Organizational Technology Integration Evaluation Model
Leopoldo E. Madrigal
University of Phoenix
An organizational technology integration model will be proposed using a specific case in the automotive industry, one that took place in 1998. A consideration to be noted is the potential that the proposed model could had been used successfully at the time of the presented case’s implementation as it may be used today in any situation to assess technology efficiency. Antecedents
The problems the United States auto industry had during the late 70s and 80s were the lack of discipline, high absenteeism rates, and low morale among employees, all of which resulted in inefficiencies and low quality products. “Even with lesser quality, the (GM) Fremont plant averaged 34 man-hours of labor per automobile, versus only 20 at Toyota” (Rehder, Hendry, & Smith, 1985, p. 36). The implementation of new technologies in the American automotive industry, such as lean manufacturing principles, self-directed teams, quality circles, and flexible operations required that employees and their unions were aligned and committed with this new direction. The results in organizations implementing new technologies in which stakeholders bought in were as expected and manufacturing productivity as well as product’s quality improved. Product quality and production efficiency augmented as a result of implementing new technologies and new manufacturing approaches, as in example: Lean manufacturing, quality circles, self-directed work groups, and people empowerment. “NUMMI with some 170 robots is less automated than several of GM’s newer plants. Plans are to reach an annualized 200,000 units in 1986 with a work force of 2,500 – a level which rivals Japanese productivity” (Rehder et al., 1985, p. 38).
International Truck & Engine Company
In 1996 International Truck & Engine Company was evaluating the implementation of new technologies to improve its manufacturing efficiency. One of the new technology approaches considered was the implementation of an enterprise resource planning system. “Firms around the world have been implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems since the 1990s to have an uniform information system in their respective organizations and to reengineer their business processes” (Palaniswamy, 2002, p. 87).
For this new project other technologies were considered besides the ERP system implementation. The automotive industry in America was adopting lean manufacturing principles driven by the success of the Toyota Production System (TPS) that was first implemented in America in 1985 at the NUMMI plant in California. “Toyota’s extraordinary success is indisputable, and the TPS has been a major element in its increasing status in the world automotive industry” (New, 2007, p. 3546). As part of the lean manufacturing initiatives the objective of a new organizational design that empowered employees and promoted teamwork in self-directed work groups was set in motion. “Our major finding is that highly empowered teams are more effective than less empowered teams” (Kirkman & Rusell, 1999, p. 69). This initiative represented a new approach to an organization that was very conservative in their management of shop-floor operations. It was also decided that a new facility would be designed and built in accordance to lean manufacturing principles, as in example modular assemblies should flow directly to the point of application in production sequence. The new facility would be installed in Mexico, “in an effort to lower production costs, many U.S. firms manufacture products offshore in countries with low labor costs” (Eldenburg, Roman, & Teraya, 2007, p. 423). The challenge
Beyond the imminent challenge that an experienced team of people would find while setting up a new manufacturing facility the additional requirement to implement new technologies compounded the complexity. The new...
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