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Management  5    

Professor  McLaughlin  

February  20,  2011  

Case  Study  –  Cranston  Nissan    

1. Categorize  the  quality  problems  in  the  case.  

Total  quality  management  (TQM)  is  considered  a  management  philosophy  because  

it  encompasses  a  commitment  from  employees  at  all  levels  to  continually  make  

improvements  and  satisfy  customers.  It  shortly  means  that  workers  should  always  

put  the  customer  priority  and  satisfaction  first.  In  the  case  of  Nissan,  Mr.  Sam  

Monahan  (owner  of  the  300ZX)  brought  in  his  car  expecting  quality  work  from  

Nissan  Motors.  Quality  work  as  in  t  he  reliability,  durability,  serviceability  and  

dependability  of  the  service  of  Nissan.  The  efficiency  of  Nissan  when  Monahan  

brought  his  car  in  was  not  high.  The  car  was  estimated  to  be  complete  in  a  

reasonable  3  days,  but  Monahan  was  not  even  informed  about  the  car’s  status  until  

the  5th  day,  when  he  had  to  call  into  Nissan  himself  for  an  update.  When  he  got  there,  

the  car  was  still  not  ready  and  the  made  him  wait  an  hour.  There  was  no  timely  

management  on  the  work  of  his  car  by  Nissan.  Efficiency  also  says  that  the  job  

should  be  done  with  high  quality,  which  was  not  effective  on  Monahan’s  car.  When  

they  brought  his  300ZX  out,  it  was  still  dripping  wet  (even  though  it  should  have  

been  dry  to  a  shine).    

  The  effectiveness  of  Nissan’s  work  was  also  a  great  problem  in  the  case.  

Effectiveness  is  how  well  you  got  the  job  done  and  you  addressed  the  problems  that  

were  contracted  to  do.  In  this  case,  Monahan  wanted  the  rust  damage  on  his  car  to  

be  repaired  (basically  the  outside  frame).  When  he  received  his  car  back,  the  

courtesy  light  in  the  driver’s  door  did  not  turn  off  even  though  the  door  was  closed  

and  a  voice  warning  kept  on  repeating  itself  even  though  the  door  was,  again,  closed.    

  All  of  these  problems  occurred  only  on  the  first  week  or  so  of  dropping  his  

car  off  at  the  dealers.  The  following  two  weeks  brought  up  more  issues.  For  

example,  efficiency  with  time  quality  came  up  as  a  problem  again  when  Jim  Loyd,  

the  body  shop  manager  put  off  looking  at  Monahan’s  car  for  no  specified  reason.  The  

car  was  left  in  the  shop  for  another  3  days  and  Monahan  did  not  even  receive  a  

courtesy  a  courtesy  call  to  update  him  about  the  car  even  though  Boyd  had  

promised  his  customer  that  he  would  call  back.  The  following  days,  it  was  Monahan  

who  had  to  call  Nissan  in  order  to  get  his  updates  on  his  car,  never  did  he  receive  a  

call  from  Nissan  first.  Later  problems  that  arose  were  that  Nissan  could  not  even  

pinpoint  the  problems  with  Monahan’s  car  and  had  to  have  him  send  it  to  


The  low  quality  of  course  made  Monahan  furious.  As  managing  quality  states,  the  

efficiency  &  effectiveness  can  lead  to  lower  cost  for  the  company,  make  a  positive  

impact  on  the  satisfied  customer,  and  have  the  likelihood  of  having  that  person  

become  a  repeated  customer.  Another  benefit  of  high  quality  is  that  there  will  be  “  

positive  word  of  mouth  revenue”  to  gain  more  customers.  In  this  case,  not  only  was  

a  lot  of  time  wasted  by  Nissan,  but  the  wasted  a  great  deal  of  time  from  Mr.  
Monahan  because  of  all  the  effort  he  had  to  put  in  to  receive  personal  updates  and  

driving  back  and  forth  from  the  dealers.  We  see  in  the  case  that  new  issues  keep  on  

occurring  with  Monahan’s  car.  Nissan  is  not  following  the  TQM  process  that  says  

quality  at  the  source  includes  inspection  of  products  for  defects  and  errors  after  

completion  and  at  all  stages.    

2. What  are  the  probably  causes  of  so  many  mishaps?  

The  probability  with  the  causes  of  these  mishaps  is  most  likely  due  to  the  fact  

that  Nissan  did  not  have  a  organized  way  of  checking  for  customer  satisfaction.  It  

was  not  able  to  follow  the  total  quality  management  philosophy  and  neither  the  

traditional  quality  control  approach.  TQM  says  that  there  should  be  quality  

inspection  at  all  sages  of  production  because  it  helps  reduces  the  chances  of  a  defect  

happening  to  their  product  or  service.  The  traditional  approach  says  that  there  

should  be  an  overall  inspection  before  the  product  or  service  is  put  out.  In  this  case,  

Nissan  obviously  did  make  an  overall  inspection  of  the  car  before  the  gave  it  back  to  

Monahan  because  every  single  time  Monahan  got  back  into  his  car,  he  would  find  

another  new  problem  that  had  occurred  while  the  car  was  at  the  shop.  This  also  

shows  that  there  was  no  inspection  of  the  car  at  the  different  stages  of  repair.  For  

example,  Monahan’s  rear  view  mirror  was  broken,  but  no  one  stepped  up  to  admit  

that  it  was  their  fault  &  end  inspectors  did  not  even  catch  that  issue  before  giving  

Monahan  his  car  back.  There  is  also  what  we  refer  to  as  a  continuous  process  

improvement  where  the  way  a  process  is  designed  influences  how  well  or  poorly  it  

functions  that  leads  to  the  outcomes  of  the  product  or  service.  In  this  case,  the  
objective  of  Nissan  was  to  fix  the  rust  that  was  on  the  car  of  Monahan.  Their  design  

was  just  to  take  care  of  the  parts  of  the  car  that  Monahan  had  pointed  out,  but  for  

some  reason,  quality  of  the  work  was  not  maintained  well  and  wires  in  his  cars  were  

affected.  Capability  of  the  workers  probably  varied  because  we  do  not  know  for  sure  

who  was  working  on  the  car  and  what  their  credentials  are,  but  it  seems  as  thought  

here  might  have  been  multiple  people  who  worked  on  the  car  because  when  the  

rear  view  mirror  broke,  they  were  not  able  to  pinpoint  who  had  done  such  a  poor  

job  quality.  Metrics  describes  how  to  monitor  and  determine  the  how  the  repair  was  

going  on  the  car,  but  as  stated  before  Monahan  had  to  call  up  every  single  time  to  get  

an  update  on  his  car  rather  than  the  dealers  calling  him  to  reassure  him  of  the  work  

they  were  doing.    

3. What  specific  actions  should  Jackson  take  immediately?  What  should  some  of  

his  longer-­‐term  goals  be?  

As  of  now,  Jackson  should  be  taking  care  of  Monahan’s  problems  efficiently  land  

immediately.  He  doesn’t  want  Monahan  to  be  spreading  word  that  his  dealer  is  

not  up  to  par.  Jackson  should  also  be  checking  all  of  his  dealers  to  see  that  this  

problem  is  not  consistent  throughout  a  number  of  dealerships,  if  so  he  has  to  

make  changes  in  either  hiring  new  workers,  hiring  more  workers,  or  retraining  

the  ones  he  has.  One  of  the  troubles  that  Monahan  had  to  face  was  that  Nissan  

did  not  even  have  the  correct  parts  that  he  needed  in  order  to  get  his  car  fixed.  

The  molding  to  Monahan’s  car  was  not  in  stock  so  he  had  to  wait  for  them  to  

make  an  order  and  a  shipment  for  the  part.  Jackson  wants  to  be  able  to  manage  
his  “just  in  time  system”  that  insures  timely  delivery  of  a  product  or  service  and  

related  inputs.  Jackson  does  not  want  an  excess  of  products  but  he  still  wants  

inventory  to  be  available  when  needed  in  order  to  keep  customer  satisfaction  up.  

The  benefits  to  this  is  that  he  can  improve  productivity  as  well  as  quality  while  

reducing  labor  and  equipment  time  which  increases  customer  satisfaction  

because  it  reduces  their  time  of  waiting  for  a  shipment  of  the  part.  In  the  long  

run,  Jackson  wants  to  keep  note  of  Nissan’s  continuous  process  improvement  

which  refers  to  the  way  a  process  is  designed  influences  how  well  or  poorly  it  

functions.  If    he  keeps  a  quality  control  chart  for  each  year  or  so,  he  can  access  

why  his  branches  are  either  failing  or  succeeding  in  customer  relations  and  

productivity.  He  should  also  focus  on  capacity  planning  for  the  future  because  

this  could  greatly  help  him  find  out  how  much  he  should  be  producing  or  

servicing  which  in  turn  assists  him  in  determining  how  much  inventory  ne  will  

need.    In  the  future  he  should  collect  data  on  what  was  the  typical  work  standard  

of  Nissan  workers  so  everyone  can  be  on  the  same  level  when  doing  a  job.  No  

one  would  be  slacking  off  or  doing  less  work  than  others.  Hopefully  this  will  then  

reflect  on  how  efficient  and  orderly  a  costumer  is  being  tended  to  in  a  situation.  

Also,  if  Jackson  is  able  to,  he  can  invest  his  money  into  flexible  manufacturing  

systems  to  help  him  control  and  guide  repairs  and  productions  al  by  computer.