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The primary strategic initiatives of Ford Motor Companys restructuring plan executed between 2005 and 2010 involved

accelerating the development of new cars that customers would value, improving its balance sheet, working with its union employees to improve manufacturing competitiveness, reducing product engineering costs, reducing production capacity by approximately 40 percent, and reducing hourly headcount by 4050 percent. At the conclusion of the restructuring plan in 2010, Ford was ranked first among U.S. automobile manufacturers by J.D. Power in initial quality and had earned more than $5.4 billion in pre-tax profit on net revenues of $64.4 billion. Explain why its strategic initiatives taken at various organizational levels and functions were necessarily tightly coordinated to achieve its commendable results.

Strategy crafting comes from the top of an organization to the corporate then to the business level and finally to the functional and operational level. While strategy concept or vision might be the work of the chairman of the board or chief executive officer; it is foolish to accept that the execution belongs with the top management hierarchy alone. It is the involvement of every department within the organisation that creates a successful strategy. In achieving a successful Strategy, one of the most important aspects is how to manage each functional area successful to create value for the organisation. Functional-level strategies involve the coordination of functional areas of the company such as research and development, marketing, human resources, production so that each area supports and create value to the business. In 1989 Richard Lester at the MIT Industrial Performance Center identified seven best practices that companies should move away from mass production of low cost standardised products. Of the seven, the related one is Simultaneous continuous improvement in cost, quality, service, and product innovation. (Lester, 1986) Ford Motor Company was aware of this need and in executing its strategic initiatives and ensured that the critical functional levels ( research and development, marketing, human resources, production division) were as were involved and tightly coordinated to realise success. Ford first task was how to position the company in the marketplace and capitali se on an attractive opportunities to grow the business. Their product development strategy was to have their research and development division create a new product that the motoring public were looking for and thus accomplished this by accelerating the development of new cars that customers would value. If this strategy proved to be the correct one, it would mean that their sales would increase and provide the much need improvement too their balance sheet. However, one must note that any company can build the best car but the challenge is that it be cost effective to produce and affordable to its customers. Ford again in realising its strategic goal was able to improve its manufacturing competitiveness by working with United Auto workers union. In November 2007, Ford and the United Auto

works (UAW) signed a new collective bargaining agreement that enhance productivity and reduce costs. The new agreement helped Ford to improve competitiveness and pursue its restructuring efforts. Further to this, Ford met with the UAW (2009) to reduce its labour rates from $70.00 to $50.00 per hour resulting in an annual savings of $500 Million dollars in 2009 (BAILEY, 2009). Ford shared profits with its U.S. hourly Ford employees as a result of the Companys financial performance during 2010. The average amount about $5,000 for eligible full-time hourly employees - See more at: (FORD, 2010). This move can be viewed as a particular activity within a functional area (human resource) of the business that supports the overall business strategy. reducing product engineering costs reducing production capacity by approximately 40 percent Reduce product engineering cost - Reduce production capacity by 40 percent - Improve competitiveness reducing hourly headcount by 4050 percent In conclusion, a successful strategy only occurs when it is different, adaptive, and more efficient that the completion. It must be shared and involve all aspects of the organisation management and functional areas.

Bibliography BAILEY, D. (2009, MARCH WEDNESDAY). Ford-UAW deal cuts wages to $55 an hour. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE52A3YQ20090311 FORD. (2010). Working with UWA. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from FORD: http://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2010-11/economyrestructuring-uaw#sthash.6TBpzRf2.dpuf Lester, R. (1986). Made in America. Boston: MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity.