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This assignment contains two parts. The first part assesses your knowledge about QFD and implementation of HoQ in a company. The second part aims to evaluate your understanding on the concepts of process strategy and layout design.

Select an Australian manufacturing-based company with which you are familiar, and then choose a product from that company. Develop a House of Quality (HoQ) for the selected company and product to analyse the 'customer wants' and 'product hows', and benchmark your product with the rivals' product.

You are required to provide:

  • the necessary/available background about the company and their quality management strategy
  • a brief literature review of five (5) published peer-reviewed articles on the importance of quality management in your report
  • a House of Quality (HoQ) for your selected product.

Identify the most relevant process strategy to your chosen product from Part A. Provide justification and academic discussion on why this is the most suitable process strategy for your product. Finally, select a layout strategy and design a layout that best suits your selected product.

Part A

Holden is an Australian automobile manufacturer based in Port Melbourne. Organization was established in 1856 in South Australia as saddler manufacturer. Over the years, organization evolved from repairing car upholstery to the full-scale manufacture of shells of vehicle body. The production of car of Holden was diverted to aircraft, weapons and vehicle body construction. Australian car market was dominated by steady production of sedan and utility models of Holden. Holden continued to operate as a General motors’ subsidiary in Australia along with exporting engines and vehicles to other countries. In the history of Australia, Holden has a special place as the first all Australian car manufacturers. The company has a vehicle manufacturing operations at Adelaide and on site engineering manufacturing plants. It also has strong network of dealership that helps in distribution of its vehicles. A center of expertise is accounted by company in process of engineering and design performances. A status of ingenuity, adaptability, spirit of strength and significance have been acquired by organization. Organization evolves from a domestic manufacturer to an exporter of engines, vehicles and automotive expertise for market diversification (Brown et al. 2013). Major operating facilities of Holden are located at Dandenong, Fisherman Bend, Elizabeth and Lang Lang in South Australia.  The products of Holden are selected for development of house of quality are SUV that is suburban utility vehicle and the name of SUV brand includes Trailblazer, Trax and captiva.

Literature review relating to quality management:

Several issues that are crucial in planning process are captured by a matric format in Quality function deployment. One of the recognized and widely used form of this method is house of quality matrix. One of the major concerns of manufacturing sector during the World War II was quality that led to the emergence of concept of total quality management. This was discovered in US companies that provided them with competitive edge against ever-growing competition from Japanese organizations. The business world was introduced with quality management and methodologies of quality improvement. Business objectives of organization are achieved through high level of quality that would help in providing a source of competitive advantage. It is a basic requirement of organization that helps in adding value that helps in making work processes and continuously improving it (Heizer 2016). Management, monitoring and establishment of quality control system is critical to organizations and they are achieved by following:

  • Documenting and defining quality objectives and quality policies and its effective implementations at all level
  • Maintaining and implementation of quality system by providing adequate resources

Effective quality system helps in achieving business objectives and enhancing the satisfaction of customers, operational results such as market share, revenue, profitability and opportunities of exports. In many organizations, quality management has become a driving force and quality factor is given priority. The way business is carried out in organizations is completely changed y total quality management. Philosophy that is incorporated in the concept of total quality management is continual effort for improving the satisfaction of customers and improving quality (Soosay et al. 2016).

Quality management is a process-oriented system that is built on the belief that quality is a matter that leads to confirmation of requirements of customers. The responsibility of Holden is to purchase raw materials in the process of manufacturing cars. This assist supplier in carrying put their business activities at price and volume that are unparalleled.

Part B

Development of vehicles and selling them through their strong dealership network is considered the core business of Holden.

Supplier’s role is regarded as crucial by company in the development of vehicles because suppliers that are integrated into the final stage of preparing vehicles supply the quality components. If the components provided by suppliers are of good quality, then the quality factor can be achieved. The prime objective of business network model of Holden Australia is achieving superior quality in their vehicle development and it focuses on providing quality services to their customers. In order to achieve higher quality level in their services and products, it is ensured by organization that there is key flow of information between suppliers and purchasing departments. An organization would be capable of delivering innovative and high quality vehicles by enhancing their relationships with suppliers and establishing a direct link with production process (Shepherd and Patzelt 2017). Ensuring that organization receives high quality components parts and innovative vehicles, Holden strives to maintain relationship within suppliers.

The quality management standard is applicable to car manufacturer such as Holden. Adoption of such standard has helped organization in enhancing and improving the performance of quality system resulting in cost reduction by elimination of redundant requirements. Strategy of managing quality at Holden intends to develop fundamental quality system that would assist in preventing defect, making continuous improvement and reducing waste and variations in their supply chain process.

Quality intends to allow precision of designs and helps in solving particular problems at different level of organizations. A quality tool has been embraced by organization for continuous improvement and concurrent engineering that helps in improving overall performance of organization. Holden employs following techniques as quality control techniques and they are as follows:

Implementing statistical process control in production process of organization would help in improving efficiency. It is essential on part of organization to ascertain the extent to which the products are meeting the requirements that are pre-established. This requires comparison of customer voice and voice of process.

Some of quantifiable aspects that help in reflecting the critical factors are key performance indicators. Product design is another tool that is employed by organization while dealing with managing quality as it helps in building quality into products.

Critical aspect of maintaining quality into design of products is that it would meet the expectations of customer and provide them with satisfaction. Quality function deployment is a tool used by organization that leads to translation of customer voice into specific technical requirements. This also assists in enhancing communications between various functions such as operations, marketing and engineering. While designing any products of Holden, several variables are involved and in this case, quality function deployment enables viewing the relationship among them. For instance, it can be considered how customer safety requirements are affected by changes in materials used in manufacturing of cars. The concept of quality is further extended to suppliers of company with the implementation of total quality management as a tool for managing quality. Total quality management principle intends to satisfy external customer needs with good quality products and services by encouraging participation amongst managers and shop flow workers (Krajewski et al. 2013).

Holden Quality Management Strategies

Six major components are involved in House of quality and this comprise of planning matrix, technical requirements, a technical correlation matrix and interrelationship matrix. The initial steps in developing house of quality involve clarifying, determining and specifying the needs of customers.

It is essential on part of organization to translate customer wishes into tangible values that would lead to engineering specifications. Some of the features includes parts, processes, functions, tasks, quality character and reliability.

Determining specifications of customers, organizations are required to translate them into particulate specifications.

In this step of quality, functional development is the identification of customer wants and the steps taken to achieve wants. Necessary requirements are fulfilled by designing products. This can be related to steering system sought by customers. Requirement of steering system of SUV customers are transformed into major technical measures of steering system. It can be seen that material quality is considered to be of the highest priority to the customers and for most of the customers, requirements are associated with texture, color, attractive designs, scratch proof and tear resistance. Dimension and structure of rigid of SUV cars are considered to be another priority.

In this matrix, a connection between performance measures and products requirement of customers are established intended to improve the products. Design criteria in the development of vehicle are used and this involves efficient operating system, user friendly and vehicle performance (Chiang et al. 2014).

Technical correlation matrix is regarded as roof that assists in relationship development between product requirements and customer requirements. Since quality of material has received due weight age from customers, it is required that products that is SUV cars should be scratchproof and dash board quality.

It involves degree of difficulties faced in each product requirement development and competitive products technical performances. Requirements of customers are distributed across the quality characteristics relationships. It helps in enabling prioritization of characterizes relating to quality of SUV that indicate that improvement in such technical issue would help in delivering great value to customers.

Moreover, the current products of Holden such as SUV would be benchmarked against the products of competitors in relation to characteristics of high quality. Such competitor would involve SUV cars manufactured by Toyota, Hyundai and Ford. This helps in identification of certain technical areas that would leads to achieving customer satisfaction in most cost effective way. Standard of current products performance should be maintained by examining the context of customer for usage concerns and setting target specifications for characteristics of quality of product (Soosay et al. 2016).

Literature review relating process and layout strategies: 

The layout designs and facilities in manufacturing organization involves configuration of plant sites with major facilities, lines, buildings, department boundaries, sites and work areas. Process layout helps organization in producing and manufacturing low volume and customized products requiring sequence of operations and several processing requirements. Improvement in process layout of manufacturing organization would involve minimization or reduction of time, transportation cost and distances (Zangiski et al.  2013).

Layout strategy of one of the element of manufacturing organizations that deals with analyzing the geography, physical capacity, corporate philosophy, functional needs and focusing on process of producing products enabling responding to changes in facility systematically driven by strategic and organizational considerations. Decisions concerning layout designs and processes influence their operational management performance largely and have a long-term impact on organizational values. Various challenges are faced by manufacturing organizations resulting from limited horizontal space availability and thereby making design layout more complex. It is required by organization to design the system and strategies development to cope up with challenges faced in their operating environment. One of the crucial components of overall operations of business is facility designs and layout in aspect of meeting employees’ needs and enhancing the production processes effectiveness (Roth et al. 2015). Therefore, the essential component in operation management is layout planning that would provide the benefit of eliminating or preventing redundant material handling cost and space that leads to producing services and goods at increased or higher rate.  

The product layout of automobiles manufacturers are laid in assembly lines and relationship between the sizes of given precuts and the parts manufactured are related with adoption of product layout. Three major sections are involved in automotive production processes and this involves paint shop, body shop and trims assembly shop. Capacity and process design of operations management area of car manufacturers would assist in supporting production goals.  It can be explained with help of an instance such as competitor of Holden that is ford has adopted the assembly line methods that leads to maximization of production capacity. Production capacity of organization is improved by development of new facilities in the network of production and supply chain. Another area of operation management is layout strategy, designs and focusing in this area would maximize the efficiency of resources, and wok flows. Strategies concerning the layout designs would involve regional production facilities and location of dealership (Carnes et al. 2015).

Organization has a framework of methodology of systematic layout planning. A die casting components relating to automobile rocks are produced by Holden. For producing the final products requites raw material to go through several process. The process involves storing raw materials, die-casting, finishing die casting stores, drilling, and broaching, and reaming, tapping, milling, packaging and finishing quality stores, maintenance and toll, administrative blocks and free space. Company in producing most of components adopted by company follows a same path. Inspection of the existing layout of organization is exposed to several problems that help in development of layout of organizations. Some of the recognized problems involve excess production time, excess material flow between departments, and improper location of departments. Development of new layout is intended to provide feasible alternative to management that leads to selection of optimum location (Bromiley and Rau 2016).

The designs of layout are a strategic issue of manufacturing organizations that has a lasting and significant impact on manufacturing system efficiency. An optimum relationship among the process of manufacturing, floor area and output is provided by the adoption of ideal facility layout of products such as SUV cars manufacturing. Holden has employed a process layout for where several machines of same categories are out together in a department. It can be analyzed and evaluated using the discussed layout strategies that existing layout has high material handling costs. Therefore, in this particular section, a new layout would be designed for reducing the material handling costs faced by organization. It can be demonstrated from the literature review discussed that an organization can make use of variety of techniques and tools relating to their layout designs and strategies. Improvement in the existing layout of organizations for production of SUV cars are done by adopting the graph theory (Afeche et al. 2015). Reason for adopting this technique is this simplicity. For handling the existing layout problem, graph theoretic would involve following steps and they are as follows:

  • An activity relationship chart would be constructed in consultation with workers and production managers. Activity relationship diagram helps in depicting the activities of relationships
  • In this step, conversion of chart is done into relationship diagram and ratings are converted into line forms.
  • In third step, a dual graph is developed that involves two types of region son e is unbounded and another is bounded.
  • The relationship between relative department locations is provided by dual graphs. Maximum closeness rating is satisfied by conversion of dual graph into block layout using activity relationship chart (Taghav et al.2014).
  • In step six, dual graph is converted into block layout for generating conversion to block layout.

In the developed theoretical layout, areas of different departments and number of departments remain unchanged and it remains as before as previous layout of organization. There would be rectilinear flow of material in the developed layout by measuring distances between different departments. The layout of plant facility is the main concern of developed theoretical layout is reducing the material handling costs along with poor handling of materials that might leads to problem generation in business activities (Wisner 2016).

Manufacturing organization are required to adopt best operation management practices for enhancing the development of house of quality that will ultimately lead to enhancement of layout and product designs facilities. Such practices would help in decreasing waste, improving productivities and generating profits. Furthermore, for enabling Holden to catch up with their competitors is that materials costs and materials used in organizations manufacturing process would lead to overcome competitions from their competitors. In order to stay competitive, organization must reduce costs and planning of layout is very essential as it helps in elimination of redundant activities that unnecessarily shoots up costs. There has been increasing need of higher productivity within manufacturing organizations resulting from increased customer expectation, globalization and technological advances. It is crucial on part of manufacturing organizations not to underestimate the value of collaboration and good integrations across different departments. Integrating the business process would help in achieving new productivity levels that will enable to become a more responsive organization by cost and waste reduction. Developed strategies for quality management and improvement of layout process can be achieved by adopting a system that helps in elements interaction for cooperatively carrying put predetermined functions. They should adopt process-oriented improvements that would assist organization in proper application of management system within organization. It can adopt some of the improvement layout concepts such as kaizen. A system approach should be undertaken by organization that would focus on producing an entire optimized business delivering optimum customer values.

Conclusion: 

The report discusses about the operations management activities and plans of selected manufacturing organization based in Australia that is Holden. From the above analysis of various aspects of Holden, such as layout process and quality management, it can be ascertained that existing layout suffers from few issues such as higher cost and materials waste. This has led to deduce the issues that led to development of changed and modified layout process intended to solve the issues in existing layout. A graph theory has been used to develop the theoretical layout of production process of products produced by organization. The development of new theoretical layout would help in solving prevailing issues of organization. Layout of plant facility is the main concern of developed theoretical layout that would help in reducing the material handling costs along with poor handling of materials that might leads to problem generation in business activities.

References: 

Afeche, P., Araghi, M. and Baron, O., 2015. Introduction to special issue on marketing and operations management interfaces and coordination. Technical report, University of Toronto. Working paper.

Bromiley, P. and Rau, D., 2016. Operations management and the resource based view: Another view. Journal of Operations Management, 41, pp.95-106.

Brown, S., Bessant, J.R. and Lamming, R., 2013. Strategic operations management. Routledge.

Chiang, W.C., Urban, T.L., Hu, J., Li, H., Xu, Y. and Li, S., 2014. Interdisciplinary research in operations management. International Journal of Production Economics, 147, pp.571-572.

Harvey, J., Heineke, J. and Lewis, M., 2016. Editorial for Journal of Operations Management special issue on" Professional Service Operations Management (PSOM)". Journal of Operations Management, 42, pp.4-8.

Hitt, M.A., Xu, K. and Carnes, C.M., 2016. Resource based theory in operations management research. Journal of Operations Management, 41, pp.77-94.

Malihi, K. and Shee, H., 2017. STRATEGIC VEHICLES IMPORT SUPPLY CHAIN: A PARADIGM SHIFT IN AUSTRALIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 22(1).

Shepherd, D.A. and Patzelt, H., 2017. Researching at the Intersection of Innovation, Operations Management, and Entrepreneurship. In Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship (pp. 103-147). Springer International Publishing.

Smith, L., Maull, R. and CL Ng, I., 2014. Servitization and operations management: a service dominant-logic approach. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 34(2), pp.242-269.

Soosay, C., Nunes, B., Bennett, D.J., Sohal, A., Jabar, J. and Winroth, M., 2016. Strategies for sustaining manufacturing competitiveness: comparative case studies in Australia and Sweden. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(1), pp.6-37.

Spring, M. and Santos, J.B., 2015. Case study research in operations management: new contexts, new theories, new approaches. In 22nd International Annual EurOMA Conference.

Zangiski, M.A.D.S.G., de Lima, E.P. and da Costa, S.E.G., 2013. Organizational competence building and development: Contributions to operations management. International Journal of Production Economics, 144(1), pp.76-89.

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