our new Ford dealership, last year, my husband and I traveled to Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn Michigan to “drink the Ford Kool-aid” and Six Sigma was everywhere from production to teams to management to consumer suggestions.
Whether switching methodologies from TQM to Six Sigma will work for Ford remains to be seen, especially in a tough economy. However, way back when, as a Chrysler dealer, I do remember Lee Iaccoca telling us dealers that “Ford was richer and GM was bigger,” but both needed to “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Perhaps this is a way for Ford Motor Company Total Quality Management to improve to a process such as Six Sigma that will involve everyone from the consumer to top management.
As “Quality is Job 1” fades to the background at Ford, don’t be fooled, they still want that as any automaker, but through Six Sigma practices, they feel they’ve got a grand hold on the industry's market share.
In fact, upon the end of our Ford Dealer Conference, we were handed a book, Ford Racing Century: A Photographic History of Ford Motorsports, by Larry Edsall and Mike Teske. The inside inscription? “Welcome to the Ford Family,” signed by CEO Bill Ford. No more “Quality is Job 1” but instead, through Six Sigma and what we were shown, it really is more like a family with a bunch of kids to satisfy.