Sanyo Case Study
Class: 315 Date:09/08/12
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the United States received a rude awakening on the importance of quality. Foreign competition, particularly from the Japanese, resulted in the increase of market share for many Japanese companies. And the Sanyo Manufacturing Company is the one. Thanks to globalization and rapid advances in technology, today’s manufacturing environment is increasingly competitive. Manufacturers need to stay focused on finding new ways to design, produce, sell and deliver products. In manufacturing, ...view middle of the document...
It brings a nice look plant and can protect the equipment and electronic parts from dust interfered. This method can make equipment work more efficient, and a neat environment can bring a good mood to workers and remind worker of keeping the plant clean.
• Separate Quality Control from Quality Assurance, Sanyo puts more resources into avoiding quality problems.
• Higher quality standards are announced and new equipment and procedures are instituted to assist workers in meeting them. It makes Sanyo more effective. Workers can increase production by new equipment.
• Major components import from Sanyo’s Osaka plant. The components from this plant are in high quality. They even needn’t to inspect quality of the components. And Sanyo also make sure that the components from other companies are in good quality. Sanyo hired a new supervisor of incoming inspection to increase the standards for purchased parts. Sanyo always makes quality requirement to suppliers.
Question 2: What is the problem at Sanyo? Explain how the quality goals and philosophy have changed
By 1981 SMC had developed a strong competitive base from which to expand. However, the road to success had not been entirely smooth and there were still some problems in the three following aspects.
Developing an organizational way to deal with the necessary coordination between SMC and Sanyo was difficult. After the acquisition, Sanyo chose to use a committee approach to manage the company. The committee was made up of six vice presidents: 3 Americans and 3 Japanese. However, a communications gap clearly existed, resulting in that decision making was slow, and production personnel had difficulty obtaining answers to basic questions within a reasonable amount of time. And how Japanese to deal with this problem is moving a senior executive vice president at Sanyo from Japan to Forrest City and a more traditional organization was established. In this way, the power of the company would be more centralized and the efficiency of decision making would be improved.
In 1979, the union went out on strike for eight weeks during August and September in the course of an attempt to negotiate a new three–year contract. Maybe, the problem resulted from the workers’ hostility towards their first-level supervisors. Or the strike was just an attempt by the union to share in the increased profitability of the company. Also probably, it was a consequence of a variety of cultural differences. No matter what the explanations are, Nakai emphasized that ‘they must be aware that their own standard of living is very much related to the prosperity of their company and the most important question for us right now is how to instill this concept in our American workers.’ Absolutely correct! The union has to stand the same line with the company, because the company’s prosperity is directly linked with all of people in this company.