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Case Study Two world pioneers in the outline and fabricate of car-(Answered)


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Case Study

Two world pioneers in the outline and fabricate of car brake parts, Akebono ?Brake Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan and Delphi Automotive, shaped an interesting organization and ?established Ambrake Corporation to deliver innovatively propelled, amazing exactness ?brakes. Ambrake has been a win, harvesting gigantic prizes from its proficient operations. It ?has kept up its position as a noteworthy power in the brake business.According to Mark Mahoney, Ambrake president, the three elements involved in JIT production

are ?hardware,? ?software,? and ?humanware.? The hardware element covers the physical

aspects of the plant, including equipment design and cellular manufacturing. The software

focuses on product processing and systems, including material and information flow, pull

systems, quick changeover, built-in quality, and workplace organization. Humanware, however,

is the essential element that makes the organization operate as it should.

Four Pillars of JIT Humanware

Several components are necessary to shape the human element in an organization so that JIT is a

successful production philosophy. In general, the humanware technology of JIT consists of four

Production and Operations Management (MGT 613)

Assignment# 4 Semester Fall 2016


components: (1) education and training program, (2) development of a cooperative environment,

(3) rewards and incentives program, and (4) open communication and worker involvement.

The company owes much of its success to the partnership between JIT and human resources.

Since Ambrake?s manufacturing philosophy is consistent with the Just-in-Time philosophy, most

segments of its operation complement the ideas surrounding JIT.

1) Education and Training Program

Training is the first component in implementing and maintaining a Just-in-Time manufacturing

system. By incorporating an effective training system, the company ensures that both managers

and workers understand the JIT approach and that a new culture and attitude evolve that are

appropriate for JIT manufacturing. Education and training programs should maximize the

potential of each individual employee as a productive resource in the organization. Continuous

training supplemented by formal classroom study is an innovative way to emphasize a long-term

investment in human resources and its contribution to the company?s success.

Training for Managers

In some successful organizations, key managers have been sent to Japan for a few weeks to

observe JIT at its ideal level of operation. They worked side by side with management to learn

the task and culture of JIT. They also learned what benefits can be expected if JIT is used

properly and how JIT is important to a company?s continued success.

When companies switch from traditional manufacturing to JIT, they must have some idea of the

changes that will be required of them and their employees. When managers have been fully

educated in the technical aspects of JIT, as well as the way the human element will be affected,

they are in a better position to prepare their subordinates for the impending changes and

formulate creative ways of smoothing the transition.

Training for Employees

Employees, too, must be trained to work well in an entirely new philosophy of manufacturing.

Techniques that instill a philosophy of teamwork and collective effort should be used.

Employees must understand what is required of them and why their actions are important for the

long-run health of the company.

Trainers need to point out the fact that the JIT manufacturing environment is probably very

different from ones that most employees have worked in before. Employees should be

encouraged to view JIT as an opportunity to improve the company?s competitive position as well

as an opportunity to secure greater job security for themselves. Training methods used for

workers at Toyota Motor Manufacturing include on- the-job training charts as well as classroom


Ambrake Approach to Training and Education

Ambrake begins training at the very beginning. The company hires and subsequently trains

multi-functional workers. Even before applicants are hired, they go through an assessment

process that tests math skills, blueprint reading, and team-building skills as well as the ability to

apply lessons in a workplace environment. Ambrake uses these tests to determine whether

applicants possess the attributes that would make them successful in the Ambrake environment.

Probably the most important characteristic an applicant could possess is the ability to work

within teams.

Production and Operations Management (MGT 613)

Assignment# 4 Semester Fall 2016


Pre-employment training lasts for two weeks. If the associate is hired, on-the-job training is

continued for approximately 16 weeks. All associates are cross-trained as time progresses.

Ambrake offers management development as well as floor and office worker training. The

company has recently changed pre-employment training through an action circle, with a target to

make the process more consistent with work practice. With the continuing tight labor market,

each portion of the selection process has become increasingly critical.

An interesting point is that new employees are not trained by managers or a trainer from the

personnel department, but by group leaders and selected associates who have been designated as

certified trainers.Mr. Mahoney feels that these associates provide more effective training because

they work with the job every day and are intimate with the details of the job. He feels they are in

a better position to train, and that employing them as trainers is more beneficial to the company.

2) Cooperative Environment

A cooperative environment is probably the most influential factor in the implementation and

continuance of a thriving JIT system .Without the atmosphere the team concept generates, JIT

could very well fail. In most of the literature, the importance of teamwork is heavily stressed. For

JIT to be successful, the company culture must engender teamwork, cooperation, and a

partnership spirit within everyone in the organization.

At first, this may not be as easy as it sounds. Every man and woman in the United States is

exposed to competitive performance very early in life. In school, good grades are demanded;

sports teach that winning is all that?s important; after college, students compete with one another

for the ?best jobs?; finally, managers and employees compete for better bonuses.

All of these activities encourage individual achievement and discourage teamwork and

cooperation. For employees in a JIT environment to participate effectively, they must be able to

work together. Specific emphasis must be put on teamwork so that people move away from

deeply ingrained individualistic attitudes and toward a team focus. To develop a team concept,

the company must offer programs to create a cooperative environment. Effective techniques

include the following:

? Collecting diagnostic information. Use methods such as administering questionnaires,

conducting interviews, and so forth to collect information about current feelings and attitudes.

Managers can then work with the results to see what needs ?fixing.?

? Employing team-building activities. Use activities that help individuals who work in groups

learn how to communicate and solve problems together.

? Fostering a sense of equality. Employees should feel they are equally as important as

managers. Some methods for bringing this about are providing a common cafeteria, having no

private offices or reserved parking areas for managers, and encouraging everyone to wear the

same uniform.

Ambrake Approach to Developing a Cooperative Environment

Ambrake?s entire production system is based on self-directed teams with managers in the role of

resource providers, facilitators, and coaches. Mr. Mahoney comments that self-directed teams are

a very effective way to encourage creativity and input, and essentially turn associates into


Production and Operations Management (MGT 613)

Assignment# 4 Semester Fall 2016


Ambrake fosters the cooperative environment through numerous techniques. Managers

communicate to employees that they are all working for a common goal and that nothing in the

organization can be achieved singly. Associates will succeed as a group, not as individuals.

One specific technique is the formation of task forces. Associates on the task forces volunteer

their own time to help improve anything that affects all associates. Some issues are work related,

but not all are. Family activities, ways to improve production workstations, or any concerns

about uniforms or safety are examples of issues involved.

Ambrake provides uniforms for all associates to wear, including top management. Mr. Mahoney

believes that this practice creates a sense of equality because there are no visible distinctions

between people in the company. It also helps all employees feel that their ideas matter, that no

one is more important to the company?s continued success than they are.

3) Rewards and Incentives

Reward and incentive programs, the third component of a successful JIT implementation, are

sometimes very controversial. Often, these programs can determine the degree of conflict or

accord between units in the organization. For example, when employees receive rewards based

on achieving a company goal, a cooperative environment is encouraged and harmony is more

likely. However, if programs are based on output per person, competitiveness comes back into

play and all efforts to support JIT teamwork are lost. Managers must be certain that reward

systems are geared toward group activities and not toward individual ones. When programs are

being designed, the focus should be on group participation, contribution to problem solving, and

attainment of company goals.

Ambrake Approach to Rewards and Incentives

Although performance-based pay programs are under evaluation, Ambrake has not previously

tied compensation for all associates directly to the achievement of organizational goals. The

motivation to achieve targets has been driven by the desire for job security and inclusion as a

contributing member of a successful team. By providing a worthy culture and a fair working

environment, Ambrake fosters continuous improvement and this, in turn, enables the associates

to maintain their job security.

4) Open Communication and Worker Involvement

Communication and worker involvement together form the fourth essential component of JIT?s

success. In short, employees must feel appreciated, have pride in their work, and feel that the

company would not be where it is today without them. Being able to voice their ideas as a part of

the process makes it possible for employees to feel that way. They must be active in decision

making and quality control and be able to contribute to any aspect of their jobs. Managers must

create a climate in which their people are treated extraordinarily well.

Worker involvement brings pride to employees? work and helps provide a sense of job security.

Companies see better results with better attitudes and initiatives. Employees are able to generate

new ideas and enhance their problem-solving skills, and the level of responsibility for all

workers is increased.

Ambrake Approach to Fostering Communication and Worker Involvement

Mr. Mahoney agrees that communication is a very sensitive aspect of the work environment. At

Ambrake, associates have four different channels to consider for communicating their ideas:

Production and Operations Management (MGT 613)

Assignment# 4 Semester Fall 2016


? Ambrake has an open door philosophy. If associates have any problems or suggestions, they are

encouraged to approach any level of management to review their concerns.

? The company sponsors a hotline that associates can call if they want to voice their opinions

anonymously. The answer or solution is posted on a designated bulletin board.

? Associates are encouraged to use the line performance board. This bulletin board contains

charts on which employees can write their ideas, which are then reviewed by the appropriate

team leader.

? Ambrake uses action circles, synonymous with the quality circles already in use at many other

companies. These circles gather, voice opinions, and solve concerns together. Mr. Mahoney

estimates that at any given time four to seven action circles are active within the organization.

Importance of Worker Flexibility

The flexibility of workers is also an influential part of JIT manufacturing. Schroeder defines

Just-in-Time as the elimination of waste in the production process by utilizing the full capability

of the workers. Several authors agree that employing multi-functional workers proves

advantageous in a JIT system.

Quality is enhanced and the operating process is more flexible. Operating processes can be

changed to meet demand requirements, and feelings of worker alienation and boredom as well as

ergonomic problems can be reduced. In addition, flexibility gives workers the opportunity to

accept more job responsibility, increasing their feelings of value to the company.

Since JIT is based on a cellular layout, each worker is able to do all the necessary tasks within a

cell. The worker, therefore, controls volume, quality and, in some cases, financial performance.

Within Ambrake?s continual training, cross-training also takes place. The job enlargement allows

associates to prolong their employment and gain responsibility and a feeling of importance.

Summary and Conclusion

JIT emphasizes superior organizational values and philosophies, long-term strategic goals, a

two-way communication system, cooperation, harmonious relationships, functional structures,

strong commitment and loyalty to the organization on the part of its members, and a consultative

decision-making process. It is important to emphasize that the success of JIT is not the result of

cultural, structural, or environmental factors, but rather success stems from planned management

actions. It is the discipline, understanding, dedication, confidence, and continuous striving for

improvement that make JIT successful. All of these qualities, which should be evident in every

employee, can be engendered by proper human resource management.

The company continually develops the Ambrake production system (APS), which is modeled on

the Toyota system. APS is the driving force in manufacturing, and it is how Ambrake defines

work practice in the plant. Implementation of APS is a never-ending process: The company is

?always looking for new ideas and special talents to maintain competitiveness?.

APS is designed to promote kaizen, the practice of continuous improvement. Kaizen helps to

eliminate waste and, therefore, makes jobs easier and safer by eliminating anything that hinders

work. The corporation?s aim, using truly efficient work methods to produce zero defects, is

thereby achieved.

Production and Operations Management (MGT 613)

Assignment# 4 Semester Fall 2016

In summary, Ambrake?s manufacturing philosophy is based on three goals: flexibility,

teamwork, and continuous improvement. By following a participative management style based

on mutual respect, fairness, and trust, Ambrake is able to achieve these goals and create a truly

?open? atmosphere that makes Ambrake associates want to contribute. They help to provide the

motivation for everyone to work together to achieve a common goal of excellence.


1) Briefly discuss the role of the three elements in JIT production in the light of this

case study.(3)

2) Discuss the importance of training and education with reference to Ambrake?s JIT

production system.(4)

3) Creating a cooperative environment is a key factor for the success of a JIT system.

How did Ambrake ensure the existence of a cooperative environment? (3)

4) How did Ambrake make it possible to create an effective communication among the

members of a JIT team?(4)

5) What are the various benefits you perceive as being the head of a JIT team that the

implementation of a JIT system can bring?(6)



As per Tag Mahoney, Am brake president, the three components required in JIT creation are "equipment,


" "programming, " and "human ware. " The equipment element...


Paper#9257396 | Written in 27-Jul-2016

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