Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Alexander, Suraj Mammen


Ford Motor Company; Business logistics--Management; Production management; Manufacturing processes; Organizational change


For many years the concept of Lean Manufacturing has been applied in automotive development as a tool to refine the manufacturing practices to the greatest efficiency possible through waste reduction. Continuous Improvement is a quality innovation process that supports this objective, based on the manufacturing pillar – work processes and scientific experiments must be controlled and constantly modified and improved by the people who do, and are accountable for the work. Continuous Improvement implicitly implies the understanding and recognition of what is a problem and problem solving techniques used to formulate the best countermeasures to those problems. The process of Lean Manufacturing embraces a philosophy of excellence, elimination of waste on value-added operations, employee involvement, and continuous improvement. It is a journey, an on-going process that results in improved customer satisfaction and hence corporate profits. Profit is the reward for customer satisfaction. Increase customer satisfaction and your rewards are higher profits. This is the best method to maintain or increase market share. Understanding the basic hierarchy and philosophy of how to increase profits is essential to creating a sustainable lean enterprise. The following structures process outlines the basic questions and answers for any company to ask itself: Process to Sustained Success (chart). This thesis is about Ford Motor Company getting back to its roots, the heritage it started with the development of the moving assembly line and the original concept of Lean Manufacturing. This paper will focus on the creative steps outlined in the Process to Sustained Success procedure toward the journey of Lean Manufacturing. In addition, the current state of production processes, and recommended specific corrective actions for the re-innovation of Ford Motor Company to a sustained lean enterprise in a modern era will be discussed. Questions will be asked and answered such as: Can Ford achieve sustained success implementing "The Way Forward" plan, or does "The Way Forward" [16] plan need to incorporate the Process to Sustained Success to meet Ford's long-term goals? The benchmark company for comparison is Toyota Motor Manufacturing Corporation.