CHENNAI, India — For the group of Ford College Graduates (FCGs), spending six months at Ford India wasn’t just an opportunity to observe but a chance to make a real difference.
The team were involved in hands-on several cross-functional projects.Vaishali, a young Ford College Graduate (FCGs) with another teammate Vibhor, carried out a Pareto analysis to suggest that improving the quality of just five parts can improve the Extended Warranty revenue stream for Ford India. Another team, led by Delia, Shweta and Sonam, developed an idea for a Video Quick Reference Guide for the all-new EcoSport to improve customer understanding and satisfaction.
These and many other innovative cross-functional projects were showcased as part of ‘Leap,’ a small function to mark the FCGs’ six months with the company. Ford’s leadership, including Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing, Senthil Kumar, vice president, Vehicle Operations, Balasundaram Radhakrishnan, vice president, Powertrain Operations, V. Pandiyan, vice president, Human Resources, and others attended and went back impressed.
“It always feels young to be here amongst you and I’m happy to notice that you have learnt so much during this brief period and are utilizing this knowledge to bring forth various innovations and improvements in our processes. Keep up the great work!” Chacklackal said.
“A rolling stone gathers no moss, and gains a certain polish. FCG 2012 has been able to gain great polish. Well done,” wrote Radhakrishnan after the visit.
The 83 FCGs, comprising engineering and management graduates recruited from across India, are now on their way to an exciting career path with the Blue Oval.
“We have been engaged in cross-functional projects for three months now, the projects are all real time, addressing real problems and enabling us to understand the process better. They are pretty diversified…as you can see from the variety of projects handed to us,” said Vaibhav Talsania, a FCG from Gujarat.
A total of 45 cross-functional projects were undertaken by the FCGs in various departments, ranging from automatic tip changing to reduce costs at $238/robot/year, to redesigning a nozzle in the Paint Shop to reduce sealer from oozing out.
To make a difference in the career and lives of their co-workers, the female FCGs — in association with Voice of Women, a support group of women workers at Ford India — initiated ‘KRUTYA -Spirit of Learning.’
“Krutya is an English speaking course for women associates designed to help them communicate better at the workplace and help them advance in their career path,” said Dhasna, one of the coaches of the training program. The program has seen 24 sessions so far and is going further with positive synergy. The FCGs also developed Hindi and Gujarati modules that they plan to take to other interested workers of Ford India who want to learn these languages.
The FCGs are working towards implementation of Digital Worker with 100 percent compliance and are now working towards attaining level two. Their effort has won appreciation from Dave Schwartz, User Engagement, Global Service Delivery.
“Ford is a great place to learn and work and we are actively working to reach these targets and look forward to welcoming the next batch of FCGs by doing video conferencing with them. We have also been participating in Ford’s CSR events and visiting a nearby orphanage to contribute to the community in a more meaningful way,” said Vibhor, the co-ordinator of Leap.