Quality and People Management at Jaguar Land Rover's Closed-loop Manufacturing

Published: 2022-07-20
Quality and People Management at Jaguar Land Rover's Closed-loop Manufacturing
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Company History Health and Social Care Psychology
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1635 words
14 min read

Today's global environment features a realisation that firms have access to similar technology, hardware and software. It is only the management of such elements that offers firms the potential to nurture their competitive advantage. Consequently, operations and people management become integral to ensure coordination of supply chain activities from inputs extraction through manufacturing to recycling the products at their end-life. Its achievement features management of multiple disciplines including product development, quality and human resource management in the supply chain. People management becomes a key function of the planning and executing smooth flow of raw materials, intermediate and finished goods from the point of origin to the consumption area. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) confronts operation and people management in its global supply chain with an increased need to run smooth process cycles in its upstream and downstream activities. This essay focus on quality management in Jaguar Land Rover's closed-loop manufacturing process and people management to support its market.

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Jaguar Land Rover Limited is a British automotive manufacturer built around two car brands - Jaguar and Land Rover. Headquartered in Whitley, the company is a subsidiary of Tata Motors (Speth, 2014). Its present status traces shares a journey through multiple acquisitions. Jaguar founded in the 1922 and Land Rover in 1948, would combine initially in 1968 when British Leyland acquired both (Jaguar, 2016). They would break later leaving Land Rover operating independently as a subsidiary of BMW and Jaguar for Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor would acquire Land Rover in 2000 after the Rover Group break-up. Their ownership would change hands following its acquisition by Tata Motors in 2008. Again, Tata Motors would combine Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover in 2013 held under Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc. (Speth, 2014).

JLR has realised increased investment marked by an expansion in the supply base, manufacturing and global partnership. Such expansion reflects in the US$2.78 billion joint venture with Chery in 2012 targeting an increased stake in the Chinese market (Jaguar, 2016). The expansion has brought need to drive productivity, reduce tooling costs and improve accuracy for higher-quality parts in its future designs. Its efforts reflect in the six per cent increase in revenue to PS25.8 billion to realise PS1.5 billion pre-tax profits (Hallett, 2018). The results reflect the company's commitment to optimising productivity and quality in its supply chain and manufacturing

JLR recent success in the competitive automotive market emerges from devotion to quality and people management in its closed-loop manufacturing and collaboration approach in its supply chain. Its approach to managing people in the supply chain and product quality in the data-driven manufacturing and collaborative approach in the supply chain forms the base of this essay.

The long-term sustainability in the business lies in securing incremental productivity in its model by facilitating a supportive environment for its people. From the human relations theory of management by Elton Mayo, people desire to work in supporting an environment that nurtures development and growth. The Hawthorne studies revealed that productivity lies in the people and not machines. Perry (2017) found that supportive workplaces manifested in the human relations management theory encourage employees to participate in the development and growth course of the firm. The theory derived from the Hawthorne studies assert that the provision of special attention to the employees and encouraging their participation stimulates a positive perception in their work. Progressively, they become motivated to optimise productivity when they develop a sense of significance in the workplace. The Hawthorne effect, as captured by Elton Mayo in the human relations management theory, indicates that manufacturers' could stimulate increased productivity by providing a sense of belonging and significance to their employees (Perry, 2017).

Human relations management theory places people's contributions at the heart of attaining long-term viability of the businesses. JLR quality management accommodates feedback as an integral component to ensure continuous adaptation and improvement. Its achievement reflects in the JLR business model that perceives its people as the fundamental building blocks to its success (Galer, 2017). Its culture prioritises engaging employees since it stimulates real passion in the products they make. Doing so, it motivates them to productivity blend with genuine care for delivering products preferred by customers for offering unique driving experiences. Efforts by the company to engage the employees to place it among the best employers in the UK reflected in the provision of consumer-like digital experiences through SAP Success Factors package.

The adoption of the new operating model to manage its people and partners aimed at delivering standardised and leaner perception of employees. The operating model gives the company scalable participation for employees to present their diverse input on business planning, creativity and strategic decision making (Galer, 2017). The approach complies with human relations management theory argument that employees' involvement makes them a reliable source of creativity and competitiveness. JLR runs a flexible shared services platform for the employees encouraging them through consumer-standard experience and data-driven analytics. The platform centralises the human resource services under a cloud platform that encourages personalised talent solutions to the business. The centralised platform accommodates self-services that integrate key performance indicators including engagement and productivity (Galer, 2017). The data-driven management prioritises employee participation to place it on the innovation cutting edge.

The adoption of closed-loop manufacturing has compelled JLR to extend people management to its supply chains. Different from the centralised shared-service for its employees, it embraced a collaborative management approach through feedback channels. Its application reflects in JLR efforts to reduce weight and optimise fuel efficiency by automotive manufacturers led Jaguar Land Rover to incorporate aluminium in the bodies of its vehicles (Cassell, et al., 2016). JLR started the project seeking to manufacture more sustainable cars. However, people were at the heart of delivering more sustainable cars. It necessitated creating circular economy tasks by incorporating forward and reverse collaboration to ensure the integration of product waste into new products' versions (Cassell, 2016). The closed-loop resembles lean manufacturing though prioritises sustainable value chain through collaborative action. The collaborative platform enables the supply chain partners to encourage their employees to think beyond the conventional incremental improvements by creating win-win opportunities. The collaboration in the multi-stakeholder project in REALCAR allowing JLR to sell the waste aluminium back to the supplier - Novelis (Cassell, et al., 2016).

The closed-loop manufacturing would work better if JLR adopted the lean initiative used by Toyota. The approach allows Toyota to continually invest in its people through the creation of genuine learning channels. As earlier mentioned in the human relations theory, the Toyota approach features the creation of genuine learning channels that are empowering employees to fix problems quickly. JLR limits its people management as a source of ideas towards creativity. It misses on their input in solving challenges since they must comply with the feedback loop. However, the company would attain quicker solutions to the process deviations by adopting suggestion schemes that stimulate small incremental improvements rather than revolutionary changes.

The application of the Opens Systems theory indicates that one cannot completely control environmental factors. Instead, one can only guarantee quality through the management of inputs, stimulating incremental transformations and timely feedback. The Open Systems theory argues that embracing a diagnostic perspective will help assess how the business is functioning, highlight nonperforming areas and address the challenges (Prescott, 2015). It adoption evokes the Edge of Chaos theory by that organisations operate as dynamic systems that exist in a state of continuous adaptation and improvement. Its rationale associates operating in the static business model as unrealistic that eventually holds back the organisation performance, your employees and supply chain partners' businesses.

JLR closed-loop manufacturing process adopts the Edge of Chaos and Open System theories to manage quality through incremental improvements. By doing so, the organisation is subject to people's involvement since the management can hardly run it under splendid isolation. Such acknowledges the rationale of the Open Systems Theory arguing that businesses should accommodate external factors that capable of directly or indirectly influencing its performance (Prescott, 2015). However, adjusting to accommodate the external factors compel involving people through feedback. The receipt of feedback will inform the organisation where it is nonperforming and areas that need improvement.

Its closed-loop manufacturing involves committing all process cycles to data measurements to ensure improved production quality. Its accomplishment obligates applying specific tools to data measurement to identify areas to improve design quality continually. Jaguar Land Rover utilises Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing to ensure critical-to-quality characteristics and compliance with pre-defined requirements (Reese, 2018). However, the variation of workflows witnessed among manufacturers makes feedback cycles critical to the closed-loop manufacturing. The feedback cycles start with engineers proactively predicting non-conformance through progress simulations (Consonni, 2018). They do so to reduce issues that would disrupt the interactive designs. The resulting quality characteristics identified from the simulation are utilised towards the creation of plans integrated during measurement of key data points (Reese, 2018). However, coordination of data points is critical a reason to apply computer-aided design (CAD) models.

Closed-loop manufacturing requires the JLR to inspect and measure the output to spot quality issues addressed quickly. Alternatively, they use the statistical process control (SPC) to identify and analyse the cause of the issue of whether emerging from the processor design. Running the SPC system enables JLR to update and modify the design to resolve the issue (Reese, 2018). Like the lean process, JLR commits to continuous streamlining of the manufacturing process to prevent recurrence of such issues. The development of fit-for-purpose software ensures end-to-end validation of inspection plans before their implementation in the manufacturing process. According to Reese (2018), JLR uses SPC systems to enhance its measurement and inspection processes hence improving data fed upstream and downstream.

Considering that business intelligence derived from software is only used as the inputs, hence a need to complete the feedback loop during the dimensional variation analysis operations. With JLR production exceeding 600,000 vehicles annually, the introduction of SPC system was inevitable to assist in the collection and analysis of production data within the dimensional variation analysis (DVA) operations (Reese, 2018). Its introduc...

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