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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Business Excellence in the Automotive Industry

Business excellence is an ideal that all good entrepreneurs strive to achieve.  In fact, many organizations are devoted to honoring those businesses that best exemplify this concept.  However, business excellence cannot be strictly defined.  Rather, it varies from one industry to another.  For example, in the automotive industry, business excellence includes customer commitment, quality control, efficient supply, and innovative management.

Leaders in the automotive industry understand the need to form a strong bond with customers.  Perhaps more than other sectors, consumers are more likely to make a decision regarding an automobile purchase based upon their experience with those in the industry.  Thus, entrepreneurs need to be concerned with two key features relating to customer commitment.  The first is meeting the needs of the consumer, financially and socially.  People need automobiles that meet their economic means.  This not only means getting a good initial purchase price, but also finding a vehicle that will require minimal repair and maintenance down the road.  Consumers also want to purchase automobiles that will not require excess money to be spent on fuel.  Therefore, business excellence includes finding more cost-efficient production and distribution processes, and subsequently passing these savings on to the consumer.


The second aspect of customer commitment is meeting societal needs and desires.  This means staying informed of what vehicle features are most important to consumers.  Such information can be garnered using formal surveys and demographic research.  Once you understand the buyer, you are more capable of catering to him or her.  For example, people in some regions are especially concerned with the environmental impact of their purchases.  Thus, the automobile industry would need to show those people they are committed to using recycled materials and alternative fuels.  Additionally, many consumers want family vehicles that are safe and comfortable for children.  Therefore, excellent automobile entrepreneurs will focus their attention on crash test results and extra amenities.

In addition to customer commitment, business excellence must include exceptional quality control measures.  This means ensuring that automotive vehicles are safe and easy to maintain.  Appropriate testing should be undertaken for each new product model, and the results of these assessments need to be made public in a timely manner.  Additionally, individual dealerships should take care to ensure every vehicle is inspected prior to sale and stored under ideal conditions prior to purchase.

Efficient supply is an aspect of business excellence that is frequently overlooked.  The balance between supply and demand is vital to the automotive industry.  Producing too many vehicles can lead to severely diminished profits.  It can also lead to a waste of resources that could have been better utilized for vehicles more likely to be purchased.  Meanwhile, a supply that is too short can cause companies to lose customers.  When an individual needs to purchase a vehicle, he or she may not be able to wait any extensive period for a desired product to come into supply.  As a result, they will simply find an alternative automobile to purchase.

Finally, business excellence in the automotive industry requires innovative management.  There are several parties involved in the manufacture and distribution of vehicles, and financial as well as labor resources need to be managed from the top down as well as controlled on a micro-level.  Thus, not only do large factories need to communicate with business executives and the dealerships that asses supply, but individual sales representatives need to be appropriately trained and supervised at each individual dealership.