CASE STUDIES - EXAM QUESTIONS
QUALITY, CULTURE AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Question One: How and in what way does Honda Motors Co. handles its quality, culture and customer satisfaction keeping its best foot forward being one of the top leaders in the area of automobile industry? – Discuss Briefly.
Honda – a name that conjures images of high quality as the benchmark incorporates as the truth that Honda is really best-selling car in America being the highest resale value in its class as made with regularity concerning the Honda Accord – a vehicle that is always on the short list of the most popular cars in this country. (, 2001) Honda, as of now sitting comfortably at the top of the U.S. passenger car market, was not always in this successful position (, 48). As of the present, Honda is a model of such car companies such as General Motors as the car company try to emulate in order to increase their own sales. The themes have contributed to Honda’s success in the United States: the company has seized on opportunities in the U.S. market and it has also tailored its practices to fit American culture as Honda is a benchmark by which other automakers are now measured to run its American operations (, 30). After a slow start in the United States market, “Honda built a reputation as a premier maker of small motorcycles” (, 326).
Honda is a global company with manufacturing operations and sales networks as Honda products are enjoyed by people in numerous countries. This global success is built upon the renowned quality of Honda’s products and made possible by the passion and dedication of Honda associates everywhere. Honda’s business processes were not limited to its advances in the motorcycle market. Honda built its first automobiles and looked to enter the U.S. automobile market and faced several obstacles to its entrance: a strong reputation as a motorcycle manufacturer would not help Honda’s venture (35). Instead, the company had to start its U.S. auto marketing strategy from scratch and aware of the fact that it would not be able to rely on its motorcycle reputation to sell its cars in the U.S., Honda required that its cars and motorcycles be sold separately like cars and motorcycles could not be sold at the same dealership as Honda carry enough weight as a legitimate carmaker to insist that dealers carry its cars exclusively (, 37). Looking to build on its success with the Accord and Civic in America, Honda embarked on a bold and unprecedented plan to build cars in the United States as no other Japanese automaker had ever done (, 327) and a small company like Honda seemed ill-equipped to battle the car giants in their home territory ( 39). The motivation behind the decision was Honda’s desire to expand, compounded with Toyota’s and Nissan’s dominance of the Japanese market ( and , 327).
Honda was able to produce high-quality automobiles successfully by adapting to the needs of its workers and not by forcing Japanese managerial policies to be practiced. Honda’s success in manufacturing in the United States can be attributed to its management philosophy, unique to both the Japanese and American auto industries (, 49). The company operates with an openness that is rare in the world of business, where consensus and conformity are the rule. To boost communication, Honda has done away with executive lunch rooms and private offices, egalitarianism prevails: all Honda employees, right up to wear white coveralls with their names stitched in red lettering above the right breast pocket. (, 49) In making its associates true team members, Honda increases productivity by seeking input from all levels of the company and not just management. Honda adapted to the business environment in which it operated, allowing it to be successful as result of three key plans of action. First, Honda exploited a market opportunity. Instead of trying to battle Toyota and Nissan in a saturated Japanese auto market, Honda started production in the United States, knowing that it could produce higher-quality products than its other counterparts. Second, Honda used unique marketing strategies to position itself as a motorcycle manufacturer and later a car company that would be appealing to a wide variety of Americans.
Furthermore, Honda introduced a managerial strategy for its United States production facilities that was unique not only to Honda’s Japanese plants but also to American auto plants in general. In respect to business execution, Honda has established a system for operating its organizational units that reflects its fundamental corporate philosophy. Honda's basic policy emphasizes the appropriate disclosure of company information, such as by disclosing financial results on a quarterly basis and timely and accurately giving public notice of and disclosing its management strategies. Honda will continue raising its level of transparency in the future. Honda promotes an environment where customer’s opportunities are analyzed and maximized by implementing business practices that increase loyalty, satisfaction and retain customer’s business over their lifetimes. Customers drive their business strategies to achieving success and excellence in everything Honda do and will continue to be its key focus for developing products and services that accelerate their capability to prosper in the car business. Identifying and meeting customer needs is key to Honda’s continued business success listening to customers is what determines its business strategies and drives Honda’s culture in creating and managing the customer relationship that can be a company-wide task.
The company as a whole defines and clearly communicates to every employee what it wants to be the basis of the customer relationship like acquiring and updating knowledge about customer needs, motivation and behavior drive Honda’s approach toward customer excellence. Honda adheres in fostering an environment where highly motivated, action-oriented employees work together to continuously create and deliver high-quality, innovative products and services. Honda believes that a high quality players will help us maintain our leadership position and ensure that we remain one of the best places to work and innovative in the context of an ever-changing market environment. The management relies on teamwork by providing a collaborative environment that thrives on working across geographical and organizational boundaries, sharing information and finding new and better ways to support each other and its valued customers in continuing business success. Good communications both internally and with our customers and partners directly affects customer success. No matter how good Honda is – the one thing that can bring the company down is getting too far away from loyal customers as it gives emphasis on the success factors in fully realizing the company’s potential to influence the entire industry. Therefore, customer satisfaction is essential to basically improve the effectiveness of its processes and to establish quality objectives and created customer satisfaction metrics to monitor customer success and level up employee compensation to achieving those metrics and used to determine the goals and strategies that make Honda successful in reaching such goals and enhance better services and support respectively.
VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS
Question two: How effective Honda is in terms of its value chain primary and secondary activities to maintain a high standard process of business ways? – Discuss with emphasis to Honda’s application of its value chain.
By: (1980). Competitive Strategy
Figure available at:
According to , value chain is a systematic approach to examining the development of competitive advantage. (, 1980) as the chain of Honda will consists of a series of activities that create and build value. They culminate in the total value delivered by an organization.
The Value Chain Activities of Honda Motors Co. Ltd.
Moreover, by creating products and services that highlight the core values that make Honda unique, the company is providing their customers with joy and excitement beyond their expectations as Honda will continue to create such inspiring activities for its customers by offering mobility that is always ahead of the times. Thus, the ultimate goal of Honda sales activities is to satisfy our customers so that they will continue to come back better Honda quality products as Honda put enough effort into their services, responding to changing values and increasingly sophisticated needs and is always working to improve the quality of its customer relations such as providing friendly and attentive sales, responsive service support, thorough maintenance and repairs to increase customer satisfaction positively.
Honda continues to develop sales and service systems best suited to community needs as "life with a Honda" brings new joy to people and places worldwide as the company will unify multiple car-dealership channels into a single Honda sales channel in seeking to strengthen the Honda brand, enhance customer satisfaction and help ensure lifetime customer loyalty. In addition, Honda is known for its advanced driving performance and unique character, allowing people to gain from the rising popularity of luxury-class sedans most in metropolitan areas. The main value activity is continue to enrich customers' lifestyles with Honda vehicles. Henceforth, through leading-edge research and development, Honda has created original technology that opens up new possibilities in mobility. Honda is always tackling new challenges for the current and future benefit of individuals, society and the environment as the management is involved in the research and development of technology that will benefit people in the future the technologies range from new materials and new sources of energy, including new power trains that maximize joy while minimizing environmental impact as well as Honda's work in decoding the rice genome for application in various fields. It is said that one of Honda's dreams was the development of jet planes and in pursuance, Honda has established Honda Aero Inc. and developed a compact jet engine that has passed the experimental stages.
Honda's goal is to create new value and improve customer satisfaction through increased local autonomy and proactive efforts to localize regional operations. In efforts, Honda’s headquarters plays a key role in global operations by working to develop advanced technologies and coordinate worldwide business efforts as it coordinates with international subsidiaries to strengthen the company’s global competitive edge in progressive technologies like the development of global platforms for increased local production. Overall, Honda's operations will continue to play a leading role in bringing new technologies, products and lifestyles to valued customers. Maintaining a global viewpoint, Honda is dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction such as the following:
Ø Proceed always with ambition and youthfulness
Ø Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas, and use time effectively
Ø Enjoy work and encourage open communication
Ø Strive constantly for a harmonious workflow.
Ø Be ever mindful of the value of research and effort
Dreams inspire Honda to create innovative products that enhance mobility and benefit society to meet the particular needs of customers, Honda base their sales networks, research and development centers and manufacturing facilities in each region. Furthermore, as a socially responsible corporate citizen, the company has strive to address important environmental and safety issues. The CEO of Honda said, "a company that always takes on new challenges and provides joys and excitement beyond imagination." What makes Honda unique is the commitment to meet such expectations that people have for Honda. The source of Honda's competitiveness lies both in such desire to bring joy to loyal customers and society and in the passion of Honda associates that enable the team to continue fulfilling customers' expectations, and to further pursue certain core characteristics that make Honda unique, by focusing on the creation of new value process by achieving the three themes of new value, globalization and commitment as an integrated effort throughout the company and to share greater joys with people around the world and be recognized as a company that society wants to exist.
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