Question: It was a mystery-a mystery with millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs riding on the anser. a h…

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Jun 13, 2022

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Question: It was a mystery-a mystery with millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs riding on the anser. a h…

by | Jun 13, 2022 | Questions & Answers


It was a mystery-a mystery with millions of dollars and hundreds
of jobs riding on the anser. a hugh 6.5 percent of the windshield
wiper systems being manufactured at tan ITT automotive plant in
upstate New York for DaimlerChrysler’s minivans were defective.
Nobody could figure out why the defect existed. All the parts met
specifications; they were assembled correctly, and engineers found
no fault with the design. Yet, in a test run many wipers failed to
make a complete sweep across the windshield-a potential disaster
for Chrysler and for the 3800 automotive workers in the upstate
plant. Plant management assembled a six-person team including
engineers, uion members, and manufacturing expertsto become a
detective force to find the answers. The team felt a lot of
presssure to resolved the problem because the livelihood of the
plant was threatened. If its major product was defeative, the plant
might be shuttered.

THE CORSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAM TACKLES THE
PROBLEM

Responsibility for solving the problem fell to the Chrysler
cross-functional team:leader of the plants Chryser teamCraig
Hysong, manufactuing general supervisor Rob Price, quality tech
Rick Fisher, quality analyst jeannine marciano, engineer Mike
Kinsky and Ron Maor an engineer from a sister plant in Canada. The
teams goal was to make sure the product was launched flawlessly.
The Chrysler team picked the best and worst of the wipers call Bob
and Wow for the best of the best and worst of the worst. They
thought that by comparing the best with the worst, they might
somehow isolate and fix the problem. The team felt the pressure to
perform because unless they solved the mystery, Chrysler would have
to find a new supplier for windshield wiper systems. Fianlly,
Fisher the technician and Maor, the engineer from the plant that
supplies themotors found the answer. It was in the serration on the
motors drive shaft that was meant to hold the crank in place.

1. Which approach to (or method of) group problem solving did
the plant team use?

2. To What extent did management make the right move in
assigning the flawed windshield wiper problem to a team instead of
to one engineer or technician?

3. If by chance you happen to have the right expertise, what
would you guess was the problem with the windshield wiper
system?

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