Sustainable Growth:

Balanced Approach to Business Systems

Case Study:  Ford Motor Company

Sustainable Growth Strategies

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

 

"Improved sustainability performance is not just a requirement, but a tremendous business opportunity." ~ Bill Ford

The Basic Values

that define Ford Motor Company as an industry leader.

Our Vision

To become the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services.

Our Mission

We are a global family with a proud heritage passionately committed to providing personal mobility for people around the world.

We anticipate consumer need and deliver outstanding products and services that improve people's lives.

Yin-Yang of Customer Value Creation

Our Values

Our business is driven by our consumer focus, creativity, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial spirit.

We are an inspired, diverse team. We respect and value everyone's contribution. The health and safety of our people are paramount.

We are a leader in environmental responsibility. Our integrity is never compromised and we make a positive contribution to society.

We constantly strive to improve in everything we do. Guided by these values, we provide superior returns to our shareholders.

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Sustainable Corporate Growth

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Balanced Approach to Business Systems

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About the Company

Ford Motor Company produces and sells automotive vehicles under the brand names Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo, and Jaguar. Ford also owns 33.4% of Mazda Motor Corporation and engages in other businesses such as car rental, through its Hertz Corporation subsidiary.

Corporate Citizenship

 

A Ford Corporate Citizenship Report stresses that the company sees no conflict between business goals and social and environmental needs. Leaders of the company believe that the distinction between a good company and a great one is that a good company delivers excellent products and services, while a great company delivers excellent products and services and strives to improve the world. Overall, Ford believes that the company needs leaders who can make informed business decisions and who can help the company better meet customer needs, increase shareholder value, and honor responsibilities to society.

Training New Leaders

Ford is very serious about training new leaders who will help the company to prepare for a new business era and reach its goal of making a difference in the world. Ford provides training for its leaders in the Ford Leadership Center, where the focus in on building leaders, both men and women, who know how to get things done through the talents of their people. These leaders also learn to think "outside the box" by abandoning their comfort zones in everything from selecting a work project to working with new people.

Harnessing the Power of IT

At Ford Motor Company, Information Technology goes beyond the traditional IT or MIS departments at other companies to bring more efficient processes and systems in every area.
People at the IT department of the company focus on their vision, which states, "When asked, our customers, clients, suppliers, partners, employees, and stakeholders say, without hesitation, that Information Technology is a critical and competitive differentiator for Ford Motor Company." The employees hold themselves to this high standard with pride. They write in their statement, "Our work is about being a leader, a leader who applies information technology and process reengineering techniques to every part of the company, tracing the critical path through their complex business. It’s about being a consultant who understands the areas we support and helps them embrace change. Our work is with people, though our tool is the computer."

Servicing Diverse Customers

The Ford's customer base is becoming increasingly diverse as the company expand globally and as their established markets themselves become more diverse. This influences Ford's product development and marketing approaches.

For example, women make up more than 54 percent of U.S. Volvo customers. “Your Concept Car” was designed by a group of female engineers, designers and marketing professionals who strove to reflect what women say they want in a vehicle.

Ford is also conducting research and vehicle development geared toward customers with special needs, such as limited mobility. A Ford Europe product design team focused on making Ford products the brand of choice for people with mobility issues. At many corporately owned locations in Europe, Hertz is offering vehicles equipped with hand controls at no additional charge for disabled customers.

As their customer base becomes more diverse, Ford have adjusted their marketing and communications. For example, Jaguar and Volvo launched advertising campaigns in 2003 that reach out directly to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered customers.

The Ford's North American market is literally maturing, as baby boomers enter their golden years. Unlike their predecessors, boomers are known for their active lifestyles, and they expect Ford's products to accommodate their needs and desires. The company are actively exploring alternative offerings and features to support these core consumers as they age.

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References:

  1. Ford 2003-2004 Corporate Citizenship Report

  2. "Modern Management", Ninth Edition, Samuel C. Certo