2017 Ford Motor Company Team Project


The Challenge:
Since 2011, the average assembly cost of a Ford vehicle has increased by 33%. While this trend can be largely attributed to advanced features being added to vehicles to meet consumer demands, the increase in labor costs has cut into Ford’s profit margins and become an area of concern.

The Solution:
The Tauber team analyzed the current Mustang so that their findings could be implemented in time for the initiation of the next generation Mustang’s development program. Additionally, the Tauber team was tasked to develop a DFA process to lower assembly costs across Ford’s family of vehicles. The Tauber team’s proposals reduced the required labor on the next generation Mustang door and IP assembly line by 20%. Ford is expected to reduce its annual costs by $5.5M and fixed costs by $500K by reducing required labor, management, tooling, screw, and part costs on the door and IP assembly lines.

Read the 2017 Ford Motor Company Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Ben Herrmann–Master of Supply Chain Management
Alexander Kim–Master of Business Administration

Project Sponsors:
Bob Garnham–Industrial Engineering Supervisor
Doug Rickert–Industrial Engineering Manager

Faculty Advisors:
Amy Cohn–College of Engineering
Sanjeev Kumar–Ross School of Business

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 Ford Team
2017 Ford Team