Automotive Academy and Ford in new training push

07 March 2006 #SMMT News


The Automotive Academy and Ford are working together in the UK to share best practices around quality and productivity-improvements for manufacturing and assembly plants. Skilled experts from the Academy are working with Ford’s Quality and Six Sigma teams to continue to elevate the Kaizen skills of thousands of Ford employees at its UK facilities.


Kaizen is the well-established Eastern philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. Their ongoing applications, and its principles, have long been embodied in quality and productivity initiatives at Ford and most of the rest of the automotive industry. Alongside other quality and productivity actions, the principles embodied in the Kaizen approach are regarded as an important element in further enhancing quality and productivity at Ford facilities.


Skills and training experts from the Automotive Academy’s South East office and human resources, manufacturing and training executives from Ford’s Swaythling Transit Plant near Southampton have spent nearly six months jointly developing the latest programme. Pilot programmes have already been successfully implemented.


Developing and improving skills across the whole spectrum of automotive employment is a key objective of the Birmingham-based Automotive Academy and teaching the practice of Continuous Improvement is one of the core elements of the Academy’s Level 2 Business Improvement Course. This course is being used as one of the cornerstones of the programme developed by the Academy and Ford.


‘Partnering with the Academy to further improve awareness of the Kaizen process to our UK manufacturing and assembly operations will ensure that we have the best possible team working to train employees in the skills necessary to continuously improve our cost, quality and productivity performance,’ said Trevor Negus, Plant Manager at Ford’s Southampton plant (pictured right). ‘We have worked with the Academy’s experts on the successful pilot programme at Southampton and the programme will now be progressively rolled out to Ford facilities in Dagenham, Leamington Spa and Daventry.’


‘Consistently improving productivity and vehicle quality are central elements in Ford’s manufacturing culture,’ said the Automotive Academy’s South East Regional Manager Eric Newell. ‘And the successful introduction and implementation of this latest programme will deliver major benefits to the company in today’s immensely competitive environment.


‘The whole focus of the Automotive Academy’s Business Improvement Techniques programme is on continuous improvement. Our initial work at the Southampton Plant convinced Ford that the Academy was the right partner to help roll out the programme to their other plants. We are delighted to be working with Ford to ensure the successful implementation of this very powerful quality and efficiency improvement programme.’


The Automotive Academy’s Patrick McCall added, ‘Our pilot programme development work with the manufacturing and training teams at the Southampton plant will ensure that the roll out and delivery process uniquely meets Ford’s objectives.’

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