CADILLAC: BUSINESS PLANNING PROCESS
In Baldrige Award-winning application, Cadillac Motor Car Company wrote, "At Cadillac, the Business Plan is the Quality Plan". The planning process began every June, when the executive staff revievved current objectives to make sure they were aligned with corporate objectives.
Causes of quality improvement in Cadillac:
The business planning process in place when Cadillac won the Award spurs quality improvement at Cadillac because:
1. it drives an annual revietv of the division's mission and strategic objectives, to make sure they are aligned with the business environment and the mission of General Motors.
2. it guides the development and implementation of key processes such as simultaneous engineering and the labor-management quality net-work.
3. it builds discipline into the ongoing process of creating and achieving short- and long-term quality improvement goals.
The planning process began every June, when the executive staff revievved current objectives to make sure they were aligned with corporate objectives. The staff then gathered relevant data from throughout the organization to assess Cadillac's strengths and weaknesses. The data included benchmarking of competitive products and processes used by vvorld-class companies. Key suppliers and dealers also contributed to the planning process.
On the basis of this situational analysis, the executive staff proposed business objectives for the next year. in 1992, Cadillac had 29 business objectives in six majör areas: leadership, people, quality, customer satisfac-tion, cost, and speed to market. The proposed objectives vvere revievved across the division, and the feedback generated by this review was used to develop the final business objectives. The executive staff shared the objectives with top union and management leaders of the company and its various divisions at the business planning kickoff meeting.
Next, the functional staff, plant quality councils, and human resource management developed goals and action plans that supported the business objectives. "Just about everybody in Cadillac got involved in this process," says William Lesner, former superintendent of manufacturing.
Cadillac identified three business objectives for quality in its 1991 plan. The first, labeled Ql, was: "Cadillac will continuously improve the quality of our processes, products, and services." The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly center developed five goals to achieve this objective (all labeled Ql also):
1. Continually improve first-time quality through the Quality Planning process.
2. Achieve greater awareness and responsiveness to internal customer expectations.
3. Continually implement the approved Quality Networlc action strategies.
4. Expand implementation of the Pull System throughout general assembly.
5. Establish a Level Schedule Index (LSI) to measure variation in sched-uling of vehicles to assembly.
By using a variety of communication tools to keep its key goals and measures in front of people, Cadillac focused everyone's efforts on activ-ities that contributed to achieving its business objectives.